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  • Perhaps I liked this movie because it reminded me very much of my father and mother. My father was an itinerent cowboy and a championship rodeo rider in the early part of the 20th Century just like the role Tommy Lee Jones played as Hewey Callaway. And he had a side kick much like Sam Shepard's character Tarnell. My father met a lady like Sissy Spacek when he was 31 and married her. Tarnell also got married but he was killed in a rodeo two years later and my father gave up rodeo riding.

    Life was very much like in the movie in those days. You found people that would go out of their way to help others and the bankers in the movie were typical of bankers in those days, mean as hell.

    The acting in the movie was excellent. Everyone in the movie played roles that were very typical in those days and they did a good job of it. The only gripe I have with the movie is that the ending was unreal. I won't give it away but I have known many cowboys but I never knew one that didn't want to settle down.

    One of the funniest scenes in the movie was when the outhouse was knocked down with the grandmother in it. That was a common prank in those days, to knock over an outhouse. The grandmother was a pistol. I knew old women just like her.

    The author either had some experience or he really did a great job of research because the story (except for the ending) accurately depicted conditions in those days.
  • As I recall from trade mags, back when this flick first came out, TNT approached TLJ to be the lead, but at the time, he was pondering his future in the film industry and was considering directing. He wanted more than Turner and his execs were offering as the lead actor, but agreed to sign on to the project for less if he could be given free reign to direct, which was a bargain for the price. What ensued was The Good Ole Boys as we know it.

    The product is a Western equally worthy of mentioning in the same short list as Unforgiven, Silverado, 3:10 to Yuma and recent others. It is a classic Western that is as priceless as anything given to us from both Johns Wayne and Ford.

    In the opening scenes, we watch a cowboy as he and his horse graze the high country; a scene that could occur at any time within our frontier history. He eventually heads home and then we are drawn into a turn of the century frontier settlement juxtapositioned with the old west; sweeping sky lines and open ranges slowly encroached by the advent of Westward Expansion and technology.

    The story shows us how a cowboy out on the vast range, isolated by big sweeping scenes, with only his horse to keep him company, enters into the new century. After he sojourns back to the land of his roots, a beautiful and memorable story unfolds with the likes of Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, Sam Sheppard, Wilford Bremly and the (as far as I know) debut of Matt Damon waltz into the story to reveal hopes, dreams, missed opportunities and current dilemmas. Soon our cowboy is thrust into the new world with new problems. His leisurely life amongst cattle, horses and campfires is soon a distant memory. The choices he acts upon effect all those around him, and then while his input and decision unfold, he then must decide if he will stick around in this New World to witness the results or return to the wide-open country.

    This story falls within the framework of time-honored classics; where we get to see the impact of certain choices made and the ramifications as they unfold. We witness familial love and hard decisions. What makes this most memorable are the aspects of very good story, memorable performances, and great visuals/sound score.

    Currently TLJ enjoys worthy accolades for his roles in The Valley of Elah and No Country For Old Men, which should lead to inevitable Oscar nominations. His vision and performance in The Good Ole Boys, certainly worth-while for fans, should round out his current body of work.

    8 of 10
  • Tommy Lee Jones was perfect as a slow moving, slow talking cowboy who comes out of the hills after a 2 year stay. He goes to see his brother and his family finding them in financial trouble. He lends his hand in helping out the troubled family, and falls in love with a local lady. Well done film about a man who finds it impossible to change his roving ways. 4 stars.
  • lele7712 July 1999
    I rented this movie 2 years ago, and then I went straight to the movie store to buy it! Tommy Lee Jones is one of my favorite actors. I haven't seen him in a role I didn't like! I was delighted to see that he could write and direct so well. I also love Matt Damon's acting in everything he does.

