Final statement of Eastwood as orator of the American west. His character like a cross-section of his past protagonists (creating a sense of the concluding chapter of a career-long journey from innocence into the abyss); a man who has committed the worst atrocity & found himself transformed by it; striving to find peace but still pulled back into the brutality & the bloodshed. A meditation on violence without equal.
The ultimate deconstruction of the classic western: stereotypes are thrown off the bridge while dramatic conventions are turned upside down, the nihilism of it all when we try to categorize it in the genre we used to recall so vividly, a forceful, smart and at times melancholic achievement.
My favorite Western of all time. My favorite performance by Eastwood. A groundbreaking script by David Webb Peoples. You can't get any better than this. Well-desrving of its 1992 Academy Award, this film is rife with allusions to classical world cinema, ranging from Kurosawa to John Ford. This film is worth watching for the chemistry between Freeman and Eastwood alone ... I shed tears every time I watch this film...
The best film that Eastwood has ever been involved with, whether as an actor, director, producer, anything. The famed finale is heartbreaking for what it represents - there will be no redemption for William Munny, regardless of how long he managed to stay on the straight-and-narrow.
Eastwood is essentially looking at himself in the mirror. He subverts Western conventions through a somber aesthetic and a skepticism for the violent romanticism that often defines the genre. I honestly want to dislike anything from Eastwood, but his skill as a director is undeniable.
In his last return to the genre that made his name, Eastwood turned Western conventions into a contemplation of regret and the pain of violence, one that balances itself between a thoughtful rebuttal of the genre’s tropes and being a legitimately great film in the American Western canon.
Clint Eastwood's revisionist western is a modern classic of the genre. It dissects the myth of the West with its gritty realism, given weight by excellent performances from an all-star cast. It is a bit slow at times, but still an excellent turning point in Clint Eastwood's career as a director - a stark and lyrical commentary on the very genre that made him.