Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
Entertainment Weekly
The nervy style of this newfangled Western, with its eerie, insinuating score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, is so effective that long after Pitt and Affleck have left the screen, emotional disturbance lingers like gun smoke.
The A.V. Club
A peculiar and destabilizing tone that's far from the standard Hollywood oater, but entirely fitting for two larger-than-life characters fulfilling their roles in history.
One of the best Westerns of the 1970s, which represents the highest possible praise. It's a magnificent throwback to a time when filmmakers found all sorts of ways to refashion Hollywood's oldest and most durable genre.
Artfully exciting and compulsively watchable even at a butt-numbing 152 minutes, the film makes good on the promise New Zealand writer-director Andrew Dominik showed with "Chopper" in 2000.
I wish this movie wasn't so purposefully elegiac and attenuated – at times it's like a middling Terrence Malick fantasia – but it's well worth sitting through.
No one in the movie is entirely right in the head, least of all James, whose rapidly disintegrating sanity provides Pitt with his juiciest role since "Snatch," one he chomps into with all the relish of a guy who’s been playing suave leading men for too long.
It’s far less engaging than the recent "3:10 to Yuma" remake and concentrates more on the details than the broad picture.
Village Voice
Although not as radically defamiliarizing as Jim Jarmusch's avant-western "Dead Man," Jesse James has the feel of an attic ransacked for abandoned knickknacks.
The Hollywood Reporter
This fascinating relationship gets smothered in pointlessly long takes, repetitive scenes, grim Western landscapes and mumbled, heavily accented dialogue.
Mr. Pitt is himself a supernova luminary, of course, and part of the attraction of this film is how his celebrity feeds into that of his character, adding shadings to what is, finally, an overconceptualized if under-intellectualized endeavor.

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