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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...
Butch Cassidy a...
Perfect 83 Points 1969

The Old West ended when Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hightailed it to Bolivia. Old Westerns ended when Paul Newman and Robert Redford became Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, outlaw charmers the likes of which the Silver Screen had never seen before. Four Oscars plus three additional n…

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WikChip Video Bewitching Musical Interlude
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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The Revenant
Really Great 17 Points 2015

Gritty, dirty, muddy, bloody, cold, miserable… just some of the words you can use to describe trapper life in the 1800’s. Leonardo DeCaprio does a stellar job representing the will to survive surrounded by a standout cast of Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, and Will Poulter. You’ll definitely ge…

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Great 83 Points 2017

The American Indian Wars were mostly over by 1892. Bad blood ran deep, with bands of crazed killers roaming the land, as other combatants tried to move on with life after wartime. Writer-director Scott Cooper adroitly uses this brutal and beautiful milieu for a piercing story about a cavalry capt…

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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...
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...
Great 17 Points 1993

Every possible plot you’d want from a western is weaved in to Tombstone, and a stellar cast makes this film a must-see on any fan of the genre’s “must see” list. Kurt Russel, Val Kilmer (who is great imho), Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton , Powers Boothe, Charlton Heston, Jason Priestley…. Need I g…

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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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The Magnificent...
Very Good 70 Points 1960

Samurai cowboys save a poor village in ye old Mexico, riding in to one of the greatest themes of all time. Fifty years on, the all-star cast impresses less than the bravura music — the Marlboro jingle still arouses.

The Magnificent Seven famously remakes Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai

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WikChip Video Elmer Bernstein's Magnificent Theme