The Jack Bull (1999)

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Movie Info

John Cusack plays Myrl Redding, a horse trader who locks horns with a rancher who has callously mistreated two of his horses, as well as their handler, a Crow Indian. When the law gives Myrl no justice, he is forced to take matters into his own hands, leading to a cycle of violence and chaos. The Jack Bull was written by Cusack's father, Dick, who also plays a small part as the jury foreman in the film.
Rating: R (adult situations/language, sex, violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure , Western
Directed By: John Badham
Written By: Heinrich von Kleist , Dick Cusack
In Theaters: wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
HBO Video

Cast

John Cusack
as Myrl Redding
John Goodman
as Judge Tolliver
L.Q. Jones
as Henry Ballard
Miranda Otto
as Cora Redding
Jay O Sanders
as Attorney General Gunby
Scott Wilson
as Governor
Ken Pogue
as Judge Wilkins
Rex Linn
as Shelby Dykes
Duncan Fraser II
as Edsel Fraser
Glenn Morshower
as Colonel Jeffries
Ned Bellamy
as Kermit Dover
Brent Briscoe
as Sheriff Felton
Valerie Planche
as Housekeeper
Nathaniel DeVeaux
as Dewey Austin
Bruce Flewelling
as Carey Sartin
J.C. Roberts
as Minister
Esther Purves-Smith
as Gussie Dykes
Patrick Richards
as Farmer No. 1
Byrne Piven
as Tub Weller
John Payne II
as Grady Mathes
Corry Glass-Lowry
as Daisy Mathes
Raoul Ganeev
as Printer
Dick Cusack
as Jury Foreman
Jimmy Herman
as Crow Indian
Chad Nobert
as Cheyenne Soldier
Gina Williams
as Cheyenne Woman
Madeline Lefebvre
as Court Clerk
Ken Hurlburt
as Auctioneer
Tom Heaton
as Whitaker
Campbell Lane
as Clay Williams
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News & Interviews for The Jack Bull

Critic Reviews for The Jack Bull

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (3)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

June 5, 2001
AV Club
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Strong revenge Western in the old-fashioned mold.

September 2, 2005
Las Vegas Review-Journal

No excerpt available.

July 19, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

No excerpt available.

October 10, 2003
About.com

Audience Reviews for The Jack Bull

The Jack Bull is a fantastic western made almost perfect by John Cusack and John Goodman. That HBO took on the project is no surprise, Hollywood rarely touches this sort of libertarian-themed material anymore. The story itself is really a simple morality tale, but one in which realism carries the day. Great acting, script, and moving story make this a must see.

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Definitely remember this movie!

Leo L
Leo L

I hate John Cusack. He turns in the exact same performance in every single role with his blank stare, fast delivery and shoulder-shrugging indifference and somehow manages to receive extreme critical acclaim. He is miscast in the central role here, but surprisingly tries to do something ever so slightly different. I didn't buy it for one second, but hey, it's John Cusack. I never would have. This film is a typical western with some very beautiful photography. It actually feels like Wyoming, the dry land, the snow, the dust, the vegetation. The problem is it is never very engaging. The first 45 minutes are flat while the last hour or so is a morally confused mess preaching vigilantism and overkill. Part of the problem is the direction. It is pedestrian, bland, never involving nor, of course, even remotely exciting, and the rest of it is probably the script. It makes very little sense for Myrl to do what he does when there are many other ways he could have achieved the exact same result, his speech on how the law failed him (echoed by John Goodman's character) is ridiculous, and by the end of the film he has done far worse than Henry Ballard ever did to him, despite what the direction and the score would like to have you believe. I can't say it was exactly a disappointment (it's a John Cusack vehicle, after all) but it was certainly not very good.

Eduardo C
Eduardo C

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