Old Henry (2021) Poster

(2021)

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9/10
Not even my type of movie, but very good
lusciousmuffins3 October 2021
I am truly baffled by the film industry.

Even when Hollywood manages to make a good movie, they do nothing to promote it.

Westerns are not really my cup of tea; however, this one was very well done.

Using the frontier in the early 1900s as a backdrop, this film creates action and suspense without relying on massive explosions or over the top special effects.

This is a perfect example of a filmmaker who clearly understands that if you want to make an engaging film, the story trumps everything else.

What other movies get so wrong this movie gets right, by focusing on character and plot development.

That is not to say the script is all this movie has to offer.

The cast deliver quality performances and the set and costume design evoke the stark reality of a different time in our history.

Whether or not you are a fan of Westerns, this is a film well worth your time.

Hopefully, word of mouth will do for this movie what the production company could not be bothered to do; namely, garner it the attention it deserves.
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9/10
Instant Classic Western
celt0078 October 2021
What great acting Tim Blake Nelson , wow .

Stephen Dorff's bad guy is perfect .

This is such a great movie loved every minute of it .

If you like westerns watch this !
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8/10
a twisty western
ferguson-630 September 2021
Greetings again from the darkness. When asked to explain the appeal, many fans of Western movies note how the clear division of good and bad, and right and wrong, allows for easy identification of those to root for, or even admire. Writer-director Potsy Ponciroli muddies the water with this one, blurring the lines between good guys and bad guys, and keeping us guessing until the end.

The film opens in the Oklahoma territory in 1906, a mere seventeen years after the Land Rush of 1889. The farmer we meet, Henry McCarty (a perfectly chosen name) may or may not have been a 'sooner', but he admits to his son that the idea of free land is what drove him to settle here, on the plot next to his deceased wife's brother Al (Trace Adkins). Tim Blake Nelson is superb in the role, and plays Henry as a man with deep, and likely dark secrets. The land is challenging to work and he expends energy farming as well as protecting his son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis), a typical whiny teenager with little regard for adult struggles. Wyatt is anxious to escape the structure and limitations of life with dad.

Breaking a long string of days where nothing much happens for Henry and Wyatt, an injured man with a satchel full of cash is discovered on their land. Henry patches up the gunshot wound, and puts the unconscious man in bed, albeit with ropes binding him to the frame - one of the glimpses of Henry cluing us to waters that run much deeper than we'd typically expect for a farmer in the middle of nowhere. When the man awakens, he claims to be Sheriff Curry (Scott Haze) and that the three men chasing him are the bad guys. The dilemma for Henry is heightened in that he's not an inherently trusting fellow, and the Sheriff badge is actually on one the vest of those three men, Ketchum (a fun turn from Stephen Dorff).

The verbal exchanges between Henry and Ketchum are oratory poetry, and it makes for a juicy and tension-packed chain of events. We are left to deduce which of the men - Henry, Curry, and Ketchum - are who they say they are. It's a game of Clue featuring rifles, holsters, and horses. Cinematographer John Matysiak does a nice job with a wide-range of shots: outdoors, in the cabin, the big shootout, and even a doorway shot as a tribute to John Ford.

The two twists are what really made this click for me. And one of them is quite a whopper. The suspense generated by the situation is certainly enhanced by the fancy verbal sparring, including a terrific line from Henry when asked about his background: "Many vocations, some more marginal than others." But it really comes down to us as viewers, along with Henry, attempting to discern the good guys from the bad, and constantly asking ourselves ... who do we trust? Mysteries are fun, especially when a good old-fashioned shootout is included, and the film's big reveal turns out to be etched in western lore.

Coming to theaters on October 1, 2021.
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8/10
A Big Surprise
nowego9 October 2021
I went into this one without even bothering to read the reviews and it blew me away.

Extremely well done, the acting from all involved was top notch, especially Tim Blake Nelson, who really showed he is a quality actor.

There is nothing over the top involved the story is just a story with the "good guys" coming out on top against the odds. Except who really knows who the good guys are.

Definitely a movie that could be watched more than once. It loses 2 stars for me due to the flashbacks, those were not really required and made the movie a bit confusing.

