The Harder They Fall

2021, Western/Drama, 2h 17m

175 Reviews 50+ Verified Ratings

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It isn't as bold and fearless as its characters, but The Harder They Fall fills its well-worn template with style, energy, and a fantastic cast. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

When outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is being released from prison he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this assured, righteously new school Western include his former love Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), his right and left hand men--hot-tempered Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi) and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth (R.J. Cyler)--and a surprising adversary-turned-ally. Rufus Buck has his own fearsome crew, including "Treacherous" Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield), and they are not a group that knows how to lose.

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Critic Reviews for The Harder They Fall

Audience Reviews for The Harder They Fall

  • Nov 11, 2021
    When it comes to Western films, they've always been hit or miss with me. I'm not a huge fan of the genre, but there are a couple of westerns that happen to be my favourite films of all time. For me to give a positive review and genuinely enjoy an entire Western film, it needs to do new things for the genre. Netflix has just released The Harder They Fall and it's definitely one of the best Westerns that I've caught in the last number of years. Here's why I believe this film is worth your time, especially if you're into Westerns and gore.  After an altercation with Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) as a kid, Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), many years later, becomes aware that Buck is free from prison and on the loose once again. Both being leaders of their own respective gangs, it becomes a story of who will get to who first and who will be loyal to the end. It's a very simple Western tale, but it's told in a way that felt fresh for the genre. With a very strong Quentin Tarantino vibe when it comes to the violence and a really cool meshing of the gritty tone with a lot of hip-hop music, this movie just ended up being a lot of fun.  It doesn't hurt that this is one of the more impressive casts of A-list talent I've seen in a while. Regina King, Idris Elba, Lakeith Stanfield, Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, and many more all shine here, but I would like to talk about one of them in particular. Jonathan Majors has been a name worth following for the last couple of years. Whether you're talking about his supporting role in The Last Black Man in San Fransisco, his electrifying appearance in Da 5 Bloods or his wonderful monologue in the show Loki, his talent is out of this world. He is someone that I believe is worthy of the best actor Oscar, it's only a matter of time. The Harder They Fall is no exception to this. He steals the show every second of screentime he receives here. Everyone is giving it their all, but his performance really stood out to me again here.  Another incredibly impressive thing to note about this film is the fact that Jeymes Samuel, only being sporadically in the business over the last decade, just now directed his first feature film. He directed a film called They Die by Dawn, which is also a Western film in the same vein, but it clocks in at under an hour in length. On top of this being a very solid film due to his direction, he also was one of the two writers and composed the music in the movie himself. He is a director of many talents and it's all on full display here. Westerns may be his comfort zone, but his filmmaking sensibilities could really lend themselves to many different genres.  Overall, if I had to complain about this film, I would simply state that I believe it's about 20 minutes too long. Yes, there is a lot of breathing room for the story which was nice, but there are many drawn-out scenes that I feel could've been tightened. At 2h 19min, The Harder They Fall feels every minute of its run time. Still, the energy is there when it needs to be and the cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. also felt very fresh for the genre. I found myself quite admiring certain creative choices in certain scenes and was very impressed. It's not going to win any awards, but The Harder They Fall is a very solid, fun Western film that I definitely recommend. It's now streaming on Netflix.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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