Clint Eastwood directed, produced, and starred in this film, and if it wasn't for this film we may have never seen his skill behind the camera be recognized. There's nothing absolutely amazing about this films direction, but there is some solid cinematography that provide some beautiful shots, but the most impressive of Eastwood's direction is the way he sets up mood. He effectively conveys a sense of time, and place in the old west very well, giving the viewer an uneasy sense of isolation, and a haunting atmosphere in the barely populated towns, and long stretches of desert.
The performances are also overall top notch with Eastwood doing a fine job playing William Munny, with his typical straight faced, tough, no nonsense persona, but with a bit more depth this time. Constantly carrying baggage from his past that's slowly eating him up inside, while still trying to be a good father, and a good man. Gene Hackman is also a stand out, playing the hypocritical sheriff Little Bill Daggett. Daggett is a complex, hypocritical, morally ambiguous character. Trying to keep his little town safe, building a house to retire in, and constantly condemning violence he frequently resorts to, to feel powerful, and Hackman does a great job making him feel human. Morgan Freeman also does a typically nice job playing Munny's old friend Ned.
The script for Unforgiven was actually written in the 70's during the massive popularity of westerns, but was never used for twenty years. This isn't a surprise considering while other westerns were busy glorifying violence, Unforgiven was ready to show the audience the psychological trauma it really inflicts. Eastwood was even skeptical about doing the film because of how different it was from his other westerns, and was worried it would've left a bad stain on his career. When he officially started working on Unforgiven the script wasn't even changed a bit, because even after 20 years it still had an intriguing, fresh quality to it.
Unforgiven is a film that was just made at the right time. It blurs the line between standard good, and evil, leaving only the morally grey behind. It's a brutal, dark, and a heartfelt goodbye to the western genre from one its most popular actors. It's also an interesting look at what one of Eastwood's typical western characters would look like 20 years down the road, and is an overall reflection of his work as an actor in the genre, giving it a nice, almost tragic personal feeling. If you're a fan of any kind of western, I highly recommend you watch it.
The experienced killers struggle with their emotions to kill people (used to be arrogant and killed people for fun in their youth); they do not gloat with glee on the number of kills they have done so far - rather they are filled with remorse and fear.
Whereas the amateur has never killed a soul so far but boasts of having killed 5 people (when truly his eyesight / aim is quite bad). Surprising to find a cameo by the first Dumbledore Richard Harris in this movie :) (can't imagine him in any other role) !!
English Bob seemed like a very cool character but in the end his story didn't lead anywhere and I was very disappointed in that area of the film. Other than that, a lot of the plot moved far too slow for my liking, and I found myself very bored with this otherwise competent and mildly interesting film