8/10 and highly recommended.
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9/10
A brilliant western after a long time...
shamis-881-257899 October 2021
I really cannot remember the last good western I saw, its been ages. They don't make good westers anymore, if they make at all. This one is well done. Glad I found it by accident, which brings me to the disappointing fact, that there was absolutely no promotion done for this movie. It's sad when an utter rehashed-rehashed trash like Shang Chi gets tens of millions put behind promotion while an honest gem like Old Henry, gets absolutely none.
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8/10
A Great Western
AbhiSh4ke8 October 2021
Don't let the lack of big names fool you this movie is a diamond in rough. Script is great with plenty of twists to keep the story engaging and acting is very good. Definitely give this a watch if you are a western fan.
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7/10
good REVEAL!
A_Different_Drummer8 October 2021
Irony abounds. Six decades ago you could not turn on the TV or go to a theatre without bumping into a western. Today they are few and far between. (Except for the fact that Clint Eastwood is still starring in them, which is just plain odd). So when this little gem shows up, with the guts to bet the farm (literally) on a tight script and a BIG REVEAL, you really have to take off your hat and salute it.
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9/10
Reminds us why we love westerns
DeadMansTrousers10 October 2021
First of all the acting was superb on all accounts. I love a good western film and yes this is a slow burn thriller but once the action kicks in there are some beautifully choreographed gunfights and while I expected there to be a reveal of who the main character was in the past I never would've guessed what it ended up being. This is easily one of the most entertaining westerns I have seen in recent years and I highly recommend it if you're a fan of the genre.
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9/10
Heck yeah
Silicone549 October 2021
Part of the appeal of this movie is not knowing how Henry is for the entire movie until the end. The revelation is subtle and doesn't cloud over the movie. Who he was is not as important as who he is now, a father and a farmer.

I really liked how simple the story was. A good story teller gets to the point without throwing in too many details and fluff.

The only problems I had were the scenes of the son being a bratty teenager. Reminded me of the tv show 24 when Jack Bauer's teenage daughter constantly got into trouble while he's got bigger issues to deal with. I didn't think it was necessary to create that tension in this movie. And the other problem was the backstory of Henry and Curry. It is a critical part of the movie but I failed to follow the connection. Maybe I missed some dialogue but in the end I got it of course. Still I think a better execution of that backstory would have made that tie in more impactful.

Overall, I loved how Henry is a hero, not a hero and perhaps a villain. I think many will enjoy this movie.
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8/10
Old Hardcore Western
Jim_Screechy9 October 2021
This is a good movie well worth watching. Tim Blake Nelson is exceptional, and really brings out the flavour, mood, and good old-grit lined western essence almost single-handedly... which is not to say the other performances aren't great. Stephen Dorff is also fantastic here, but the cast and performances are solid all round, with the exception of Gavin Lewis (as Wyatt) who I think is miscast.

Direction, production, script and screenplay are all 'on point' and though the story is a fairly straight forward one, the story has been told very well. It starts of as a fairly slow burner, gathering momentum as the plot unfolds, and builds up to a crescendo of a final act packed with action suspense and intrigue.

Such is the authenticity of the vernacular the movie employs I found the dialogue difficult to follow at times. For the most part this didn't detract from my enjoyment, but be warned, you may find it hard to keep up in certain moments when the verbal exchanges become fast and fluid.

If I have any criticism, its that the film seems longer than it is because there are points in the movie that do labour a little. That said, I very much enjoyed it overall, especially since its not your run of the mill western... more a microcosmic look at certain elements of western life, which I really think take this one in a better direction than so many more recent films.

I give this one a 7.5 but in the interest of it being such a unexpected surprise, I'm bumping it up to 8.
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10/10
One of the best westerns I have ever seen.
alec-walker15 October 2021
Such a good movie. Absolutely amazing. I had never heard of Potsy Ponciroli the director and writer but I was blown away by this movie. It was shot beautifully. The dialogue and pace was great. Tim Blake Nelson shows once again how versatile he is an actor. This might be his best work ever.
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10/10
This is a masterpiece.
hanson-stephenj14 October 2021
You know one when you see one. Grittier than Grit. Meaner than Wick. Fairer than Justice. Historic. See it and take it in. It has that good American stuff.
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9/10
Well made western
mr-altex8 October 2021
Masterful performance by Tim Blake Nelson in this fairly minimalistic western. Movie about father and son, about naivety of the young and harsh experience of the old. Basically from the beginning there were hints where is the movie going but it worked for the steady build up just up for the final shoot out.
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10/10
Unexpected Gem!!!!
aj-794819 October 2021
I'm a fanatic for a good western movie and this is something you will enjoy watching !!!. The acting is not fake like so many other westerns I've watched. This is an amazing production, you won't be disappointed. Loved it!!
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8/10
Second only to "Unforgiven", best western of 21st century
carlos-pires9 October 2021
This is a great movie with a great story, great performances, pacing, direction... the only minor little flaw I find in it is... these guys all had shiny white teeth... Something anyone involved in an A-grade production would have made sure not to happen. Otherwise. A very solid piece, with great performances all-round.

