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Silverado Reviews

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John M

Super Reviewer

March 29, 2007
Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover and Kevin Costner . . They all shine in their roles and its oneo f the best westerns out there. Its funny in all the right places. This was Costner before he got big. And it shows again what a great actor Kevin Kline is.
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2011
More than a Western, a Western goulash with practically every Western cliche you can think of thrown in, and practically every A-list male lead at the time along for the roundup. A little bit of dusty fun.
TomBowler
TomBowler

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2011
A lot of fun even though the narrative sags a little. Full review later.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 28, 2009
A great modern western that?s turned into a bit of a cult film. Great cast and a great film!
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

January 1, 2008
Classics modern-day western that is VERY AWARE of what it is. What a line-up of talent to go with such a great story. I had a BLAST!
Martin B

Super Reviewer

June 6, 2008
Until a bit of a resurgence in the early to mid-90's, the western was essentially a dead genre. Entries like Silverado certainly didn't help the matter any.

They assembled what seemed like an outstanding ensemble cast... but each person in that cast put in the worst performance of their respective careers - Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, John Cleese, Jeff Goldblum, to name just a few ...and especially Kevin Costner, in a role obviously written to be amusing and quirky, but instead is just annoying and badly-acted. I'm inclined to think the fault lies with the writing or directing, though, as the high-school-play-calibur acting extends from the leads all the way down to the smallest supporting roles, and even the "action" scenes are pretty stiff and laughable.

I went 23 years without seeing this flick all the way through. Guess I shouldn't have bothered after all this time.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

June 25, 2006
In the 80s, the genre of the Western movie was dead. This movie wasn't able to revive it either, but it didn't have to. It already included all you needed for a couple of years:
a cast of great names, classic roles of good and evil, themes of friendship and bravery, wagon trails, stampedes, shootouts, saloons, gamblers and whores.
There is not much more to wish for as far as this genre is concerned. Just great fun all around.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

September 2, 2007
Really good story and so many good actors to watch I could hardly believe it. It had been years since I had seen this and I didn't remember it being so good.
The music was awesome and it truly felt like a perfect western. And like I said, the cast was excellent.
I have to say that Kevin Kline was my favorite in the flick. All of the characters were well fleshed out though.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

December 27, 2006
Enjoyable post-modern western romp with a solid ensemble cast, and a memorable cameo from John Cleese.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

November 7, 2006
Great western of four less-than-likely lads help a town beat off the baddies.
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

June 17, 2014
"Silverado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger; your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home, and freedom, oh freedom, well, that's just some people talkin'! Your prison is walking through this world all alone!" Man, it's hard to "write" a "parody" of that lyric without choking up, although, in all fairness, I think I'd cry out of frustration if I heard about Eagles' "Desperado" being parodied. Yeah, you know that this would be a cheesy parody if it was one, not necessarily because it stars John Cleese, formerly of Monty Python, but because it's a western that was released between the mid-'80s and the '90s with a cast featuring Kevin Costner... in addition to Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblum, Linda Hunt and Brian Dennehy. Wow, this is one heck of a cast, although if one of the many stars isn't of questionable credibility, then he or she is someone you really wouldn't expect in a western, and one directed, produced and co-written by the guy who co-wrote the last two installments of the original "Star Wars" trilogy, on top of all that. Wow, this was either one of the most ambitious westerns of the 1980s or, well, a disaster waiting to happen, kind of like a parody of Eagles' "Desperado". Well, people, while this film is hardly as moving of a portrait on cowboyin' as that song, it is plenty of fun, at least until it dries up.

Now, as much as I praise this film for being, at the very least, fun, entertainment value takes some blows from surprising quiet spots whose dryness is blanding, if not a little dull, at least compared to livelier tones which would be more colorful if they were more consistent, alternating between melodramatics and often over-the-top fluff, while still managing to keep consistently cheesy. When the film isn't histrionic, the overt cheese has a tendency to reflect a certain placement of style over substance, which is limited to begin with by some expository issues, which mold a lacking immediate development segment, followed by a body that puts very little attention to especially layered characterization, despite all of the material padding. Momentum at least feels retarded because of the aforecited atmospheric cold spells, but limpness hardly ends within the direction, as the screenplay also drags plays an instrumental role in getting this film to drag its feet to a very unreasonable runtime of 133 minutes, with some aimless filler, and plenty of forced-feeling plotting material that reflects an ambition to make the drama more than it probably can be. Adventurous and often dramatically weighty, but ultimately inconsequential, this film boasts a near-fluffy story whose interpretation makes matters worse with overambition that is about as reflective of the story's natural shortcomings as the story's sheer familiarity. I've heard many hammer on the film as derivative of most every clichéd western, and while this film isn't that unoriginal, it's further from being all that original, hitting trope after trope, and hard, until shamelessly devolving to predictability. The film is borderline trite, and that overwhelming conventionalism, mixed with all of the thin dramatics, inconsistencies and bloating, really shake up momentum, until the final product falls pretty firmly into underwhelminginess. With that said, while the film has your attention, it keeps a fair grip, firmed up partly by highlights in style.

