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Lone Star (1996)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  21 June 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 22,170 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 170 user | 69 critic | 22 from

When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen J. Lang ...
Oni Faida Lampley ...
Deputy Travis
Gonzalo Castillo ...
Tony Frank ...
Mercedes Cruz
Charlie Wade
Young Hollis


John Sayles' murder-mystery explores interpersonal and interracial tensions in Rio County, Texas. Sam Deeds is the local sheriff who is called to investigate a 40-year-old skeleton found in the desert....As Sam delves deeper into the town's dark secrets, he begins to learn more about his father, the legendary former sheriff Buddy Deeds, who replaced the corrupt Charlie Wade. While Sam puzzles out the long-past events surrounding the mystery corpse, he also longs to rekindle a romance with his old high-school flame. Sayles' complex characters are brought together as the tightly woven plot finally draws to its dramatic close. Written by Tad Dibbern <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


John Sayles invites you to return to the scene of the crime.


Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language, sex and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 June 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Estrella solitaria  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,845,000 (USA) (19 July 1996)


$13,269,963 (USA) (10 January 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The hands seen laying out the bones in this movie belong to David Glassman, a forensic anthropologist at Southwest Texas State University. See more »


After Charlie has shot the Mexican on the bridge and bends over his body, the Mexican slightly moves. See more »


[first lines]
Cliff: [cataloging the flora] We got cenizo, that's purple sage, agave, nopal... What's that stuff? Yeah that's it, that's whatchamacallit. That's horse crippler.
Mikey: This place is a gold mine.
Cliff: Lead mine.
See more »


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The Night's Too Long
Written by Lucinda Williams
Performed by Lucinda Williams
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User Reviews

An entrancing yarn.
15 October 2001 | by (Sauk City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

An entrancing yarn that takes place in a small, quiet Texas border town where the memories of two former lawmen, the crooked Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson) and the legendary Buddy Deeds (Matthew McConaughey) are slowly resurrected when the remains of Wade are found on an deserted Army firing range by Deeds' son, Sam (Chris Cooper), who is the current town sheriff. Throughout the movie, Sam visits some of the locals and asks each one if they knew what happened to Wade and if Buddy had a role in the murder. Writer-director-editor John Sayles serves up an unpredictable gem here with a great cast that includes Joe Morton, Elisabeth Pena, Frances McDormand, etc., and to me, it seems like nearly all the characters here make sense right up to the end.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Lacked a certain visual style.. henriz1-1
Should Sam and Pilar Be Arrested? harrytrue
Is this a good Movie ? FlorenceLawrence
Lone Star Beer EvilPrince
question on the end of the movie stewart55024
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