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(Review originally written at 27 March 2005)

"Open Range" is a slow western with little to no story. Yet the movie knows how to keep your attention thanks to the wonderful performances by the cast.

Robert Duvall really is wonderful and even for the most hardened Kevin Costner hater this movie is watchable. Costner pulls of surprisingly well and is believable in his role. Michael Gambon is the perfect rotten villain and Diego Luna truly is a name for the future. The young Mexican actor already was in big movies like "Frida", "The Terminal" and the leading man in "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights". Sad thing is that the deceased Michael Jeter makes his last movie appearance in this movie. He was a great actor that will be truly missed.

Visually this is a beautiful movie and it has a great atmosphere that also in a way is original compared to other western movies. Some of the cinematography however is 'pointless' (when you've see the movie, you know what I mean, I hope.). James Muro is a beginning cinematographer that normally works as camera and/or steadicam operator on big Hollywood hits. A name to look out for in the future? Perhaps...

Michael Kamen delivers a worthy, one of his last musical scores.

The stereotypical shootout at the ending was truly wow! It's easily one of the best movie shootouts I've seen in the last couple of years. It also might very well be the most realistic western shootout ever made. The guns, the sounds, the blood! Truly impressive and memorable.

The movie has all the typical western clich├ęs present but the way it all is handled is truly original and professional and that all combined with the acting is what makes "Open Range" a very good and memorable 'modern' western.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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