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Perfect 73 Points 1992

Just as Goodfellas is the ne plus ultra of mob movies, Unforgiven is the apotheosis of Westerns. In classic Western form the movie endorses the ethos of the lone righteous man doing what needs done, while at the same time baldly debunking the glorification of gunfighters in the Wild West. T…

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  • Wick – Good call, Terry. A benchmark movie.
  • TerryEinstein – One of Clint Eastwood’s best and darkest movies. W...
Lonesome Dove
Really Great 17 Points 1989

This epic TV miniseries follows ex Texas Rangers (Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones) as they steal horses in Mexico then get involved in a cattle drive to Montana in the 1880’s. A little Kitschy at times, but endearing to watch the pair banter back and forth and perform their manly cowboy roles. …

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Joe Kidd
Great 66 Points 1972

The great Elmore Leonard wrote two kinds of scripts, great ones and, well, er, the great Elmore Leonard wrote one kind of script, not counting the two genres he wrote: Westerns and darkly funny crime dramas. Known more now for the latter, he was a modern master of the former, populating his hair…

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WikChip Video Guitar kicks in 40s into the Joe Kidd...
True Grit
Great 100 Points 2010

Darker and more realistic than the 1969 original featuring John Wayne, this 21st Century retelling of a classic Wild West retribution story succeeds in almost every respect — often funny, richly evocative, shockingly brutal, cleverly revisionist. That last comes from the clear hero – a 14 year …

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WikChip Image Tall in the Saddle: Hailee Steinfeld
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High Noon
Great 66 Points 1952

Gary Cooper walking alone down a dusty Western street to confront a gang of killers is as iconic as Hollywood gets, making High Noon an archetype even more than a legend. That’s quite a weight.

Fortunately the movie itself is engaging, suspenseful and tight. A mere 85 minutes, it runs in ne…

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WikChip Video High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My D...
Great 66 Points 1953

“Shane, come back!” could have been a Simon & Garfunkel lyric. Instead, the troubadours chose Joe DiMaggio, another icon of mid-Century American manhood. Yet, Shane endures as a cultural touchstone.

Thousands of baby boomers were christened with his clarion clear name

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WikChip Image Jack Palance: a badass star is born
Very Good 83 Points 2008

Crisp and charismatic Western, done classically yet with an ironic sensibility. Fans of Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen and Westerns won’t be disappointed.

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True Grit
Very Good 66 Points 1969

Star power in service to a (then) unconventional story makes for a very good movie. A grizzled John Wayne, shiny Glen Campbell and sharp Robert Duvall provide the star power, while a young girl hiring a de facto bounty hunter to track down her father’s killer provides the novel story.


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WikChip Video Yowza, true Western entertainment
The Shootist
Good 66 Points 1976

John Wayne’s final movie serves as a benediction for gunfighters at the dawn of the 20th Century, and for Wayne’s career as a celluloid gunfighter. It does the latter better than the former, making it more of an obligation for fans of the Duke than for Western fans generally.

The Shootist b…

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WikChip Image Lauren Bacall: strong & lovely
The Magnificent...
Good 83 Points 2016

Denzel Washington is Yul Brynner caliber, but Chris Pratt ain’t no Steve McQueen and the music in The (2016) Magnificent Seven is a very weak imitation of the all-time great theme from the 1960 original. Hence, Antoine Fuqua’s remake is a solidly entertaining Western, but will hardly go down as…

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WikChip Video Denzel talks Magnificent Seven
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