The Hollywood Reporter
Contemplative and absorbing rather than rip-roaring and exciting, the film will likely play better to Western connoisseurs than to general and younger audiences, but it's an estimable piece of work grounded by a fine-grain sensibility and an expertly judged lead performance.
Hostiles demands patience and concentration but rewards that with an assured, thought-provoking window into a past whose legacy is still being felt to this day.
This is a proudly traditional oater that travels down old trails with new sadism, as though the Western genre only died off because the movies weren’t cruel enough.
A flawed, but interesting drama.
Bale and Pike are superb. Despite some melodramatic tendencies and strange choices in Cooper’s script they make you have sympathy and compassion for each of their characters.
Though it basically argues that the surest way to overcome racism is to spend some time getting to know “the other,” Cooper’s film offers audiences no such opportunity, depriving its native characters of so much as a single scene in which they are treated as anything more than abstract plot devices in service of the white folks’ enlightenment.