Movie Review: Hostiles

Rosamund Pike

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

Rotten Tomatoes 74%
Empire 4/5
Roger Ebert 3/4

Peter Travers: ‘Hostiles’ Revitalizes the Brutal, Graceful Western

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 Working from an unpublished manuscript by the late Donald Stewart, the filmmaker echoes The Searchers – John Ford’s 1956 classic starring John Wayne as a vengeful cowboy – in tackling the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.

Hostiles Movie Review & Film Summary (2017) | Roger Ebert

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.

A finely crafted Western which doesn’t flinch from portraying the horrors inflicted during that violent era, and which boasts an astounding performance from Christian Bale. Full review

Dan Jolin
Hostiles is a careful and well-informed exploration of the paradoxes that are as integral to the western genre as horses, whiskey and guns. Full review

A.O. Scott
The NYTimes
This otherwise typically macho, violent Western offers strong performances and occasionally good dialogue; its most interesting aspect is how it depicts PTSD on the frontier. Full review

Michael Ordona
Common Sense Media
Hostiles is a brutal if well-intentioned film that doesn’t help its cause with its lack of development of its Native characters. Full review

Emily Yoshida
“Hostiles” ultimately falls back on the same one-dimensional archetypes, depicting Native Americans either as ruthless savages or as stoic sages, with nothing in between. Full review

Peter Debruge
Author: Losillë
Mother, wife and kinda old.

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