Reviews

  • Aug 21, 2021

    This is unironically the movie I have seen more than any other. The reason being, that my Dad was totally in love with it, to the point where he would look to me to recite entire scenes (w/ scene direction) from memory as a result of having seen it literally dozens of times on daytime television with him; every detail of the scene in which Robert Duvall goes into the general store to buy candy before a gunfight is seared into my brian permanently. While I'm certainly biased, looking back on the film itself now having seen a much more diverse range of Westerns, Open Range is really a fantastic blend of the Traditional and Revisionist subgenres, painting technically lawful characters with a dark, corrupt brush while fulling embracing the rugged individuality that classics from the '50s championed. The stakes are wonderfully contained and realistic, and the world is both morally dark and physically muddy; forget the magically pressed shirts that John Wayne somehow kept pristine all across the frontier. Costner's Charley is something of a straightforward take on the jaded, violent cowpoke, but the design is intended to play off the other characters and does so well, particularly with Duvall's capable and worldly Boss Spearman (really a callback to his very similar character in Lonesome Dove) and Button (a sympathetic but hardly undignified portrayal of a Mexican character brought to life by Diego Luna, of Y Tu Mama Tambien fame). Even ignoring its role in the history of Westerns as an unusually solid entry in the sparse decades of the genre, Open Range is just a well-designed film from the ground-up, establishing its characters, plot, and atmosphere well before building up to a particularly satisfying and well-composed shootout finale. Costner is batting two-for-two as a director in Westerns, it's just a shame that his other film is The Postman. One particular scene I wanted to single out to represent this film is the shootout itself, particularly the opening. It starts so conventionally, a side-by-side walk down the street toward approaching enemies, vastly outnumbered but morally upright. To this point, a single enemy has been singled out as particularly badass, a ringer mercenary with notches on his pistol and a taste for killing that he has already unleashed on friends of the protagonists. Instead of saving the confrontation with this character for an ultimate finale, Charley walks up to him at an average pace as the ambient music abruptly stops, confirms he was the one who shot their friend, and shoots him in the head, all in the span of maybe ten seconds. Everyone is caught completely by surprise, and the ensuing gunfight is one of confusion, fear, and inexperience, but with mortal consequences. This film is actually a part of my identity. (4/5)

    This is unironically the movie I have seen more than any other. The reason being, that my Dad was totally in love with it, to the point where he would look to me to recite entire scenes (w/ scene direction) from memory as a result of having seen it literally dozens of times on daytime television with him; every detail of the scene in which Robert Duvall goes into the general store to buy candy before a gunfight is seared into my brian permanently. While I'm certainly biased, looking back on the film itself now having seen a much more diverse range of Westerns, Open Range is really a fantastic blend of the Traditional and Revisionist subgenres, painting technically lawful characters with a dark, corrupt brush while fulling embracing the rugged individuality that classics from the '50s championed. The stakes are wonderfully contained and realistic, and the world is both morally dark and physically muddy; forget the magically pressed shirts that John Wayne somehow kept pristine all across the frontier. Costner's Charley is something of a straightforward take on the jaded, violent cowpoke, but the design is intended to play off the other characters and does so well, particularly with Duvall's capable and worldly Boss Spearman (really a callback to his very similar character in Lonesome Dove) and Button (a sympathetic but hardly undignified portrayal of a Mexican character brought to life by Diego Luna, of Y Tu Mama Tambien fame). Even ignoring its role in the history of Westerns as an unusually solid entry in the sparse decades of the genre, Open Range is just a well-designed film from the ground-up, establishing its characters, plot, and atmosphere well before building up to a particularly satisfying and well-composed shootout finale. Costner is batting two-for-two as a director in Westerns, it's just a shame that his other film is The Postman. One particular scene I wanted to single out to represent this film is the shootout itself, particularly the opening. It starts so conventionally, a side-by-side walk down the street toward approaching enemies, vastly outnumbered but morally upright. To this point, a single enemy has been singled out as particularly badass, a ringer mercenary with notches on his pistol and a taste for killing that he has already unleashed on friends of the protagonists. Instead of saving the confrontation with this character for an ultimate finale, Charley walks up to him at an average pace as the ambient music abruptly stops, confirms he was the one who shot their friend, and shoots him in the head, all in the span of maybe ten seconds. Everyone is caught completely by surprise, and the ensuing gunfight is one of confusion, fear, and inexperience, but with mortal consequences. This film is actually a part of my identity. (4/5)

