Slow West (2015)
Critic Consensus: Slow West serves as an impressive calling card for first-time writer-director John M. Maclean -- and offers an inventive treat for fans of the Western.
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Critic Reviews for Slow West
Slow West crescendos into a bravura shootout between all the involved parties, and it's as gorgeous, nihilistic, and brutally sad as the rest of the film.
Essentially an old-school Western with some interesting tweaks, Slow West -- the debut feature from musician-turned-filmmaker John Maclean -- is a simple story told, yes, slowly. But it offers a bang-up finish.
There's more to the story than meets the bull's eye in Slow West, a brainy and genre-defying western by newcomer John Maclean.
It's all of 84 minutes. But when it's done, you know you've seen something.
Writer-director John Maclean insists at every opportunity that the American west teemed with brutality and that every positive myth about the region was built on a lie, yet he doesn't deliver this familiar revisionist history with much force.
Audience Reviews for Slow West
This attempt of an arthouse Western movie is only 80 minutes long but feels like two hours. It's okay to tell a story slowly but you should never make your audience feel as if they just wasted their time. It doesn't help that the humor feels so out of place and random even the editing makes other scenes unintentionally funny. Some sequences are beautifully shot, but the pointlessly bittersweet ending really makes you want to forget you watched this. What was everyone involved thinking?
Every now and again comes a film wherein all the characters are chasing something they want, and often that thing needn't be much of anything. So is the case here where we are introduced to several different types of folks, all in search of the same thing, in this case $2000, which may not seem like a lot now but back then was quite a lot. A nicely told tale.
A more than impressive debut for John Maclean, who revisits the Western genre in an intense story about a long gone time of violence and death, showing the West in its raw brutality but with a lot of dark humor, and backed by a beautiful cinematography and great sound design.