Lone Star (1996)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  21 June 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 22,363 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?


Joe Morton plays Ron Canada's son, despite being over 18 months older than him. See more »


In the bar, the head of the beer in the jug in the background repeatedly changes size between shots. 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 True Detective: The Long Bright Dark (2014) See more »


Written by Little Walter (as Little Walter Jacobs)
Performed by Little Walter
See more »

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User Reviews

13 September 2001 | by (L.A. CA) – See all my reviews

Ive always admired Sayles as a writer and a filmmaker. His early films (Secaucus 7, Brother from Another Planet) even though they were rough and messy had wit and brilliant acting, but when he gets it right, he gets it right: Matewan and City of Hope are two examples of multi-layered stories with believable three-dimensional people in powerful situations. Lone Star is an amazing film: characters that are on screen for even a few minutes come of as real people, flesh and blood, no cardboard cut-outs here. Great performances from Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Elizabeth Pena, Joe Morton and many, many more. Taut, funny, thrilling and emotional. Great film by a great talent.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Lone Star Beer EvilPrince
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