Saw and throughly enjoyed this traditions western based on one of Robert Parker’s (creater of Spenser, Jesse Stone, Sunny Randall, etc.) western novels. Clearly a labor of love for writier, director, star Ed Harris.
I don’t always agree with Roger Ebert, but he is still my favorite movie critic. Here’s what he had to say about Appaloosa, which he gave three stars out of four.
Appaloosa started out making me feel the same as I did during the opening chapters of Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove," and its TV miniseries. At its center is a friendship of many years between two men who have seen a lot together and wish they had seen less. This has been called a Buddy Movie. Not at all. A buddy is someone you acquire largely through juxtaposition. A friend is someone you make over the years. Some friends know you better than you know yourself.
That would be true of Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), who for years has been teamed up with Virgil Cole (Ed Harris). They make a living cleaning bad guys out of Western towns. Virgil wears a sheriff's badge, and Everett is his deputy, but essentially, they're hired killers. They perform this job with understated confidence, hair-trigger instincts, a quick draw and deadeye aim. They're hired by the town of Appaloosa to end a reign of terror under the evil rancher Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons).
So already you've got an A-list cast. Harris plays a man of few words, many of them pronounced incorrectly, and steel resolve. Mortensen is smarter than his boss, more observant, and knows to tactfully hold his tongue when he sees the sheriff making mistakes, as long as they're not fatal. Irons plays the rancher as one of those narrow-eyed snakes who is bad because, gosh darn it, he's good at it.
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If you like a good western, Appaloosa is well worth your time.