Highly recommended.
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9/10
Tim Blake Nelson aint Buster Scruggs in this Western...
mb-cunningham9 October 2021
I love Westerns, big and small, Hollywood and Indie. But they must have crazy good writing and masterful cinematography to pass muster with the greats. This film is a gritty, dirt caked slow burn that rewards the patient viewer with a reveal that makes the final act so satisfying that you may find yourself grinning at the predicament our antagonists have unknowingly beset upon themselves.

Tim Blake Nelson is so great at playing in this genre that he has me convinced he time traveled here from Al Swearengen's bar. He nails this role as a grateful man who has seen more sunsets than he's gonna, but made a meager but honest life off the land. I am grateful he saw this script and its potential. The third act is well worth hanging in there for, as it delivers one helluva brutal blow to the senses, both in the narrative and the action scenes. Just a terrific yarn!!
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10/10
Finally a good western with an amazeballs showdown.
Fella_shibby14 October 2021
Generous with a 10 cos i enjoyed this movie. Simple, ain't no wannabe critic.

In fact apart from being an enjoyable movie for genre fans like me, this one has top notch cinematography, first class actors and a simple yet engrossing screenplay.

Tim Blake Nelson's posture, body movements, his worn out face n eyes fits the character n the revelation perfectly.

It was good to see Stephen Dorff aft Jackals n True Detective S3.
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9/10
Very Solid Western
musicnetwork-8503310 October 2021
Not often that I rate a movie or show so highly. This is one of the better ones I've seen over the past several years. Tim Blake Nelson nails his role. I wish more westerns of this quality were made.
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8/10
Good Western
bolthole15 October 2021
After all the terrible so called westerns over the last two years it is was a pleasure to watch (Old Henry) With good acting, good story line even if not factual, but what was and what is all that really matters if a film entertains which this one certainly did for me. Happy to watch more of the same quality.
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9/10
What a joy , seeing a decent film for once.
bubu815 October 2021
I can't remember seeing a better Western. & certainly none that had not 1 , but 2 twists.

I give it just around 9/10 . Because there is some plot holes - which could have been better done.

Many of us might have missed seeing something about the first scene. Where the man being chased gave away a clue as he rested on a rock.

Oscar character acting from the lead. But is not box ticking for one.
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8/10
Finally a Western that worth watching since COVID
lucasj007-478-44626214 October 2021
Potsy Ponciroli you did a fantastic job in writing a story that isn't filled with WOKE BS and is just a good old Western. It's a rare treat to watch something for pure enjoyment and some kind of sick underlying agenda. I look forward to more of your projects.
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10/10
Best Western I've seen in years!!
mfsj8 October 2021
Thoroughly enjoyed this movie, more should be done to make more westerns of this calibre.
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10/10
A hidden gem
jayaxelhickey12 October 2021
What fantastic western. No woke agenda no preaching. Just a movie being a great movie. When it ended I wanted more it was so good I did not want it to be over.
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7/10
Diverting Modern What If Western
pontram10 October 2021
After a long time I decided to watch a Western, and it was a good decition. Old Henry is very diverting, Adter a proper introduction of all participating characters, a conflict is of course escalating as one would expect from a Western. Before that, we get several hints about the true identity of Old Henry. As someone who have read much about the Wild West in your youth, you would have known at least when his full name came up.

I consider Old Henry as a modern Classic in the sense of telling a story in the simplistic way it deserves. Because of this, it is never boring, though it is not pacing very fast.

It has a few shortcomings, since the director has not much further projects on his reel in his profession, but for this, he delivers a quite astonishing solid product.

Of course, the acting is very good, even though some may call Henrys' son annoying, but I would rather say he is just helpless against the wall of his fathers' protective silence.

I must.admit that I couln't quite see through the dream sequences and the "brand " thing in the end, and I believe that there maybe is some historical misunderstanding related to the name "Ketchum".

Hoverver, I decided to rate it 7 and recommend it as a solid member of modern Western genre.
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9/10
Really enjoyable!
jane-love9 October 2021
Love Westerns. Hasn't been a good for a while. Enjoyed the story telling and the acting only escolated the film. Had to go back and watch the fighting bits again as, it all happens so fast.
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