Can we really bring back the Western. There have been some good ones in recent years and this is no exception.
Hostiles follows Christian Bales as a U.S. Army captain in the later 19th century. He reluctantly follows an order to transport a Cheyenne Chief to his homeland through hostile territory.
I’m surprised this movie hasn’t gotten more awards love. It’s very underrated. Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike turn in probably their best performances to date. It’s very well directed and a beautiful movie. I really felt the openness and loneliness of the territory they are traversing. It tackles some deep themes and is full of flawed characters. It is interesting to watch these characters develop as the movie unfolds. And that doesn’t just go for the main characters, as the side characters are also well developed and have issues of their own.
The movie is definitely not an action packed, shoot-em-up kind of western. It takes its time and is a slow burn drama more than anything else. From the beginning, it is very dark and there is not really any levity at all. I don’t necessarily consider these bad things, but rather things you should know going into the movie. If you don’t know what to expect, you may not enjoy this movie as much. It is similar to The Revenant in that way.
My main issues stem from the movie just being a little too long. It does drag in the middle a bit. They also introduce a character who about halfway through who is only in the movie for about 20 minutes. I understand the purpose he serves, but also feel like he is relatively unnecessary.
Overall, Hostiles is a very good movie, as long as you know what you’re getting into. Come for the performances and the story, and you won’t be disappointed. There are a few really good Western shootouts, but they aren’t the main feature of the movie. It is not for everyone, but I enjoyed it and I’ll give Hostiles a 4/5.
Have you seen Hostiles? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.