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Overall Rating
3.94

Awesome: 32.8%
Worth A Look46.4%
Average: 6.4%
Pretty Bad: 11.2%
Total Crap: 3.2%

8 reviews, 77 user ratings


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Open Range
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by Smiles

"Kevin Costner Come Back"
4 stars

When one hears that a new Kevin Costner film is opening there might be a slight pause. But there is no reason to pause before going to see Open Range. After all the summer movies, with car chases and hectic gun battles, it is nice to see an old fashioned western

When one hears that a new Kevin Costner film is opening there might be a slight pause. But there is no reason to pause before going to see Open Range. After all the summer movies, with car chases and hectic gun battles, it is nice to see an old fashioned western.

Open Range follows two men, Boss Spearman (Robert Duvall) and Charley Waite (Costner), who have spent a decade riding together and live by their own western code. That code is challenged when a local land owner Denton Baxter (Michael Gambon) sets out to run them off because they are grazing their cattle near his land. In the process Spearman and Waite see their friends die and their liberty stolen. The two men do not take this lying down and calmly go about setting things right in their own way.

Now you might be saying – well that sounds like any other western. And you might be partially right. What makes this western particularly worth watching is the portrayal of the characters and relationship of these two men. Time is taken to show who they are and what motivates them. Boss Spearman is a man who has to make a concerted effort to kill people while Charley Waite has to try hard not too. They value loyalty and friendship to the nth degree. By the time they are ready to fight you actually have a vested interest in what happens. When characters are not well developed I don’t really care who lives or who dies. But in Open Range, even though I had a pretty good idea of what the end would be, I was on the edge of my seat worried for the characters and shouting advice to them in my head. I can’t say that for a lot of movies.

In addition to time well spent in painting a picture of friendship and loyalty, Open Range is directed and acted skillfully. Costner as director uses wide expanses of prairie and realistic action sequences, to let the audience know what it was like to be there but that this could actually happen. No one is a perfect shot but the fight sequences are shot perfectly. No one is superhuman – they are just human. Robert Duval has perfectly captured a man who is getting a little too old to being sleeping on the prairie every night and Kevin Costner (as an actor) has breathed new life into the strong silent gun slinger. The supporting cast helps complete the western portrait, including Annette Bening’s adept depiction of a frontier woman whose prospects are dwindling with time.

Now if you like movies that move at the speed of light and have more rounds fired from a gun than humanly possible this might not be the movie for you. The tempo is steady – it slows down and speeds up as needed. This pace serves it well as a movie to end the summer and begin the fall Oscar race. It’s also provides an opportunity to see Costner get back on that horse. Hopefully, after this he will stay on it.

