In 2017, Scott Cooper brought us one of the most realistic Western films I have ever seen in Hostiles. It has a stellar cast and a driven plot that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.
In 1892 New Mexico territory, US Calvary Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale) is given one final mission directly from President Harrison before his retirement by his colonel. He is ordered to bring Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) to his tribal lands in Montana. At first, Blocker refuses as he and the Chief were once enemies. After his pension is threatened, he acquiesces and takes a small group of soldiers to escort the Chief and his family to Montana.
Along the way, they meet a pioneer woman named Rosalee Quaid (Rosamund Pike) whose whole family was murdered by an Apache war party. They invite her to go along the journey where they encounter terrifying hunters, Army deserters, and more. As they travel, Blocker and the Chief learn about each other.
Hostiles brings to life the brutality of the West. Even more realistic Western films like The Searchers still glamorize parts of it. Cooper constructs a brutal reality where dangers lurk not only from the unknown, but the known. It is one of the most well-crafted movies. I am not familiar with Cooper’s other work, but this is a game-changer for his career.
Bale, Studi, and Pike’s performances in this film are incredible. I have seen all three of them in other performances, but this one film stands out. As I watch, I often wonder why Christian Bale was ever passed over for the role of Batman.
I appreciated how this film approached the conflict in the West. The film could be about many things, but most importantly, it is about two enemies that have to come to terms that the war is over. It is a powerful statement on honor after the shots have been fired.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Sometimes I envy the finality of death. The certainty. And I have to drive those thoughts away when I’m weak.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Foul Language
Check out the trailer below:
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That is my review. What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and tell me if there’s a movie you’d like me to review. Check out my thoughts on the film Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.