Lone Star (1996)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  21 June 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 22,348 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 171 user | 69 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

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 15 wins & 15 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 <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | Mystery

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 »


A woman mentions that a high school football player runs the 40-yard dash in 3.4 seconds. This is highly unlikely, as most of the records for the fastest 40-yard dash are around 4 seconds flat. 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 »


Referenced in Dallas Buyers Club (2013) See more »


Juana La Cubana
Written by Rudolfo Olivares
Performed by Fito Olivares
See more »

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User Reviews

The sins of the fathers come back to haunt
31 January 1999 | by (New Hope, Alabama USA) – See all my reviews

John Sayles' direction of this film reminded me of Hitchcock in that I was always aware of the director's style and I enjoyed it every bit as much as the acting and the story. Like "Godfather," this is a tale of families and how the sins of the fathers cast their shadows over the generations. To illustrate the connection, Sayles will slowly track his camera from a conversation in one part of a room to another part of the same room where characters who lived 25 years earlier are conversing. The years have passed, we realize, but all the characters, even the dead ones, are in this together. The technique may sound strange, but it works magically. And another thing: I've always thought Kris Kristofferson was a better singer than actor, and a better songwriter than singer. But in this film he turns in an outstanding performance as a very very bad Texas border town sheriff who disappeared years ago and whose bones have just turned up in the desert. At least we think those are his bones, and to solve the puzzle, the current sheriff, son of the man who became sheriff when Kris disappeared, must dig further than he wants into the town's secrets. And once again, knowing how the film ends makes subsequent viewings just as fascinating as the first.

41 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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