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Rio Bravo (1998)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 23,166

My Rating

Movie Info

Set in Texas during the late 1860s, Rio Bravo is a story of men (and women) and a town under siege. Presidio County Sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne) is holding Joe Burdette (Claude Akins), a worthless, drunken thug, for the murder of an unarmed man in a fight in a saloon -- the problem is that Joe is the brother of wealthy land baron Nathan Burdette (John Russell), who owns a big chunk of the county and can buy all the hired guns he doesn't already have working for him. Burdette's men cut the


Western, Action & Adventure, Classics

May 8, 2001


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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (0) | DVD (14)

The movie is simultaneously an apogee of the classic Western style, with its principled violence in defense of just law, and an eccentrically hyperbolic work of modernism, which yokes both bumptious erotic comedy and soul-searing rawness to the mission.

April 23, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To watch Rio Bravo is to see a master craftsman at work. The film is seamless. There is not a shot that is wrong. It is uncommonly absorbing, and the 141-minute running time flows past like running water.

April 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wayne, of course, walks off with the show -- not by doing anything in particular, but simply by being what he is: at 51, still one of the most believable he-men in Hollywood.

April 27, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rio Bravo is a big, brawling western.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Howard Hawks's finest western (1959), and perhaps his finest film.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite its slickness, virility, occasional humor and, if it may be repeated, authentic professional approach, it is well-made but awfully familiar fare.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Underrated at the time of its release, this majestically paced western is one of the finest achievements of the genre and stands as a career-best for many of its participants.

April 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Warm, witty and endlessly welcoming, not only is it the filmmaker's finest Oater -- better even than the sparkling Red River -- it's arguably the quintessential Hawks flick.

April 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A definitive piece of Americana by way of Howard Hawks, Rio Bravo is what the late 1950s studio system was all about

April 23, 2013 Full Review Source:

[VIDEO] "Rio Bravo" (1959) is Howard Hawkes's shamelessly commercial Western.

August 29, 2011 Full Review Source:

If Only Angels Have Wings is the foremost masterwork of the director's early period, Rio Bravo is that of the later, even more genial years.

May 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

Classic Western with superb story telling.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Texecution is superb in every department, making this one of the classics of the genre

February 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A lengthy, leisurely paced film.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Faultless, freewheeling-and very funny.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Flawlessly cast, complex, amusing and exciting, the film integrates multi-layered themes into a unified and satisfying whole.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Although Rio Bravo rather ambles along, it still has enough good points to make it a genial viewing experience.

May 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Rio Bravo may not be a perfect film, but it's close enough as to not matter.

May 21, 2007 Full Review Source:

... one Hawks' greatest films, perhaps his masterpiece, and one of the finest westerns of all time.

May 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

No matter what you think of Zinnemann's High Noon (I'm mixed), it's directly responsible for the making of Hawks' most entertaining and classic Western, which displays all of his thematic concerns, such as the emergence of an intimate male camaraderie

August 16, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for Rio Bravo

Classic western. A bit long and not particularly well structured but it's entertaining enough for either to be a problem. John Wayne is John Wayne, if you like him (as I do) then you will love this film. Dean Martin is great as the recovering alcoholic (beer doesn't seem to count as alcohol in the old west for some reason) and both Ricky Nelson and Angie Dickinson are good in their supporting roles, although I preferred it when Nelson wasn't singing. Walter Brennan's Stumpy is the real attraction though, say what you want about Hawks's direction, Wayne's performance and Martin's real alcoholism, Rio Bravo is all about Stumpy.
July 9, 2013

Super Reviewer

A wonderful good old-fashioned Western that is compelling and amusing, blending humor and drama in a multi-layered story centered more on the complex characters than on the action - and it has a lot of memorable dialogue and a perfect pacing that is careful but never slow.
November 4, 2012

Super Reviewer

One of the most entertaining and fun film experiences you'll ever have. Wayne, Martin & Brennan really shine in this one. Some of the best dialogue I've ever heard.
March 2, 2012
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

An entertaining classic. Sure, to an extent, it's a vehicle for Ricky Nelson - toward the end, we get some very anachronistic country music! - but overall, it's a simple film in which John Wayne does his usual thing (as the sherriff), Dean Martin shines as a drunk struggling to get it together, and luminous Angie Dickinson and her legs-right-up-to-her-neck win the seen-it-all-sherriff's heart. I liked the way in which everyone in town was trapped, in a sense, and the tension that comes from having the barbarians - Burdette's gang - at the gate all the while. The title wasn't the best one, but there's so much in this movie, I don't know what you'd call it: laughs, love, action and drama combine to make an enjoyable film. It doesn't "hit hard," but it's definitely a hit.
February 18, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Dude: My name is Dude, and I'm an alcoholic.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (14 months ago)
    1. Feathers: Me, I just talk all the time.
    2. Sheriff John T. Chance: You most certainly do.
    – Submitted by Rita L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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