Once Upon a Time in the West - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Once Upon a Time in the West Reviews

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March 31, 2017
Could have saved an hour if they cut out all the staring at each other to increase the tension otherwise its a great movie.
March 20, 2017
An epic and operatic take on the death of the old west through the creation of the railroad.
February 20, 2017
Just re-watched the "directors" cut of this visually stunning western. The opening gun fight to the climactic and drawn out finale are exquisite works of visual art with Moriconne's score gripping. The one thing that keeps bugging me is Robards character, Cheyenne, shaves at one point and I cannot see any difference between before and after.
February 17, 2017
170215: This film has to go down as one of the best spaghetti westerns ever made. What a cast of classics including Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, Jack Elam, Woody Strode and Lionel Stander to name a few. Great sound, scenery, showdowns and story.
February 8, 2017
Sergio Leone's masterpiece is instant classic, surrounded by great performances, excellent production and a masterful Morricone score, One Upon A Time In The West is a triumph. (4/5)
February 3, 2017
The best Western Movie in all time.
½ January 25, 2017
This is one of my favorite westerns, right up there with the Outlaw Josey Wales and The Good, Bad, and The ugly. Henry Fonda playing a bad guy was a treat and Charles Bronson was great as well.
January 19, 2017
I suspect I might have truly enjoyed this if we could've shaved about an hour off of it. Everything took 7,000 hours to get through. Every take, every exchange, every scene, stretched to infinity. Past the point of tension building or aesthetic reveling, all of which are worthy and justified, but there comes a point when a worthwhile story is hindered by hour-long glances and 17 fruitless stand-offs. Acting is exactly what you'd want to see, aesthetically rich and detailed, gorgeously photographed, expertly scored. There's enough magic here to save it from my personal dog house.
January 9, 2017
terrible-- tedious and incoherent. can't understand why some consider this a masterpiece!
December 21, 2016
This has to be the most Western Western ever made. It's surprisingly entertaining for its super stretched run time and lengthy periods of staredowns and nothing happening. Still, when things happened it was fun to watch.
½ December 19, 2016
It was good. I'll never forget that harmonica jingle the rest of my life.
November 29, 2016
Just a wonderful film stem to stern, a Leone classic. Great cast, great story, and of course it's riddled with the Leone classic touch: the close ups, the drawn out tension building scenes, and of course just the true grit of all his westerns is all here. If you're just looking for continuous action, you won't find it here. But the slow, measured pace is one element of the film that creates such impact. Bronson, Robards, Fonda, and Cardinale give great performances. What else can you say but epic Sergio Leone
½ November 27, 2016
Boring, unrealistic and pointless.
½ November 25, 2016
Really good western. Soundtrack and Direction was exceptional.
October 30, 2016
One of the great spaghetti westerns. Great cast.
½ October 22, 2016
Es buena, me agrada el ambiente del oeste, se me parece a "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" por tener como los 3 personajes principales, ay momentos donde no se siente tan larga la película y hay otros donde si se siente, y la historia a veces es un poco confusa.
½ October 16, 2016
I remember watching this movie years ago as a child and not really remembering much other than the opening.

On another viewing I can see why this is lauded as one of the best westerns out there. Sergio goes from the snappy Kurosawa inspired Man with No Name Trilogy that was know for snappy action and over the top (but brilliant) music to Once Upon a Time in the West.

Once Upon a Time in the West is much more dialed back and ironically similar to Kurosawa in a way of letting long framing shots dictate immersion that's eventually cut by action. Rather than letting action drive the shots. Combine this with a haunting melody and a somewhat abstract plot and you get a movie that's sort of unlike anything else.

It's long, it's slow, it's immersive, it's beautiful, and everyone takes away something different from their viewing.

What I found quite interesting was how each character evolves during the story which is something we don't really get in the Man with No Name Trilogy.

Spoilers ahead
The Hero starts off being elusive, and ends as a sort of blank slate after his revenge is complete
The Villain starts as an evil killer looking to get into the railroad business, but at the end Bronson's character drives him to accept that they have a destiny (through their duel) that must be confronted even at the cost of his other ambitions.
The Outlaw slowly comes around to help Claudia Cardinale's Jill character despite no real payoff for him.
Claudia's character Jill has a dark background she's trying to get away from through her marriage and at the end she truly tries to move forward with the start of the station town she was left with.

Seeing such profound character changes happening very subtly is the mark of a good director as the dialogue is sparse and often times it relies on the camera work to show this.

I would highly recommend at least one viewing by anyone who's a fan of the Western genre just so you can make up your own mind about it.
October 15, 2016
One of my top 10 films of all time.
October 14, 2016
Just about matching the pace of the Dollars Trilogy, the steadily moving "Once Upon a Time in the West" finds a balance between artistic filmmaking and good old Western-style action.
½ October 14, 2016
Fantastic epic of a western and one of the great Charles Bronson films.
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