Blackthorn

Blackthorn

Living in Bolivia, Butch Cassidy has changed his name to James Blackthorn and eeks out his days as a rancher. But when he is bushwacked by a young thief, he is forced to return to his former life. Re-imagining the last days of the Western outlaw’s life, Mateo Gil’s engrossing drama is bolstered by Sam Shepard’s performance. Grizzled, weatherbeaten and rasping rather than speaking his lines, it is a stunning turn by the actor. 3.1 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
Blackthorn

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Western
Director Mateo Gil
Cast Stephen Rea, Eduardo Noriega, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sam Shepard
Studio Artificial Eye
Release Date April 2012
Running Time 98 mins
 

Living in Bolivia, Butch Cassidy has changed his name to James Blackthorn and eeks out his days as a rancher. But when he is bushwacked by a young thief, he is forced to return to his former life. Re-imagining the last days of the Western outlaw’s life, Mateo Gil’s engrossing drama is bolstered by Sam Shepard’s performance. Grizzled, weatherbeaten and rasping rather than speaking his lines, it is a stunning turn by the actor.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Ian Nathan

In a sense it is a sequel, with plenty of well-meant references to the original film ... but the gist here is elegiac, unhurried, more Unforgiven, as it mixes Shepard’s tired-gun sermons with horsey clichés and the odd flare of originality.

10/04/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

His version of the elderly Butch Cassidy, a man of a certain probity still attempting to make sense of himself, is among his finest, most nuanced performances. Watching this sombre, elegiac film I was reminded of Shepard's book Motel Chronicles, a beguiling collection of observations, jottings and poems he made while drifting around the west.

15/04/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

... well-made, if ultimately pointless ...

15/04/2012

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Time Out

Guy Lodge

Those who count that immortal final freeze-frame in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ among cinema’s most immaculate endings look away now. This elegiac western from Spanish director Mateo Gil flirts with Hollywood blasphemy by suggesting that Cassidy didn’t die in that Bolivian shootout, hardening instead into a grizzled gringo.

11/04/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

A reliance on a few too many unwieldy flashbacks, plus a weary turn from Shepard means that this film fails to reach more than a limping trot, even at its bloody climax.

12/04/2012

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The Evening Standard

The Evening Standard

Uneven and bitty with some performances distinctly better than others. But a suitably weathered-looking Shepard holds the scene superbly and the many close-ups of him vie with the Bolivian landscape in eloquence.

13/04/2012

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The Financial Times

Antonia Quirke

It’s a Western, sure – with a quite typical genre plot about stolen booty, border-guards and fortune hunters – and yet it feels as unique as the way the ageing Shepard’s eyes appear weirdly independent of the rest of him. He’s a bird of prey gazing through the holes in a crumbling wall.

12/04/2012

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The Guardian

Andrew Pulver

Sam Shepard, seemingly hewn in granite, is perfect for the role as the one-time bankrobber holed up in the South American wilds and writing letters to the child he has never seen. But he is not well served by the stodgy, near-inert writing and direction on display here.

12/04/2012

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

Showing us Cassidy as an old rancher (calling himself Blackthorn) who’s drawn back into action, it has a perfect actor for this role, a grizzled Sam Shepard, but its attempt to be grandly elegiac is a dry exercise. There are lots of scenes in which weary characters trudge doggedly through barren terrain — and the film itself plods along in much the same fashion.

15/04/2012

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