Purgatory (1999)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this fantasy set in the Old West, Blackjack Britton (Eric Roberts) is an outlaw on the run from police after a bank robbery. Britton and his gang wind up in a small town called Refuge, where things are rather unusual -- outlaws are warmly welcomed and offered free food and lodging but warned not to swear, and none of the residents carry guns, including Sheriff Forrest (Sam Shepard). Britton and his gang notice that Sheriff Forrest bears a striking resemblance to the famous gunfighter Wild Bill Hickock, who died some years ago. Elsewhere in Refuge, Britton's gang meets dead ringers for such late, great outlaws as Doc Holliday (Randy Quaid), Billy the Kid (Donnie Wahlberg), and Jesse James (J.D. Souther). Britton learns that Refuge is actually Purgatory, where the gunfighters are stranded between Heaven and Hell, hoping to hoping to find a redemptive grace that will bring them salvation as they struggle not to backslide into final damnation. Soon Britton's gang becomes restless, and the men of Refuge may have to return to their guns if they are to protect the town. Produced for the TNT cable network, Purgatory also features Peter Stormare, Brad Rowe, and Richard Edson. The film is also available on home video in a Spanish subtitled edition.
Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Sam Shepard
as Sheriff Forrest
Eric Roberts
as Blackjack
Randy Quaid
as Doc Woods
Brad Rowe
as Sonny
J.D. Souther
as Jesse James
Richard Edson
as Euripides
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Purgatory

All Critics (3)

No excerpt available.

August 7, 2005

Finds a fairly novel way in which to mix some of the classic old-school characters with just a dose of otherworldly weirdness. I dug it.

Full Review… | May 25, 2005

...more a psychological thriller than anything else, but it will not entirely disappoint die-hard action fans, either.

Full Review… | May 22, 2005
Movie Metropolis

...the story manages to inject a much-needed shot of adrenaline into a dying carcass.

Full Review… | May 22, 2005
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Purgatory

Uli Edel drops some fantasy into a western atmosphere in Purgatory.

This isn't a 90 minute sprint around the track by any means, but for a film that does harness a slower pace, the cloudiness and sense of mystery stirs up enough intrigue to keep the story afloat.

The film may kick off with a bang; however, there isn't much in the way of bullets flying around, which leaves the feeling that this is lesser than an action picture. Fortunately, the final act makes up for it all.

The cast is strong and it shows. Sam Shepard was born for his role and Eric Roberts proves to be an excellent adversary. Peter Stormare, Randy Quaid, J.D. Souther, and Donnie Wahlberg fill up the supporting cast nicely. Amelia Heinle is a sight for sore eyes in a film full of gun-slinging cowboys.

Purgatory fits the bill as a western with a unique flavor, thus making it a recommendable film.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer


Interesting movie actually--definitely a family flick you can enjoy with everyone. As I was watching the film I couldn't help but not think back on my College years when I read Dante's Inferno. Good vs Evil gone western in a strange but interesting way. Very nice cast. I liked it. A couple of words to sum it up: Interesting. Profound.

Tanis Somerville
Tanis Somerville

Okay, I know this movie has its downfalls, but I still find it enjoyable. the concept is pretty cool, throwing the mystic properties of the old western heroes and villains with biblical spiritualism. The shootouts were more realistic than I've seen in most westerns, which is a change. Still... this is a made for tv movie, and all made for tv movies suffer from the similar problems. This is no different. Well, lets get to it. 1. Acting. Dry, predictable, t.v. oriented. There are the exceptions, but overall, the acting the audience needed isn't what the audience received. 2. Characters. I'm not sure what research went into the characters of this movie, but I found them lacking. They seemed more like the anthropomorphized versions of the actual characters ( the ones based off of real people ), not performances based off of actual accounts. It seemed like a 50's western done in the late 90's, know what I mean? I can't in good conscience give this movie a good score. I want to, because I like it, but it can't. It's a C movie. Shy of a ripe tomato because of bad acting. Catch it on tv, if it ever comes on again. Borrow it from someone, if they were that enthusiastic about it. If you can find it used for a buck or so, I am inclined to say spend it, but DON'T pay full price. I taped it, and even though I like this movie, that's as far as I'm going to go with it.

j d
j d

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