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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.