18 February 2008 | alexkolokotronis
A Modern Classic
This is the best western since Unforgiven. Every aspect of this film is great.
The acting was superb. Russell Crowe continues to give great and much overlooked performances. He delivers a great performance as outlaw Ben Wade. Crowe just keeps on putting me in shock with his spectacular performances. Crowe brought a mystique to his role that would of fit in with the old westerns. He seems as if he play anything and was a joy to watch here. He needs to be given much more and was definitely worthy of an Oscar nomination. Christain Bale also gives as a surprise to me a great performance as Dan Evans. He is on the verge of losing everything he's got. Bale displays his desperation and his willingness to feel that he has a purpose in life. He is definitely turning into a very good all around actor. I think he also deserved an Oscar nomination. Peter Fonda and Ben Foster also give very solid performances in their supporting roles.
I have heard some people say that this western was to talky but I don't believe so. I think this was filled with great dialog and was engaging for the length of the movie.
The directing by James Mangold was probably the best I have seen from him. He was able to bring back the old western style but yet mix it together with a modern effects and etc. He did not fall into the trap of making it boring or to violent. He carried the movie all the way through keeping the viewer entertained. The cinematography was amazing. The sceneries were spectacular and many of the shooting scenes were delivered with such excellence with the acting, directing but the cinematography brought those scenes and this movie to another level. The music was great as well. It did not become cliché but instead made you feel like you were back watching Clint Eastwood, Gary Cooper or John Wayne. It just captured me like no other western has in a while.
This movie is truly a modern classic.