Matthew Lickona 2:57 p.m., May 17
Clint Eastwood, both star and director, retells the classic Western tale of the reformed bad man ("I ain't like that anymore" is a continual refrain) pulled back into the world he left behind. Final thrills notwithstanding, this is a slow and autumnal Western and not a dose of "revitalization," a Western made for posterity and not for the clattering publicity mill, a Western to shore up Eastwood's oeuvre and not his annual "box-office." All of which is entirely as befits a star and director who will never again see the green side of sixty. The assurance and economy of his style, both in front of and behind the camera, befit such a man, too, though his behind-the-camera style has taken a while to catch up to his in-front-of style. The latter, of course, has not stood still but has kept moving onwards and upwards through his increasing interest in portraying, however stoically, the tainted and tormented protagonist: see, especially, Honkytonk Man, Firefox, and White Hunter, Black Heart. In the circumstances, nothing less than the fullest maturity would suffice: deepest gravity, highest integrity. As its title might suggest, the movie can most usefully be thought of as an act of contrition, a making of amends, for the casual and carefree litter of bodies in Eastwood's earlier Westerns — a perfect parallel to the litter of bodies in the hero's own past. Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Jaimz Woolvett. 1992.
— Duncan Shepherd
- Rated R | 2 hours, 11 minutes