Critic Reviews



Based on 21 critic reviews provided by
Chicago Tribune
That conscious absurdity is at the core of The Quick and the Dead. It's a rousingly grotesque, often wildly entertaining western horror-comedy, with co-producer and star Sharon Stone as a sexy lady gunslinger taking on all comers in the gunfight tournament from hell. [10 Feb 1995, p.C]
USA Today
Sharon Stone rides into a Western dust hole bent on revenge. Gene Hackman, virtually reprising his Unforgiven heavy, gives this goofy genre-bender some authenticity. [17 Feb 1995, p.4D]
Boston Globe
The Quick and the Dead is a sly, savvy Hollywood sendup of Sergio Leone Westerns with Sharon Stone playing the Clint Eastwood righteous avenger role and Gene Hackman the heavy. You'd call it a spaghetti Western, but the budget is too high. Maybe we'd better think of it as Hollywood's first angel-hair-pasta Western. [10 Feb 1995, p.47]
Hip, jokey western from cult director Sam Raimi. Recommended as an antidote to anyone still suffering from Wyatt Earp hangover.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Thanks to him, The Quick and the Dead is more than moribund. How much more? Let's just say that there's motion in the picture. Indeed, speaking of accomplishments, Sharon Stone appears clad throughout an entire feature - gee, give a gal a gun and there's no telling what she can achieve.m [10 Feb 1995, p.C1]
As preposterous as the plot was, there was never a line of Hackman dialogue that didn't sound as if he believed it. The same can't be said, alas, for Sharon Stone, who apparently believed that if she played her character as silent, still, impassive and mysterious, we would find that interesting. More swagger might have helped.
The Quick and the Dead is too light to pack the dramatic punch of a true Western and too flat to pass as cheeky revisionism. It ends up in its own amiable, slowpoke limbo.
Quick and the Dead plays like a crazed compilation of highlights from famous westerns. Raimi finds the right look but misses the heartbeat. You leave the film dazed instead of dazzled, as if an expert marksman had drawn his gun only to shoot himself in the foot.
Yet all this work, all this skill, serve as little more than an elaborate setting for a rhinestone. At its core there is no passion, no sincerity of conception, nothing that might have made The Quick and the Dead into anything more than moment-to-moment stimulation. You get lots of clothes here, but no emperor. Or rather, no empress.
The Quick and the Dead takes on a more serious tone - as if, even in this loonily amoral environment, we're supposed to care about atrocities. The film builds to a satisfyingly catastrophic climax full of biblical flames and fluttering bank notes, but there's far too much dead time along the way.
Wall Street Journal
Ms. Stone. She alternates between two expressions here: sullen, and aghast. Then again, if you were listed on the credits as the co-producer of this violently dull piece of shlock, you'd look that way, too. [16 Feb 1995, p.A12]

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