19 May 2014 5:22 AM, PDT | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

Tommy Lee Jones rode into town nearly ten years ago with The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada, a terrific neo-Western that marked the hangdog, sardonic actor as a director to watch. By contrast, The Homesman is much more traditional Western fare, and while it features another strong performance from Jones, his follow-up isn’t quite in the same league. Though heavy female presence brings to mind Clint Eastwood’s more thematically progressive westerns of the '70s – The Beguiled, Two Mules For Sister Sara – Jones’s film falls frustratingly short of the (admittedly high) bar set by his debut. As a comparison, Robert Duvall’s Get Low is a good benchmark in terms of sentiment and tone, since Jones – famous for his self-professed lack of a sense of humour – is in much lighter mood here. There’s also a slight misdirect, since the film opens not on his claim-jumper George »


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