The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Reviews

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½ October 8, 2016
One would likely find the paradoxical title of Assassination to be confusing at the least. Upon further contemplation, it is a sort of psychoanalytical point of view on the mob mentality and idolization that lead to Robert Ford's unfortunate downfall. Andrew Dominik has crafted a great period piece with some glaring flaws, but which overall does more good than bad. Cinematography is truthfully self-absorbed at times - Dominik has proclaimed himself a modernist pioneer of filmmaking, and utilizes several amateurish techniques as banal proof - but nonetheless attractive, and the soundtrack is hauntingly gorgeous. Additionally, impressive performances from both Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck (along with a host of supporting characters played by an all-star cast) elevate the film's status respectably. Not everything is perfect by far, and the over-long runtime certainly kills things somewhat, but all in all Assassination is an intricate, if disappointingly shallow study of a paranoiac outlaw driven by distrust.
October 7, 2016
underrated and what a terrific supporting cast
½ September 30, 2016
The only film in recent memory that demonstrates the visual and aural power of a cinema without any special effects. Its only special effect is its unforgettable photography and a haunting musical score with confident filmmaking, complex performances, displaying some of the most memorable scenes in cinema.
September 20, 2016
amazing movie to watch!!
September 11, 2016
While a tad long winded, other remarkable aspects on filmmaking more than make up for it.
½ September 8, 2016
Phenomenally beautiful. Not moody but a combination of moods between the James' paranoia and the Ford's sycophantic worshipping added to by the sublime cinematography and soundtrack.
September 6, 2016
This was a four star film with a two star ridiculously long running time, shame.
August 30, 2016
With the budget of 30 million dollars «The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford» collected only half as much in the box office. However, despite being financial failure the film appeared to be of the most remarkable pictures of the 21st century so far.
Basing on the novel of the same name, «The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford» combines literature-like characters study through numerous dialogs and voice-over narration with great visual beauty supported by brilliant Roger Dickens' cinematography. The result is a poetic graphic novel of strong visual and verbal expression.
The remarkable style of the film with its slow pacing, voice-over narration and imagery of golden fields in the rays of sunset brings to mind Terrence Malick and particularly his «Days of Heaven» (There is even Sam Shepard on one of the important roles). Nevertheless, poetry of the «Assasination...» has its own identity serving the themes film explores. Literally and figuratively«gilded» depiction of the world, like the one we have in our nostalgic memories, compliments Robert Ford's idealization of legendary outlaw Jessie James, member of whose gang Ford becomes. Seeking fame but being too ordinary to get it as his idol did, the only way Ford finds to attract attention to himself is by becoming a person «who killed Jessie James». Conflict of mediocrity and extraordinariness becomes central problem of the film and is being explored through interesting characters. Strong actors performances, especially the one carried out by Casey Affleck as Robert Ford, contribute to it.
«The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford» is remarkable for its visual style but not limited to it. Exploring interesting themes and having strong actors performances, the film presents a great interest and despite its failure in the box office deserves appreciation equal to more successful pictures.
August 24, 2016
I can't believe the score isn't higher! I've seen this a million times... Fantastic!
August 5, 2016
A fucking shame more people don't know about or like this movie. Their loss.
½ August 1, 2016
Despite compelling performances from Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is dull and emotional distant.
July 4, 2016
Starring Brad Pitt, as Brad Pitt, this film although lauded by others is a safe, un-cinematic static film that doesn't create any suspense. Pretentious and dull, there is no reason why the characters are pulled together or quest they are working toward, so it just lumbers on to the inevitable of the clue giving the title.

Deakins lovers will ofcourse love this, but I dont think the work is anything special compared to others and at times was quite drab. The camera placement were always safe, mids and singles, no movement really or contruction of scenes, this played out like a documentary on the history channel.
July 2, 2016
One of the very best & most beautiful films I've ever seen. A masterpiece.
½ June 5, 2016
With gorgeous cinematography and fully convincing performances from Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, "Assassination" embodies the madness and heart of one of America's most iconic figures.
½ June 4, 2016
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford can be summed up by its title; maybe a bit too long but I loved it anyway. The 153 minute run time doesn't make it the longest film in existence, but a slow early pace means it takes a while to get going. Once it does pick up it really is an exceptional piece of filmmaking.

A somewhat sluggish first act, and some slightly overused narration are my only complaints; other than that I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The story is quite obvious from the title, Robert Ford (Casey Affleck), originally obsessed by Jesse James (Brad Pitt), eventually becomes James' downfall. This obsession is the focal point of the film and it is fascinating to see how it shifts to contempt and disdain. The two leads show both sides of this exceptionally, with Affleck playing the obsessed teen with an element of creepiness that makes the character at times rather unnerving. Pitt delivers one of his greatest performances, a man made uncertain by this overly interested gang member, but also someone of great influence and power who is respected and feared by the men he commands. This fear element is not unlike a lot of gangster films, there are several brilliantly tense moments in the second half between Affleck, Pitt and Sam Rockwell (playing Ford's older brother) that are not unlike the 'funny how?' scene from Goodfellas, with anxious glances and nervous laughter punctuating awkward silences.

The film is further improved by the perfectly chosen supporting cast, including Jeremy Renner and Paul Schneider, who all deliver believable and engaging performances that add to the story's emotion and tension. Roger Deakins' cinematography combined with the sharp editing is also a sight to behold. He perfectly captures the feel of every scene and the use of the camera in more intimate dialogue scenes allows the viewer to really get a feel for Ford's obsession and how his world seemingly revolves around James, cutting out friends and family and focusing only on the criminal. There are plenty of breath-taking scenery shots as well that make perfect use of the setting.

Despite my complaints, I really found this to be an intriguing and enthralling picture. It's not perfect but it's well worth a watch.
May 28, 2016
But what a stupit name!
½ May 25, 2016
Pretentious and overlong, the movie has some good parts. The performances are good, the musical score is okay, and I liked the realistic violence. The narration was a bit dull and the movie dragged, as most of the more interesting stuff came after the assassination bit. Overall its a decent western drama, not amazing.
½ May 16, 2016
The Assassination is a well-acted movie, but it's almost 3 hour run time made me feel every minute. There is definitely a greatness about this film, but it is a hard one to pay attention to for the whole run time. However, The Assassination is still a film everyone should at least consider seeing
½ May 2, 2016
The slow burning story unravels a character in Robert Ford that far surpasses the infamously large font name in the title, and Casey Affleck gives him the celebrity that he longed for.
April 19, 2016
A wonderful modern western. It is one of the better movies about Jessie James because it totally takes away myths about. The movie is also carried by a strong performance by Casey Affleck and gorgeous cinematography by Roger Deakins.
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