The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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View All Wild Horses News
All Critics (12)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (10)
A complex, ambitious genre piece that combines family drama and murder mystery, set in the south Texas ranch country.
[Duvall] loses the thread - and our attention - one too many times in a sea of lackluster conversations and unremarkable plot strands.
Could Robert Duvall's incoherent melodrama "Wild Horses" have been salvaged by a skillful editor? Probably not.
What a shambles.
These competing narratives are connected haphazardly by visual transitions that feel like someone sat on the DVD remote, plus jarring tonal shifts between intimate conversations and tire-spinning car chases.
The theatrical performances don't come close to matching Duvall's 1997 directing breakthrough The Apostle.
It's a mess, a complete and utter mess, but shockingly, the movie is rarely dull, embracing just enough of Duvall's dedication to realism to make it bearable.
Robert Duvall's evident admiration for his wife are typical of this film, in which so much seems touchingly sincere but clumsily expressed.
While far from perfect, Wild Horses has strong enough performances from its leads to make it an enjoyable and worthwhile modern western.
There isn't even anything wrong with this being a bad movie; it's just too bad that it is.
The final title card deems the movie "a tale that is told," but like that fragmentary statement, Wild Horses has nothing fresh to say.
Tonally dissonant and narratively disjointed, "Wild Horses" plays like a patchwork quilt of scenes excerpted from a much longer movie, or maybe even a miniseries.
It's like it has five intermingled plots going on at the same time. I think I have it all figured it, it's just so slow.
Slow is how I'd describe this movie. James Franco and Robert Duvall give good performances but this movie is really slow.
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