    Matt's character, Cotton, is the nephew of Tommy Lee's character, Hewey. Cotton has a hard time welcoming Hewey back after Hewey spent two years of seeing "beautiful country" on horseback. Uncle Hewey promised Cotton, 16, some things when he was younger and never came through. It's entertaining and enjoyable watching their relationship mend. This is a great family movie that I have shared with my family several times. I suggest you watch it and share it with yours!
  • jimbo5512 March 2005
    I just wanted mainly to comment on another reviewer's review, in which he thought the ending was unrealistic. It just happens that the author, Elmer Kelton, grew up on West Texas ranches and probably knows at least as many cowboys as that reviewer and is a well respected Western author. I would like to see more of his books made into movies. I was working in the Ft. Davis area during the summer the movie was being made there. Tommy Lee Jones is also a West Texan and seems to know how to portray them well on screen. My favorite scene is when Hewey Callaway and his friend rope the old car at the rodeo in San Angelo. Also a very funny one is the one where Hewey shakes the dog urine off a weed onto the pants leg of the Fat banker, resulting in the dog urinating on his leg.
  • griffinsupply5 February 2007
    I love this movie.A story of a man who lives life like he wants to,even if it doesn't make sense to family and friends.He wants no responsibilities but will be responsible for all his actions.His time is gone ,but he will hang on as long as he can rather than conform.We need more movies like this.

    Tommy Lee Jones captures entirely,the people,places and phrases I grew up knowing and loving.Happy go lucky,always ready to lend a hand.I wish I was him,or knew him better I would love to hear more about him and Snort Yarnell.They truly are good Ole boys,and we need more of em.
  • Tommy Lee Jones directs himself and a sensational cast in this western. I couldn't believe how wonderful it was, and went to imdb to see who directed it. The look and feel of this movie are perfect, and every moment rings true. It also looks great. Jones' eye is superb, and the shots are brilliant without calling attention to themselves. Terrific.
  • summer-126 March 1999
    Tommy is adorable in this film. He smiles so much in this film, and is a delight to watch. Great performances by all in this film.
  • I didn't even realize until after we had watched it (I guess I had somehow missed it in the beginning credits?) and came online here to review it that this TV movie was actually directed by Tommy Lee Jones, who is also the main lead in this. He did a very good job as an actor and a director both for this film, especially considering he had to do both at once.

    It is a western drama about a cowboy who is rugged and wants to be free but also has the pull of "civilization" and family, who are making him more domesticated.

    It's a good if predictable story and the acting make it definitely worth seeing, with a fantastic cast all around. Sam Shepard is great, as is Jones.
  • kealyd25 February 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    I was already predisposed to like this - big fan of Tommy Lee Jones, and I do enjoy my modern westerns. However, I find that the quality on VHS is quite a big obstacle to my enjoyment these days, and makes the film seem a lot cheaper than it actually is. Plus, the sound was terrible, which made it even more difficult for me to decipher Jones' nasal drawl (a number of times I actually had to rewind and listen closely again to even get the gist), and which he seemed to be laying on pretty darn thick, to boot.

    Won't beat around the bush with a synopsis: lovable, nomadic rogue returns to the old homestead after years away, finds things have changed, has problems integrating and eventually learns to come to terms with it all. You know the drill. Jones himself is very endearing - not a man generally known for exuding warmth and upbeat optimism, but he convinces, as usual. Not the first time he's donned a stetson, he looks born to the saddle, roping steers, breaking in unruly horses and other suitably manly activities. There's a love interest in the shape of Sissy Spacek - could take her or leave her, really, but that's a personal feeling. Frances McDormand in particular was very good as the no-nonsense matriarch, and a young Matt Damon does a very serviceable turn as her son.

    Lots of hackneyed 'comedy' moments: dog relieves itself on someone's leg; fat man falls over; outhouse gets knocked over with someone in it; man sits on cactus and has to have the spikes extracted from his backside - hilarious stuff. All pretty weak, but comes with the territory I suppose. Quite a few bits seemed contrived just to bring Jones and Spacek together (I'm looking at you, changing room scene) and they do invite some eye-rolling. A little surprised at the bittersweet ending, but it fits and the closing image is appropriately meaningful, if predictable, with Jones riding off into the sunset alone.

    The kind of film you find channel-hopping on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You know what's going to happen, but it's well cast, inoffensive, and mildly enjoyable in itself.
  • rawlsbobby-6235414 October 2018
    One of the best cowboy movies out. I just wish I could find the soundtrack!!
  • rawlsbobby30 July 2018
    One of the all time best movies!! Tommy Lee Jones is fantastic and I love the story! I just wish that I could get the soundtrack!