A Los Angeles horse trainer thinks his ranch is home to a UFO. Splendid SF parable, playing with all sorts from Hollywood lives to obsession with spectacle and fame via an M Night Shyamalan-ish genre pastiche. Loads to appreciate, both on first and (especially) repeated viewings. Recommended.
1906. A farmer finds a wounded man and takes him in, hiding him from the team that’s hunting him. Excellent early 20th century Western, which manages to do a lot with modest resources and clear intent. Plenty to appreciate, not least Tim Blake Nelson in the lead.
A captured bank robber is forced to retrieve a kidnapped woman for a gang boss. A post-apocalyptic samurai/western hybrid, using a Mad Max/Escape from New York structure for all kinds of digressions. It doesn’t all work (the script is the culprit here), but it looks great in a neon Terry Gilliam kinda way, and everyone seems to be having fun.
On a world where male thoughts are visualised, a young man helps a stranded female astronaut. Ham-fisted loose adaptation of Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go. OK performances help, but a cut-and-shut script and dangling subplots evidence the movie’s troubled production.
A remote village is beset by a series of unexplained deaths. Part Brazilian political allegory, part weird western, part body-count horror with SF touches, Bacarau is tremendous throughout, looks great, makes you think, and has Udo Kier on fine form. Recommended.
An itinerant Civil War veteran volunteers to take an orphaned child to distant family. Handsome, straightforward, elegiac and allegorical Western. Light on story, perhaps, but does what it needs to do at its own pace. Recommended.
After a train heist goes unexpectedly awry, outlaws find themselves pitched against supernatural forces. Fun little Western/horror hybrid that’s basically From Dusk Till Dawn with witches and horses. A strong cast of character actors helps, as does interesting detail and a couple of weird gross-out moments.
A remote homestead may be plagued by a demon. Good-looking and well-played psychological horror, making effective use of location shooting and its Western genre context. Tricksiness with time and character motivations limit its impact, but there’s more than enough here to want more from writer and director.
The arrival of a transferred deputy to a remote Australian community coincides with the escape of a vengeful murderer. While the plot elements don’t quite work, this is nevertheless a well-staged and good-looking contemporary Western/horror hybrid, with a couple of mythic touches and a great villain.
A black bounty hunter is promised a marshal’s badge if he can bring in a notorious criminal. Based on a true story, this Western has good intentions but is a scrappy beast. Some good performances and the presence of solid character actors like Ron Perlman and Frank Grillo are undermined by poor writing and direction, and under-par cinematography.