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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20.69%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 3.45%
Total Crap: 3.45%

2 reviews, 17 user ratings

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Lone Star
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by Brian McKay

"Small-town murder has never been more intriguing"
5 stars

This is the film that belongs at the top of director John Sayle's resume'. It boasts an intriguing use of non-linear narration, a respectable cast that renders a palette of fascinating characters, and the gothic Americana setting of a small Texas town with many skeletons in its closet.

Chris Cooper excellently portrays sheriff Sam Deeds, although most of the locals of Rio County just call him "Sherriff Junior". He is doomed to live in the shadow of his father, legendary sherriff Buddy Deeds (Matthew McConaughey in flashbacks). Seems that Buddy became the sheriff after Sheriff Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson), a corrupt lawman, went missing. When his remains are found in the desert outside of town, Sam Deeds is suddenly saddled with the task of solving a decades-old murder mystery.

As he gathers clues, he crosses paths with several characters whose fathers may or may not have been involved in Wade's murder. Their stories, and the stories of their fathers, are told through a brilliant series of non-linear flashbacks that seamlessly merge in and out of the present. Along the way, Deeds also rekindles a romance with his long-lost teenage love, Pilar Cruz (the odd-looking but still hot Elizabeth Pena). The closer he gets to solving the murder, the more secrets he discovers that threaten to send his life into a tailspin.

Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for Lone Star:

Memento - a more extreme, but no less entertaining, use of non-linear narration

High Noon - Another tale of a small-town lawman with extremely linear (real time) narration

Excellent work all around here, from the cast to the story to the directing - it's just damn near perfect. A strong ensemble piece with beautiful imagery and a sense of history that will linger with you for a long time.

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originally posted: 08/31/02 19:35:34
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User Comments

2/18/07 William Goss A rich ensemble drama that never feels contrived. 4 stars
11/12/06 Jim Well written and acted, but the major twists aren't that twisty. 4 stars
2/16/05 JH Great movie. A story that you can't stop watching. 5 stars
8/22/04 Tony Piccirillo Unbelievably touching & thought provoking 5 stars
6/22/04 Phil M. Aficionado Excellent plot/acting; watch twice. Some subplot diversions, but even they're well done 4 stars
5/30/03 Kenneth grodd Unbelievably good. I've seen it several times. It is a magificent film. 5 stars
5/04/03 Jon N This is a spell binding movie that shows up's and down's of a small Texas border town 5 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby overpraised Sayles drama has more scope than depth. 2 stars
4/11/02 R.W. Welch Low key dissection of a town by way of an old murder; holds your interest. 4 stars
7/03/01 King of Bros Artsy Fartsy BS. 1 stars
2/18/01 Soggy Bottom Boy One of Sayles' best, from an impressive group of actors, the chemistry is there! 5 stars
2/14/01 Jake The entire cast was excellent. 5 stars
10/28/99 Nick Z Sayles' storytelling skills are unique. Wonderful historical, southern Texas, fiction. 5 stars
7/30/99 Matthew Bartley Intriguing, Kristofferson was really evil but the whole thing was too long 4 stars
6/28/99 Steve Bashakus Brilliant and completely engrossing. Speaks volumes. 5 stars
8/25/98 Pete Richly layered and thoroughly enjoyable. Nice use of non-linear time frame. 4 stars
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  21-Jun-1996 (R)



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