The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (24)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (19)
| Rotten (5)
Pullman is always great to watch.
Jared Moshe, the writer and director of The Ballad of Lefty Brown, is a fan of classic Westerns and he's made a movie that should please fellow aficionados.
This is a satisfying indie western, a dark and brooding film made with both a modern touch and real love for the genre.
Mr. Pullman, his good looks obscured by chiaroscuro shadows and mutton chops, keeps you tethered to Lefty even when the rambling turns to drift. Mr. Moshé knows his genre.
Moshe relates his tale of can-do vengeance with an unfussy clarity and an obvious fondness for the oaters of yesterday's Hollywood - an affection that ... imparts a winning sincerity.
Despite the novel twist of making a stock supporting character like Lefty the unlikely focus of the story, Lefty Brown's ambitions remain as modest and muddled as its dirty earth-tone color palette.
With an interesting set up, a hugely compelling performance from Pullman... and a screenplay that knows its roots and represents the genre with honor, The Ballad Of Lefty Brown will be a modern western classic worth revisiting often.
It's all very serviceable, the shootouts are short and sharp, the landscapes grand, and Pullman enjoyably inhabits this folksy, have-a-go-hero that everyone underestimates.
The scrappy first half eventually gives way to a second hour that grows increasingly routine with its newfound emphasis on personal betrayal and political corruption. But it's nice to see Pullman handed a plum leading role.
Channeling the reluctant hero persona, The Ballad of Lefty Brown doesn't so much break new ground as try to push the tropes.
Writer/director Jared Moshe clearly loves and appreciates the Western genre, and here he's created one that's not only classical, skillful, and unpretentious but a fresh angle on an old story.
While a minor contribution to the Western genre, it offers a clever twist on its tropes.
There was a time in the history of Western storytelling in the U.S. of A. wherein every good guy worth his salt had more than simply a trusty horse and a trusty gun. There was a trusty sidekick. Dim, befuddled, good for a laff (and probably a drink too), always a step behind the action but loyal to a fault. This story begins with the death of the good guy and wonders: "what happens to the sidekick now?" It's an interesting proposition. This story unfortunately then ventures into familiar territory, but the leads commit fully to the opening gambit. Particularly good is Kathy Baker, seen around the film industry for years and always underutilized. She shines like a diamond in this. And Bill Pullman gives the performance of a lifetime as the sidekick, finding his way on his own for the first time ever. I wish the story had as much salt as the characterizations. Fans of the Western genre put a lookout on for this under the radar gem.
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