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Slow West (2015)

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A young Scottish man travels across America in pursuit of the woman he loves, attracting the attention of an outlaw who is willing to serve as a guide.


John Maclean


John Maclean
4,183 ( 512)
7 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kodi Smit-McPhee ... Jay Cavendish
Caren Pistorius ... Rose Ross
Aorere Paki Aorere Paki ... Young Native Boy
Jeffrey Thomas ... Union Officer
Hayden Frost Hayden Frost ... Young Soldier 1
Kieran Charnock Kieran Charnock ... Young Soldier 2
Michael Fassbender ... Silas Selleck
Joseph Passi Joseph Passi ... Congolese Singer 1
Sam Manzanza Sam Manzanza ... Congolese Singer 2
Tawanda Manyimo Tawanda Manyimo ... Congolese Singer 3
David T. Lim David T. Lim ... Tattoo Man (as David Lim)
Bryan Michael Mills Bryan Michael Mills ... The Minstrel (as Bryan Mills)
Madeleine Sami ... Marimacho
Eddie Campbell Eddie Campbell ... Skelly
Ben Mendelsohn ... Payne


'Slow West' follows a 16-year-old boy on a journey across 19th Century frontier America in search of the woman he loves, while accompanied by mysterious traveler Silas. Written by Anonomous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Wanted dead or dead See more »


Adventure | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site


UK | New Zealand


English | French

Release Date:

16 April 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Caminho do Oeste See more »

Filming Locations:

Twizel, Canterbury, New Zealand See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,459, 19 June 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$229,094, 21 June 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is John Maclean's first feature film. See more »


Payne is shot in the doorway of the Ross house. When Silas has entered, the body has disappeared. See more »


[first lines]
Silas Selleck: [narrating] Once upon a time, 1870 to be exact, a 16-year-old kid traveled from the cold shoulder of Scotland to the baking heart of America to find his love. His name was Jay. Her name was Rose.
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Modern Westerns (2015) See more »


Mbanza Congo
Written by Joseph Passi (as Passi Jo)
Performed by Joseph Passi (as Passi Jo), Sam Manzanza and Tawanda Manyimo
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the better Westerns of the 21st Century
14 July 2015 | by MattBirkSee all my reviews

Slow West may be a pretty straightforward western on paper, but what makes it stand out is that everyone involved in the film gives it their best. From the acting to the gorgeous scenery, the movie looks great. Some have bashed the movie for being slow paced and too simple, but that seems to be the point of the film. We slowly explore the various obstacles that the west had to offer, whether good or bad. And having the main character come from the far east (Scotland) with a different, more optimistic perspective on life, makes his interactions in the American West quite interesting. That being said, the movie holds multiple surprises and enjoyable scenes that showcase the deadly west.

At the heart of the movie, this is a character drama where interactions between characters are meant to be the shining points of the movie. That being said, the movie works because Fassbender and Snit-McPhee are phenomenal together. This is a different take on the western genre (this isn't your father's western), Fassbender plays the typical nomad, but Smit-McPhee plays a fish out of water. He truly does not belong in the west and the movie shows us multiple times where he is flat out helpless.

And yes, there is a shoot-out at the end of the movie (can't be a western without a final showdown), but it is the events leading up to this moment that makes the movie pleasurable. Simple western scenarios are spun in a different manner because the characters in said situations aren't made for the brutal western lifestyle.

In an era of film where westerns have become a thing of the past (though they seem to be making a comeback), Slow West is one of the better westerns to come along in quite a long time. And since the movie is only 84 minutes long, the movie is short and sweet and gets to the point very quickly. There is not much to dislike here, especially the beauty of the New Zealand countryside.

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