Open Range (2003)

Kevin Costner directs Robert Duvall, himself and Annette Bening in this western where a group of free grazers find themselves hounded into violence by a local land baron.

Gently paced and rich in character this is a fine piece of genre work. It is such a beautiful and entertaining movie that it is actually quite hard to fault, though some make take umbrage at the relaxed lengthy build up to the eventual, brutal day of violence. The final shoot out is a messy, nasty affair, fraught with threat to our heroes, Costner’s classical storytelling style keeping you in the mix but never lost within the satisfyingly clunky storm of bullets. Yet this is an experience whose true strength lies in its cautious but generous character work. Duvall often commands centre stage in these wonderfully written interactions and you begins to desire the moments of calm, often romantic, reflection over the stand-offs and blazes of glory. One of the finest example of its rare form this century. Demands repeat viewings.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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