Let's just hope Costner can stay on the horse this time.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8074&reviewer=383
originally posted: 01/03/05 03:54:41
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell good western 4 stars
1/16/12 John Great scenery and story, overlong gunfight. 5 stars
2/20/11 Ark Damned decent, didn't suck like most of Costner's other crap! 4 stars
10/11/10 ACTION MOVIE FAN SLOW TALKY TYPICALLY DULL POST 2000 WESTERN 2 stars
5/05/09 the dork knight There Will Be Duvall. 5 stars
12/06/08 Michelle Loved it..thats for sticking with it thorough the battles Kevin! 4 stars
11/23/08 Goodman not the epic that Kevin hoped for 3 stars
11/21/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
5/23/08 PAUL SHORTT A SINCERE, BIG-HEARTED ATTEMPT TO REVIVE THE CLASSIC WESTERNS OF JOHN FORD & HOWARD HAWKS 3 stars
6/13/07 al smith amazing the best gun fight ever.costner is a great director 5 stars
2/23/07 Weblynx I loved this , great actors 5 stars
2/13/07 R.W.Welch Above average oater, despite overblown gunfight. Duvall is aces. 4 stars
6/25/06 MP Bartley The Untouchables replanted to the old west. That is a good thing by the way. 5 stars
3/12/06 daveyt good cinematography, looked and felt real. Duvall excellent... 4 stars
1/08/06 Daveman Engaging drama, beautiful photography, unusually good performance from Costner of all peopl 4 stars
11/12/05 Danielle Cordova Open Range seems to be a modern day western. Costner did a trimendous job. I watch 24/7 5 stars
10/16/05 Quigley the end gunfight was way overrated and not cool. costner was lame, but duvall redeemed all. 3 stars
10/08/05 Jonathon Holmes one of the 10 best films of the year 5 stars
9/25/05 David Jones Slow in the right way. 4 stars
9/09/05 Tom Burns An enjoyable western. 4 stars
8/26/05 Michael Good Movie 5 stars
8/03/05 ALDO Poorly written disappointment with lots of bullshit backstory dialogue. Best gunfight ever 3 stars
6/03/05 Steve Newman too slow BUT the scenery is breathtaking. I did enjoy it - cut off 30 mins please 3 stars
2/05/05 Carolyn Rathburn Loved it truistic for the time. 5 stars
1/05/05 Lord Jiggy Classic in so many ways...just a few missteps, but the antidote to swill like Van Helsing 5 stars
11/28/04 smilesx the worst video i've seen since red dawn. 1 stars
10/27/04 Carolyn Metz I really enjoy seeing this on the big screen. Love the scenery. 4 stars
9/11/04 Edler A great western. And I really am not a fan of Costner. 5 stars
8/24/04 Stevie Y. A beautiful movie in every respect. A dead-on story line. A sweet, heartwarming romance. 5 stars
8/15/04 dfdea 4 stars for Western Appreciators, 3 stars for the average filmgoer 4 stars
8/07/04 Mike Great movie. 4 stars
8/01/04 DJ Great movie!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
7/17/04 axe westerns are silly no longer, thanks to this one 5 stars
7/11/04 Ingo Unique tone, great actors, albeit a little too long. 4 stars
3/26/04 rojo Best Western since Unforgiven. 5 stars
3/21/04 bruce miller good western...predictable 4 stars
3/21/04 Linda Ellis Great movie! 5 stars
3/18/04 rachel burke it was a little draen out 3 stars
3/15/04 Lord Jiggy Curse me for a moral failure, I really enjoyed this film. It built to an end. 5 stars
3/13/04 Chief Dan George the Third Fuck this. "The Oulaw Josey Wales = The Greatest Goddamn Western ever made" 2 stars
2/28/04 william pathetically inane....clipping my toes are more photogenic and interesting...bad tv series 1 stars
2/24/04 LMW Really wanted to like it but couldn't. . .Mind numbing tedium. . . 1 stars
2/22/04 CARRIE good movie...the humorous parts helped alot 5 stars
2/17/04 jj an outstanding western with excellent sound effects!!! 5 stars
2/16/04 Jack Duvall's performance is fantastic. The script is somewhat ponderous. 4 stars
1/26/04 twodogs Good acting, Good gunfight scene,predictable ending 4 stars
1/22/04 Abe Giesbrecht Honest, and refreshing 5 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Either u love it, in which you look over its flaws, or it leaves u cold. 4 stars
1/20/04 Walter Lorenz Boring, flat and unengaging from beginning to end. Seen it all and better. 3 stars
11/28/03 john a great western with a honest story - the shootout alone is worth the price of admission 5 stars
11/06/03 Green Beret Packers Costner & Bening break new ground; Duvall his usual solid self. 4 stars
10/08/03 Erik Van Sant At last, Costner proves the only way he doesn't suck is when he does a period piece. 5 stars
9/25/03 malcolm 4-star, despite Costner, i got one word for u, KC: inflection! 4 stars
9/19/03 April Malan Wonderful, exciting, great! I loved it, one of the best of the summer. 5 stars
9/18/03 DICK Can't touch Lonsome Dove, but it as real as a western gets 5 stars
9/17/03 William H. Collins Despite the slow start,the movie is well worth the wait. 4 stars
9/11/03 Buck A damn solid Kevin Costner movie. Needs some trimming, but gorgeous and refreshingly simple 4 stars
9/08/03 leper3 meditative, elegaic and powerful 5 stars
9/04/03 KingNeutron Pretty good overall, gun effects were GOOD but film needed more EDITING espec in beginning 4 stars
9/02/03 geo. c. flora beautiful and outstanding 5 stars
9/01/03 Suzanne Paul Zimmerman is an idiot 5 stars
8/26/03 Benita Hume really enjoyed it 4 stars
8/26/03 jean a beautifully filmed,very well -acted movie with many unforgettable scenes 5 stars
8/25/03 Ahnold Took too long getting to action. But still worth look (matinee price only) 4 stars
8/25/03 Desperado Good acting by Duvall and Costner make this movie a cant miss 5 stars
8/24/03 Michael hall I'd clean the cow shit off my boots with the DVD 1 stars
8/24/03 K R Stilwell Loved it! 5 stars
8/23/03 Joe Beautifully done. It's about time Costner had a hit. 4 stars
8/21/03 Jack Bourbon Costner isn't so bad sometimes 4 stars
8/18/03 J. Brande Costner is back with a vengeance with a beautiful, riveting film. Tremendous Duvall 5 stars
8/18/03 Belinda Adams Robert Duvall is brilliant. OSCAR-worthy 5 stars
8/17/03 Ethan Costner in top form! 5 stars
8/17/03 Reese Witherspoon suckzzzzz Good, but loses it in final half hour (and the movie is too long anyway) 3 stars
8/17/03 John Zelk Duvall is incredible. He deserves a BEST ACTOR nomination OSCAR. 5 stars
8/16/03 FlaFan Terrific movie 5 stars
8/16/03 Dr. Bitterpants IGNORE Paul "shorter is better" Zimmerman's pallid review -- this is a great film! 4 stars
8/15/03 James Mathews Costner is back riding high in the saddle. Easily movie of the summer and year to date! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-Aug-2003 (R)
  DVD: 20-Jan-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Feb-2004




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