Bruce Broughton's score is conventional and unevenly played with in this formulaic and often surprisingly quiet film, but it's still reasonably effective with its sweep and hint of bite, whose aesthetic appeal is rivaled by cinematography by John Bailey that, while flat in a lot of ways, is generally clean in coloration, and tasteful in lighting which places a fine polish over immersive art direction by William A. Elliott. Outside of this western art direction, which one might not even consider a form of style, style is not especially prominent, but it is there, coloring up a thin and conventional story that, quite frankly, is still fairly intriguing enough on paper to hold its own color. This story is dramatically lacking, but still lively in scale as a sometimes rather intimate adventure western, further livened up by a script by Lawrence Kasdan and Mark Kasdan that delivers on some decent humor and inspired dramatic touches. Of course, it's Kasdan's directorial storytelling which anchors both style and substance, despite overstylization and some tonal flimsiness, doing a decent job of playing with flashy style, particularly during tight action sequences, while keeping generally controlled enough to entertain throughout the final product's overdraw course. Sure, there are plenty of slow spells amidst this overdrawn plot, but storytelling from offscreen talent still endears, even if it hardly proves to be quite as charming as the onscreen performances. Naturally, if this film is noted for nothing else, it is a solid ensemble cast, highlights by sharp chemistry that is found across the board, between star talents who are charismatic enough by their own individual right, whether it be Kevin Kline as a bright, but flawed leader, or Scott Glenn as a man of challenged honor, or Kevin Costner as a charmingly eccentric gunman, or Danny Glover as a guilty gunman looking to turn his life around for the sake of respect and loved ones' well-being. These lead performances are but a few of many commendable performances out of a respectable, star-studded cast, but they do not endear single-handedly, because through all of its aspects which are either lazy or overblown is a pretty decent western, in spite of the shakes to entertainment value.

When it's time to come to your senses (Ah, I can't get "Desperado" out of my head now!), it's hard to disregard certain natural shortcomings to a story concept whose execution is too periodically atmospherically chilled, tonal uneven, underdeveloped, overdrawn and formulaic for the final product to transcend an underwhelminginess which is still firmly challenged by the appealing scoring, cinematography and art direction, and endearing writing, direction and acting which make Lawrence Kasdan's "Silverado" an adequately entertaining, maybe even fun, if forgettable tribute to traditional western adventures.

2.5/5 - Fair
Sean G

Super Reviewer

August 26, 2010
Top Five Westerns of the 80's. Maybe the best.
Rostron2
Rostron2

Super Reviewer

August 2, 2010
Silverado isn't the best western ever made, but it certainly sums up what was great about the genre. It draws inspiration from older and less politically correct films, but it adds a great cast (Kevin Costner's best film by far)Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, etc. It has great cinematography and a script filled with western-isms and quotable lines. It has a great sense of dramatic timing, and its a fun game to 'count the deputy corpses' as you go along. From the very beginning, it draws you in and never really slows down. The only misstep was casting Jeff Goldblum as the gambler, but since he dies anyway (to cheers when we saw it)all is forgiven. Great supporting cast, and echoes of many westerns in its imagery. Good score by Bruce Broughton also inspired by classic westerns.

Even if you don't like westerns, it's fun to watch.

Recommended.
Alec B

Super Reviewer

October 18, 2010
Its a fun big cast western. I would have liked it more if the film didn't introduce us to about 20 new characters in the final act, but for a modern take on the old western genre it works overall.
moviefan1725
moviefan1725

Super Reviewer

June 6, 2008
Lawrence Kasdan's revisionist western stands as a highpoint of the genre. An immaculate cast, all at the top of their game, bring real characters to the forefront, against a sweeping backdrop unparalleled in this genre. Standout performances from Brian Dennehy as the sherriff you love to hate, and an early perfomance by Kevin Costner as the freewheeling gunslinger, Jake. Plenty of action, humor, and humanity escalate this to a unique experience, and a must see for anyone who loves the American Western.
May 30, 2012
Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover and Kevin Costner . . They all shine in their roles and its oneo f the best westerns out there. Its funny in all the right places. This was Costner before he got big. And it shows again what a great actor Kevin Kline is.
January 27, 2009
It was alright, I would say because of the cast. The directing was weak and unengaging. I thought some of the most important lines were so distracting, and unbelievable. especially those of Glenn. Kline is also not a cowboy. The closest he came to that was Wild Wild West, and in that he was a scientist gunslinger. I did like his beard though.

The most memorable parts were Costner as a supposed woman's man, and the midget Linda Hunt running the saloon. I was also impressed with the New Mexico scenery.
May 19, 2010
A fun ensemble western. It's a little more light-hearted than I typically like, but it's a good watch for those who aren't fans of the genre.
jamesruper
January 6, 2010
The perfect western. Every young star in the movie is now a superstar. Get the whole family together and don't miss this picture!
quick0000
May 11, 2009
This acerbic, post-modern western launched a thousand (or so) careers, and has only begun to receive the praise it always deserved.
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