Hostiles (2018)

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Critic Consensus: Hostiles benefits from stunning visuals and a solid central performance from Christian Bale, both of which help elevate its uneven story.

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Movie Info

Set in 1892, Hostiles tells the story of a legendary Army Captain (Christian Bale), who after stern resistance, reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi) and his family back to tribal lands. Making the harrowing and perilous journey from Fort Berringer, an isolated Army outpost in New Mexico, to the grasslands of Montana, the former rivals encounter a young widow (Rosamund Pike), whose family was murdered on the plains. Together, they must join forces to overcome the punishing landscape, hostile Comanche and vicious outliers that they encounter along the way.

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Cast

Christian Bale
as Captain Joseph J. Blocker
Rosamund Pike
as Rosalie Quaid
Wes Studi
as Chief Yellow Hawk
Adam Beach
as Black Hawk
Ben Foster
as Philip Wills
Timothée Chalamet
as Pvt. Philippe DeJardin
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Critic Reviews for Hostiles

All Critics (200) | Top Critics (38)

The journey is beautifully shot by cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi, but Bale's genius is wasted-he's often resigned to looking sullen and straining to recite the clunky dialogue.

Mar 2, 2018 | Full Review…

... a strong, if overlong and over-obvious, western...

Feb 2, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

It offers shreds of hope, something we can cling to even now.

Jan 26, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

By turns deliberative and chaotic, brutal and merciful, definitely bleak and just maybe hopeful, Hostiles could have ended with its penultimate scene, but it would have been a very different movie.

Jan 26, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Bale does outstanding work, revealing unexpected depths of intelligence and sensitivity.

Jan 25, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Clearly influenced by classic Westerns, particularly the films of director John Ford, "Hostiles" is a worthy addition to the genre.

Jan 25, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hostiles

½

Christian Bale is absolutely tremendous, delivering a quietly intense performance in this brutal revisionist Western that carefully (yet incisively) examines the consequences of a merciless cycle of hatred that only dehumanizes people and turns them into beasts and monsters.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

a beautifully shot but thematically pretty damn gloomy Western. The story is Slow paced but the outstanding acting and interesting premise makes it fascinating and enthralling in every moment. Some character development seems to come a little sudden and the ending is both disturbingly bleak and hopeful at the same time. All that certainly makes you think about the film for a little longer, considering some of its themes resonate in today's political climate. The beautiful images stay with you anyway.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

½

An intelligent Western for these modern times, Scott Cooper takes a hard and introspective look at the human heart and what, if anything, is necessary to make forgiveness and moving on possible when dirty history points to nothing else but slaughter to the last soul. A fabled Indian killer is commanded to escort an old enemy home to die is the simple synopsis but there are many more crisscrossed lines of hate between here and there. Cooper and his actors, all more than capable, deliver the goods for a thought provoking evening at the flickers

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

A slow-paced Western with A-list actors, Scott Cooper's Hostiles is a ponderous Western that feels too lost in its own expansive landscapes. It's about an Army captain (Christian Bale) reluctantly taking the lead to escort a Cheyenne chief to die on his native soil. As you could expect from that premise, Hostiles is reverent and meditative to the point of boredom. It deals with Major Themes about man's place in the world, connection to nature and the land, and our treatment of Native Americans, but it feels like it believe it's saying a lot more than it accomplishes. The final film is over two hours but I kept waiting for the movie to feel more substantial, for the real story to start. The premise is workable and there are some interesting side characters, notably Rosamund Pike as the sole survivor of her family's Native American attack, but it all feels underdeveloped to serve the central figure. It's a story of one man having to come to terms and forgive himself for the cruel things he's done in the past in the name of glory, honor, and patriotism. There are too many moments where characters reach out to remind him that he is, in fact, a Good Man. It gets to be too much. The talented supporting cast is generally wasted. Bale (The Big Short) is very internal, almost far too insular as a man speaking with looks and eyebrow arches, as he feels the weight of his soul over the course of this journey. I just grew restless with the movie and kept waiting for it to change gears or get better. Hostiles is not a poorly made movie, nor without some artistic merit, but it's too languid and lacking. Nate's Grade: C+

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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