Action / Adventure / Western

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 8136


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December 17, 2011 at 09:59 PM



Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as James Joven
Sam Shepard as James
Stephen Rea as Mackinley
700.82 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 4 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zardoz-13 9 / 10

Simply Stunning from Start to Finish!!!

Mateo Gil's "Blackthorn" ranks as a rugged, entertaining western set in South America that qualifies as a kind of sort a sequel to George Roy Hill's exceptional horse opera "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." This visually stunning oater lensed on location in scenic Bolivia by "The Others" lenser Lucio Godoy should be seen on the biggest screen possibly because the film reeks of grandeur. Not only are the towering mountains awe-inspiring but also the salt flats look terrific. Basically, this western concerns an older but wiser Butch Cassidy after the Sundance Kid has died and their girlfriend Etta Place has left the country. Interestingly, Gil explores our legendary heroes after they have just arrived in Bolivia, with Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau cast as the younger Butch, and then later with Sam Shepard playing the older Butch. Although the actors bear little resemblance to Paul Newman and Robert Redford, the narrative—relying less on humor—channels the classic western. No, "Blackthorn" isn't as good as the brilliant "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," but it makes a worthy companion piece. As the film opens, our venerable outlaw (Sam Shepard of "Country") is writing a letter to Etta Place (lovely Dominique McElligott of AMC's "Hell on Wheels") about his plans to leave Bolivia and return to America to live with his son. The flashbacks with the younger Butch (Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau of "Black Hawk Down") show our heroes escaping the wrath of a Pinkerton agent, Mackinley (Stephen Rea of "The Crying Game"), and his posse. "Endless Night" scenarist Miguel Barros doesn't let the action bog down, and director Mateo Gil keep things suspenseful and surprising as our protagonist is sidetracked on his journey home when he crosses trails with a Madrid-born bandit Eduardo Apodaca (Eduardo Noriega of "Sweetwater") and finds himself riding the owlhoot trail once again. The settings are atmospheric, and the time period is the late 1920s. Everybody believes that Butch has died, including the wily former Pinkerton agent McKinley, when our hero ties his fortune to Eduardo. Like "Butch Cassidy," "Blackthorn" takes place in some breathtaking scenery in craggy mountainsides and sprawling deserts. Posses of one kind or another assemble to pursue these two, and Butch—who calls himself James—takes a shine to Eduardo and they find themselves struggling to pursue those posses. Like the posse in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," the posses in "Blackthorn" don't know when to quit and they are determined to bring back our heroes dead or alive. Sam Shepard delivers a sympathetic performance of a fading outlaw who has to resume his own ways. In the flashback sequences, Pádraic Delaney makes a good Sundance. Unfortunately, he isn't as flamboyant as Robert Redford, but the two actors have enough charisma to make them memorable. Miraculously, they manage to escape the authorities, but Sundance catches a bullet that won't go away as the flee for parts unknown and eventually Butch must do the unthinkable to put him out of his misery. Most westerns that occur in the 20th century rarely encapsulate the wild spirit of the old West, but "Blackthorn" does, and anybody who craves a good shoot'em up will treasure this tale.

Reviewed by dexton-84908 8 / 10

Excellent Western **no spoilers here**

Wow, what a good film. And one I'd never heard of - lucky somebody mentioned it and I was intrigued...

Basically, very classy western but tinged with an odd quirky loneliness throughout. The casting of brilliant Sam Shepard and Eduardo Noriega is perfect. Stephen Rea is wonderful in this too.

For me, it's a kind of similar feel to the Coen version of True Grit but not quite as strong a film. In it's own right though this is great too.

Highly recommended

Reviewed by charlywiles 8 / 10

Sam Shepard - a tremendous talent who will be missed

This Spanish/South American western is not only one of the most underrated films in the genre, but one of the most overlooked films of the last several years. It boasts a compelling story, a fine script, an excellent cast, stunning photography of some magnificent Bolivian locations and a terrific performance from Sam Shepard as Butch Cassidy (alias James Blackthorn). This may well be Shepard's finest screen work in a stellar career. Stephen Rea as Blackthorn's (Shepard's) ancient nemesis and pursuer (their relationship recalls Victor Hugo's Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert) and Eduardo Noriega as the devilishly charming Spanish thief provide wonderful support. The action is well-handled and the flashback scenes of a young Butch, Sundance and Etta Place perfectly underscore the story rather than sidetrack it as flashback sequences so often do. The picture is different in tone - more serious and downbeat - than the classic "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), but it is still a worthy companion piece to that film - largely due to Shepard's expert characterization and Mateo Gil's sure-handed direction. In a genre that has often been depicted as all but dead (but still lives on splendidly thank you), this is a more than worthy entry.

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