High Plains Drifter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

High Plains Drifter Reviews

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October 20, 2017
111009, 151110, 161201 & 171020: It's funny how you notice little details with each consecutive viewing of a film. With High Plains Drifter, this time around, I picked up that Stacey Bridges (Geoffrey Lewis) and the Carlins (Dan Vadis & Anthony James), the badass villains that they are, use hollow-point bullets. These bullets would've been damn rare, if not non-existent around the time this film was to have taken place. As for the film itself, there is no way I'm changing my ratings on this one. High Plains Drifter is one of my rare five star movies. I could just talk for hours about how great the cast and characters are. The villains are a perfect example. Lewis and James are easily recognizable, classic black hat bad guys but I believe special credit should go to whoever chose Dan Vadis to portray Dan Carlin. Vadis' character, in his relatively little short screen time, comes across as a true psychopath, a guy you just wouldn't want to mess with...unless you're The Stranger (Clint Eastwood). And the townsfolk of Lago? What a wonderful ensemble of wacky personalities, each special and contributing to the overall community in their own unique way. From the more prominent players, such as Mordecai (Billy Curtis), to the lesser ones, the Mexican laborers, the cast seems to have been perfectly selected and scripted. The outcome is an almost uncomfortably honest portrayal of a corrupt, narcissistic community, something viewers likely all fear, and associate with, in some small way. There are some interesting theories on-line regarding the intention of the script behind High Plains Drifter, in particular, The Stranger's relationship to Marshal Duncan. Check them out as I've found they've only contributed to my enjoyment of this film.
October 17, 2017
Clint! So this is about a stranger with no name (Clint Eastwood). He comes to the tiny town of Lago, Texas. They are desperate people because three outlaws that they wronged in the past are getting out of jail. They are woefully underprepared for their return, and this stranger will help them, but his price is a high one. It is a tradition of mine to watch a Western on my birthday, and it is usually (but not always) one from yesteryear. Sometimes I revisit a personal favorite (Rango), and others, it'll be something that is completely new to me (The Magnificent Seven). This one doesn't really qualify as either, but I still opted to give this another spin nevertheless. Now if you are at all familiar with the Westerns of Clint Eastwood, you know that he usually plays some sort of mysterious man with a moral code. Part of the allure of the genre is the independent man that is trying to do the right thing and help out the underdog. You can throw all of that out the window with High Plains Drifter. There is a rape scene very early on, only about fifteen minutes in, and it really sets the tone of how this story is going to play out, because this is not a good guy that you can enjoy rooting for. It is interesting to see him play the role of this selfish scumbag, and you could make a pretty good argument that he is worse for the town than the outlaws that they signed him up to combat. Once you get to the ending of this, you will look at the entire story completely differently. I'm not going to spoil anything here, but it is very clear throughout that there is a puzzle piece missing, and there is something that you are not being told. This town has demons, and this might be one of the most feel bad Westerns out there (I would still give the edge to The Great Silence, personally). I do give this a pretty enthusiastic recommendation, but you should be prepared for what is in store before you take the time.
September 12, 2017
Another great Eastwood western, High Plains Drifter has a beautiful cinematography and an amazing soundtrack. Very entertaining.
August 8, 2017
A Western tinged with supernatural elements, "High Plains Drifter" is a solid sophomore effort by actor-director Clint Eastwood. It can be derivative in its cinematic language, but Eastwood shows such confidence in his voice that it doesn't detract from the experience.
July 5, 2017
Good movie. The cinematography was beautiful and the acting was good. The story was a bit too simple, but it was still entertaining. I enjoyed it, even though it was a bit drawn out at parts.
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2017
If you can look past the dated sexual politics, this is a deeply cynical deconstruction of the romanticized western. No one looks good in the end . . . not the townspeople, not the villains, not even the "anti-hero" at the center.
May 20, 2017
My personal favorite of Mr. Eastwwoods movies.
Great western to watch at Halloween.
A great twister of a ghost story.
Everyone should know,
It's a misdemeanor to rape a woman in broad daylight in this town !
½ April 6, 2017
The second directorial and starring effort from Clint Eastwood is a Western but not quite like the films upon which he made his name in as it has a supernatural and eerie tone to it that is relatively ambiguous which I can see putting people off but since most Westerns are cut and dry it was a nice change of pace. It also has gorgeous locations and cinematography, gritty realistic action and violence, a brilliant score, solid script with a twisting plot that leaves unanswered questions and it has a decent supporting cast. So if you are after a Western that on the surface may seem familiar but with a bit of effort has more underneath then this is for you.
March 6, 2017
A great Eastwood western!!!
January 2, 2017
Very weird movie. I simply did not expect it to go that way. Meaning, the main character is kind of shitty and has no redeemable qualities. Like at all. Right off the bat he rapes a woman. Kills a bunch of people for no reason other than they thought he was shitty (he is). Then the town hires him to help find out some impending doom bad guys, and he makes the town do everything he wants. (Some of it strange, including painting the town literally red). Then when the bad guys show up, he leaves. Cause fuck it. Let's them have a firefight with the towns people. Then shows back up and bullwhips the bad guys, then leaves. Strange movie, but very entertaining. Just kind of felt like a weird acid trip. Good concept, good execution.
November 13, 2016
This would have been an easy four stars if it didn't include a film-long pro-rape manifesto as a sub-plot
June 25, 2016
He's the devil and he's evil, we get it. Calm down.
May 17, 2016
awesome movie, Clint reminds me of my dad
May 3, 2016
Probably my second favorite Western of Eastwood's and one of my favorites of all time. Plot and music alone make it stand out. Perhaps a bit ahead of its time, but nonetheless superb. Through several actions in the film, you come to realize that even the hero is not always a good guy.
April 30, 2016
A gritty Western that serves up some revenge. Clint Eastwood does a masterful job of acting out his role of the stranger. It wasn't a bad movie, but it was a little rough around the edges for me. (First and only viewing - 4/30/2016)
April 11, 2016
I am generally put off by the idea of a western but this was excellent, a well directed, suspense filled watch.
April 2, 2016
Clint Eastwood's First Western that is NOT from Sergio Leone. He blends his craft with a few things change from his other westerns.
February 26, 2016
A clever story, directed with just the right amount of stylized posturing and action, with several dramatic themes at its core; one of Eastwood's best.
December 24, 2015
Superbe film et toujours un magistral Clint Eastwood
December 6, 2015
Wow! What a dark, bad ass western. How have a not seen this until now?! Should've known, with this being directed by Clint as well... Love the supernatural element that I didn't immediately pick up on. His "hero" character is such a bastard in this... lol
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