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Appaloosa (2008)

 -  Crime | Drama | Western  -  3 October 2008 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 45,241 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 191 user | 184 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow.

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Title: Appaloosa (2008)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Jauregui ...
Marshall Jack Bell (as Bobby Jauregui)
...
...
Vince
...
Dean
James Tarwater ...
Chalk (as Jim Tarwater)
...
Bronc
Gabriel Marantz ...
Joe Whittfield
...
...
Benjamin Rosenshein ...
Town Boy
...
Tilda
...
...
Phil Olson
...
Abner Raines
Erik J. Bockemeier ...
Fat Wallis
Edit

Storyline

1882, New Mexico Territory. Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are itinerant lawmen, hired by desperate towns as marshal and deputy. The city fathers of Appaloosa hire them after Randall Bragg, a newly-arrived rancher with money and a gang of thugs, disrupts commerce and kills three local lawmen. Cole and Hitch contrive to arrest Bragg and bring him to trial, but hanging him proves difficult. Meanwhile, a widow has arrived in town, Allison French, pretty, refined, and good-natured. Virgil falls hard, and it seems mutual, but there may be more to Allie than meets the eye. Can friendship and skill with a gun overcome a pernicious villain and green-eyed jealousy? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

deputy | rancher | widow | hanging | friend | See more »

Taglines:

Feelings get you killed.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Entre la vida y la muerte  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£90,673 (UK) (26 September 2008)

Gross:

$20,207,003 (USA) (16 January 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Ed Harris reloads his Peacemaker (Colt Model 1873 Single-Action Army Revolver), he realistically uses the pistol's ejector rod to push spent cases out of the cylinder. Since few actors in Hollywood actually know how to use the weapons they fire in movies, most don't know what the ejector rod is, and are seen in various westerns reloading SAAs by opening the loading gate and shaking the spent case out. See more »

Goofs

When Everett and Virgil are agreeing to protect Appaloosa, the lighting in the room changes drastically between close-ups and wide shots. For the close-up of Abner Raines, the curtain is open, lighting his face with sunlight, but in the wide shot the curtain is closed. See more »

Quotes

Randall Bragg: It's hard to like a man who won't take a drink.
Virgil Cole: But not impossible.
See more »

Crazy Credits

While being credited, items relating to positions and roles are displayed. Examples: Producers are listed as money is shown, an antique ink dryer is shown for the editor, production designer shows an antique tin cup and costume designer shows the top of a hat. See more »

Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #4.162 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground
Written by Walter Kittredge
Performed by Kate Jewell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An old school western that more than gets the job done. It's a tour de "fource" for Ed Harris
2 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Films are made for us to escape to a new reality, whether that reality be complete fantasy, present day, the future, or in this case, the good old West. What we have here is a great western that looks and feels like a classic in the making, an old school western with an old school touch of directing (and acting) from Ed Harris. Appaloosa is very accessible in a film genre that isn't so accessible. It's a straightforward film that, despite that, never becomes predictable and formulaic. Harris's wonderful job on all fronts make Appaloosa one of the most complete films of the year. It's got it all, great writing, killer acting, and a great atmosphere that allows the viewer to get trapped in this old western world.

Set in 1882 New Mexico, Appaloosa follows the fate of the town of the same name, which has fallen into the control of a ruthless outlaw (Jeremy Irons), and the powers that be have hired new hands to take control of the situation (Harris and Viggo Mortensen). However, when a mysterious widow (Renee Zellweger) arrives in town, loyalties will be tested, friendships will be put on trial, and guns will be fired.

The strong point, as I've said, is Ed Harris, who pulls the quadruple threat of acting, directing, writing, and producing. Despite all the work he did on this film, he still manages to turn in an Oscar worthy performance as the steadfast and unwavering commander of the town. Harris is subtle, nuanced, and never out of control. He commands the screen every time he's on it, without yelling or doing anything too crazy. Viggo Mortensen's near silent performance is not short on talent either, as one of silent acting's kings continues to show incredible versatility (the guy is a fantasy king, Russian mobster, and now an old west Deputy Marshall). To complete the trifecta of greatness, Jeremy Irons is the only guy I can imagine in the role of the film's villain. His freezing stare, mixed with the icy cold voice he is most known for, makes him one of the most memorable villains of the year.

Renee Zellweger really didn't add anything to the movie, though her character wasn't too interesting, and just serves as a plot device. This is what keeps the film from getting that "10" from me. The rest of the supporting cast is really a non-issue, as the story really only revolves around a few characters.

What I enjoyed most about the film is that it really made me feel like I was out west...right down to the little details, such as sandstorms, the presence of Native Americans, small drawls from the actors (thankfully none besides Zellweger had a bad one), and the different kinds of horses & guns in the film. Harris keeps the film moving nicely, and there's only a few moments where I felt it dragged a bit. Like I've said, it's hard to find a real fault here...the film is just well done all around, from a production standpoint.

When all is said and done, I knew how I felt about this film the second the lights went on. I clapped and said, "that was great". Appaloosa is an old school western that has everything a fan of the genre could want...including a suspenseful and tense gunfight and crazy Native Americans on horses! It's definitely one of the most complete westerns and films I've seen this year, and should be in contention for a few awards come Oscar season.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Renee Zellweger looks like a troll in this movie. dcobra
What a DREADFUL Screenplay film_ophile
How the F@%k is 3:10 to Yuma rated higher?? notapplicable42
Renee ruined this movie jtg49wgx
Jeremy Irons' voice in this film... gregfades
Best Western since the High Noon! peterczech
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