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Broken Horses (2015)

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The bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence in the shadows of the US Mexico border gang wars.


Vidhu Vinod Chopra



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Shotwell ... Young William 'Buddy' Heckum
Thomas Jane ... Gabriel Heckum
Nicholas Neve Nicholas Neve ... Young Jacob 'Jake' Heckum
Sean Patrick Flanery ... Ignacio Riley
Lenny von Dohlen ... Joe
Tom Virtue ... Priest #1
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Julius Hench
Sadie Alexandru ... Santion's Wife
Greg Serano ... Miguel Santion
Anton Yelchin ... Jacob Heckum
María Valverde ... Vittoria (as Maria Valverde)
Chris Marquette ... Buddy Heckum
Juan Riedinger ... Eric
Jeremy Luke ... Franco
Wes Chatham ... Ace


The bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence in the shadows of the US Mexico border gang wars.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Tale of Brothers, A Trail of Blood

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

10 April 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brothers See more »

Filming Locations:

Death Valley, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vidhu Vinod Chopra's second attempt at a Hollywood project. First was when the script of Munnabhai M.B.B.S was picked up by a leading studio who wanted to remake the film with Chris Tucker in the titular character. The project fell through though. See more »


[first lines]
Gabriel Heckum: Buddy. Hey. What's with the grin, pal?
Young William 'Buddy' Heckum: Mr. Castillo said I did a good job. He even gave me an extra dollar.
Gabriel Heckum: Yeah? So, that's your first paycheck, pal. You never forget that.
Young William 'Buddy' Heckum: I told him to make it in three parts. For you, me, and Jakey.
Gabriel Heckum: Smart.
Young William 'Buddy' Heckum: Jakey gets the extra dollar, 'cause he's the youngest.
Gabriel Heckum: Well, that he is.
Young William 'Buddy' Heckum: Or I could get him a new violin.
Gabriel Heckum: For six bucks? I doubt it. But I'll tell you what. You give Jakey that six bucks, and I'll throw in the fiddle for free.
See more »


Referenced in On Cinema: 'Suicide Squad' and 'Nine Lives' (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

After 25 years all VVC could think of was remaking PARINDA only while moving on to Hollywood.
1 August 2016 | by bobbysingSee all my reviews

The veteran producer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra ventures into Hollywood and delivers a film that might not be able to impress the west as well as the east due to its overused, stale subject that cinema lovers have seen umpteen times all over the world in various films from the same genre.

No doubt VVC never made BROKEN HORSES for the Indian audience. But since he did release it in India, therefore reviewing it from an Indian perspective the film manages to impress just marginally due to its technical excellence alone, majorly because the viewers here have already seen everything presented in the film earlier in director's own PARINDA released in 1989. In fact it was quite surprising and weird to know that even after 25 years of successful film-making with innovative, creative minds such as Hirani, Aamir and more, VVC still could think of remaking PARINDA only while moving on to Hollywood.

For friends willing to know the details of similarities between PARINDA and BROKEN HORSES, here too we have childhood reference of two kids (Jackie & Anil), heartfelt love of elder brother who joins the crime world, a crazy gangster (Nana Patekar) having an obsession with fire whose family was burnt alive, the younger brother (Anil) returning after a long gap, his audition for entering the gang killing a helping friend (Sameer Kakkar), his revenge from the gangster, the gang rivalry with another mobster (Moosa – Tom Alter), the mobster helping the younger brother, the young one's love affair with a girl (Madhuri), their marriage and first night selected for their killing (where the yacht gets replaced by a ranch) and then the finale with (thankfully) a change where everyone doesn't die like in PARINDA. So the only single difference in the storyline is the missing character of Anupam Kher and a GODFATHER inspired sequence that goes missing in BROKEN HORSES playing it safe.

Looking at these exact similar sequences and the dead slow pace of the film, the film is bound to be rejected by the English film viewers here in India and the fact was pretty clear when I found myself all alone sitting in the theatre in its very first show which was also running after my repeated request made to the theatre manager.

Coming to the western audience, the subject is certainly not new for them too after watching several movies made on the plot of a mole seeking his revenge or related subjects based on gang wars beginning from the classic ON THE WATERFRONT released way back in 1954. Moreover the annoyingly slow place in the beginning and then few shallow sequences like 'the interview' doesn't let you form any great opinion about the film either quite frankly. However the emotional execution of VVC, along with some well directed violent scenes, impressive cinematography, a fine background score and noteworthy production values (all western technicians) are sure to get noticed in Hollywood, coming from an Indian film-maker representing an industry known to be obsessed with music, songs and dances.

In the performances, Christopher G. Marquette takes a big lead as Buddy and does manage to engage the viewer emotionally (he actually saves the movie) whereas Anton Yelchin presents a simple yet honest act as his younger brother becoming the rebel.D'Onofrio trying to be the cunningly ruthless gangster doesn't work really and the same can be said about Sean Patrick Flanery (the music teacher) and Maria Valverde too playing the lady love of Anton.

In short, it was quite hard to understand the reason why Vidhu Vinod Chopra couldn't think of any fresh innovative idea while venturing into Hollywood. Plus after watching the film, it makes you both laugh & wonder together that why he was denying the fact of BROKEN HORSES being an exact version of his PARINDA in all those interviews and press statements before its release? May be he did it on purpose to get a get good initial before the secret was out.

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