Critic Reviews



Based on 28 critic reviews provided by
Though The Highwaymen makes sure it tells the right story about Bonnie and Clyde, it doesn’t win the argument that it tells the better one.
There was more to Bonnie and Clyde than 'Bonnie and Clyde,' but The Highwaymen falls short of making the case that the good guys had the better tale.
Commands attention less as historical counterpoint than as a sturdy showcase for the neatly balanced lead performances of Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson.
A smoothly executed but decidedly drab crime drama. Checking all the necessary narrative boxes for its target audience and asking little of stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson other than to bring their well-established onscreen personas to the characters, the latest from director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks) dabbles in familiar dramatic ironies and rather obvious observations about violence, celebrity and ageing. The Highwaymen never puts a foot wrong, but it fails to elicit much passion or fascination.
What makes The Highwaymen particularly disappointing is that two solid pieces of character work get buried in the filmmaking.
Costner and Harrelson both give fine performances, but when it's time for each to have his one allotted dramatic monologue, you can practically hear the movie clearing its throat: Shut up and listen while the man is speaking, folks.
The best thing about The Highwaymen by a long shot is seeing Costner tap back into that Gary Cooper mode he once perfected and add older, wiser touches to it.
This isn’t an especially good movie — it’s too long, too drenched in Thomas Newman’s cloyingly eclectic score, too full of speechifying and self-regard — but it is a coherent one, with the courage of its vengeful, murderous, politically terrifying convictions.
As it stands now, The Highwaymen arguably does just enough legwork to justify its existence, but good luck enduring it.
Hamer and Gault won the day in a hail of submachine fire, but even their hagiography can’t hide that they’re history’s losers.

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