  • Aug 20, 2021

    Kevin Costner directs and stars in this under-seen western, alongside Robert Duvall. Costner focuses more on character driven tension than your average western, and this sets it apart from its peers. Beautifully shot and well written, Open Range is set in a period where free-ranging cattlemen and their herds were frequently bothered and attacked by settled ranchers, and although action is scarce (in a good way) the culminating shoot out is one of the most realistic ever put to screen in a western.

    Kevin Costner directs and stars in this under-seen western, alongside Robert Duvall. Costner focuses more on character driven tension than your average western, and this sets it apart from its peers. Beautifully shot and well written, Open Range is set in a period where free-ranging cattlemen and their herds were frequently bothered and attacked by settled ranchers, and although action is scarce (in a good way) the culminating shoot out is one of the most realistic ever put to screen in a western.

  • Aug 18, 2021

    Boring western with unlikeable characters doing uninteresting things. Not even worth it for the ridiculous shootout at the end.

    Boring western with unlikeable characters doing uninteresting things. Not even worth it for the ridiculous shootout at the end.

  • Aug 06, 2021

    It could afford to be 20 or 30 minutes shorter but it's a picture that perseveres through it's uneven pacing and somewhat doughy romance with it's enriched cinematography, thrilling shootouts and chemistry between the leads.

    It could afford to be 20 or 30 minutes shorter but it's a picture that perseveres through it's uneven pacing and somewhat doughy romance with it's enriched cinematography, thrilling shootouts and chemistry between the leads.

  • Jul 11, 2021

    A solid, well-written and well-directed Western. It benefits from not trying too hard. Costner and Duvall work soooo well together, and the story has evidently been given a lot of time. It feels authentic, yet ‘updated'. Really enjoyed it

    A solid, well-written and well-directed Western. It benefits from not trying too hard. Costner and Duvall work soooo well together, and the story has evidently been given a lot of time. It feels authentic, yet ‘updated'. Really enjoyed it

  • Jun 26, 2021

    One of the greatest Westerns of all time. The cinematography on the plains is so amazing, you feel you‘re really there, and Kevin Costner - they don‘t make Hollywood stars like this anymore - is fantastic as always.

    One of the greatest Westerns of all time. The cinematography on the plains is so amazing, you feel you‘re really there, and Kevin Costner - they don‘t make Hollywood stars like this anymore - is fantastic as always.

  • May 28, 2021

    Gritty Beautiful and most of all real. This may be my favorite western of all time. The story, cinematography, and the overall sound of the movie are undeniable in my opinion.

    Gritty Beautiful and most of all real. This may be my favorite western of all time. The story, cinematography, and the overall sound of the movie are undeniable in my opinion.

  • Apr 11, 2021

    Splendidi paesaggi fanno da contorno a questa storia di cowboy perfettamente costruita intorno ad una coppia di attori magnetici come Kostner e Duvall. Tutto ha il giusto peso, senza grosse esagerazioni e senza sparatorie eccessive. Mezzo punto in meno invece per un finale assolutamente troppo melenso e prolungano più del dovuto.

    Splendidi paesaggi fanno da contorno a questa storia di cowboy perfettamente costruita intorno ad una coppia di attori magnetici come Kostner e Duvall. Tutto ha il giusto peso, senza grosse esagerazioni e senza sparatorie eccessive. Mezzo punto in meno invece per un finale assolutamente troppo melenso e prolungano più del dovuto.

  • Apr 03, 2021

    Watched 1/2 of it... just talking... more talking... and then more talking.

    Watched 1/2 of it... just talking... more talking... and then more talking.

  • Apr 03, 2021

    Lots of shooting by a whole bunch of good actors followed by a Hollywood ending makes for good escapist entertainment.

    Lots of shooting by a whole bunch of good actors followed by a Hollywood ending makes for good escapist entertainment.