Blackthorn

"Excellent"

Blackthorn Review


Plaintive and perhaps too slow-moving for mainstream audiences, this finely made Western cycles through a rather long, complex narrative. But it's thoroughly involving, with terrific characters and an engaging emotional punch.

It turns out that Butch Cassidy didn't die in a hail of gunfire in 1908 Bolivia after all. Now calling himself James Blackthorn (Shepard), he's still living there 20 years later with his girlfriend Yana (Solier). But after he decides to return home, he's waylaid by Eduardo (Noriega), a city-slicker who has embezzled thousands from a brutal businessman. Their ensuing adventures spark memories of Blackthorn's days as a young outlaw (Coster-Waldau in flashbacks) with the Sundance Kid (Delaney) and Etta Place (McElligott), chased to South America by the dogged lawman McKinley (Rea).

The film is shot in a dusty Western style, although director Gil never indulges in flashy action or post-modern cynicism. He lets the story play out in low-key, gritty ways that echo Blackthorn's gruff, level-headed approach to each situation. He also beautifully captures the Bolivian landscapes and culture. Gorgeously shot by Juan Ruiz Anchia, the film expertly places its increasingly likeable characters in a series of striking locations, from the altiplano to what an endless salt flat.

Into these settings, Shepard brings considerable charm, gently developing a lively chemistry with Noriega that twists and turns as the plot progresses.

Despite Eduardo's cocky self-assurance, Blackthorn is in control of every messy situation they find themselves in. And Shepard adds an underlying pathos as Blackthorn thinks about his past and his desire to travel to San Francisco to see the son he's never met. So its a joy to watch him rediscover the adrenaline rush of fighting for his life.

After years spent considering himself just counting out the days he has left, Blackthorn not only finds the will to live, but also realises that he's not washed-up yet. Meanwhile, Eduardo struggles to find the strength to finish what he started. But there are surprises in store for both of them. And these themes make this film thoroughly watchable as both men tenaciously persevere against the odds to find some sort of redemption. Even if that might mean dying a noble death.



Blackthorn

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st July 2011

Box Office USA: $0.2M

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Quickfire Films, Arcadia Motion Pictures, Noodles Production

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 54 Rotten: 18

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Ibon Cormenzana, Andres Santana

Starring: as James, Magaly Solier as Yana, as Ing. Eduardo Apodaca, as Mackinley, Daniel Aguirre as Ivan, Luis Bredow as Doctor, as Young James, Pádraic Delaney as Sundance Kid, as Etta, Cristian Mercado as General of the Bolivian Army

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Advertisement
Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

With a sweeping, picturesque setting and emotive performances, this dramatic epic will appeal to moviegoers...

The Accountant Movie Review

The Accountant Movie Review

While this slick dramatic thriller plays with some intriguing ideas and themes, it never actually...

Train to Busan Movie Review

Train to Busan Movie Review

Leave it to the Koreans to reinvent the zombie horror movie and put a high-speed...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.