Hostiles is a 2017 American period western film written and directed by Scott Cooper, based on an original story by Donald E. Stewart. It stars Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Ben Foster, Stephen Lang, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, Adam Beach, and Q’orianka Kilcher, and follows a U.S. Cavalry officer who must escort a Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their home in Montana in 1892.
The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2017, and was released in the United States by Entertainment Studios on December 22, 2017. Wikipedia
The continuously astounding Christian Bale is one of our best film actors, and he’s at his peak in Hostiles, a powderkeg of a western, written and directed in a soulful fever by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace, Black Mass). Working from an unpublished manuscript by the late Donald Stewart, the filmmaker echoes The Searchers – John Ford’s 1956 classic starring John Wayne as a vengeful cowboy – in tackling the way racism and violence seem to be hardwired into the American character.
This adds up to a film that’s beautifully shot and acted, but also meandering, overlong and only sporadically focused on its central issues. As for its politics, in making the story primarily about one (white) man’s redemption, “Hostiles” falls back on a well-worn if still potent dramatic trope while saying virtually nothing about the genocide committed against Native Americans.