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Open Range
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Reviewed on 2003-08-26
Received[3.5]  out of 4 stars
GenreDrama / Western
Just when I thought they couldn't get any better than "Seabiscuit" and "Pirates of the Caribbean", along comes a real gem. This is truly a rich, authentic Western story full of engaging drama and suspense. Kevin Costner directs and stars in this film. Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, Michael Jeter, Diego Luna, James Russo, and Abraham Benrubi also star in Touchstone Pictures' "Open Range". Charlie Waite (Costner), Boss Spearman (Duvall), Mose Harrison (Abraham Benrubi) and "Button" (Diego Luna) are 4 men trying to escape their pasts. And the one place where a man can be free is on the open range, driving cattle in a land where nature makes the only laws.

The early part of the film is so well filmed, you can feel what it is like on the range, enjoying a campfire, feeling a drenching rain, repairing a wagon bogged down in the mud. The music and cinematography is superb. Cowboys try to avoid violence but they run into a frontier town that rules through fear and tyranny that changes their lives and force them into action. The cattle lords frown upon free range grazing. Amidst this turmoil, life suddenly takes an unexpected turn for loner Charley (Costner) when he meets Sue Barlow (Annette Bening), a woman who captures both his heart and soul. Conflict develops with an evil, ruthless rancher (Michael Gambon) who controls the town of Harmonville, making the laws and rules of injustice, and enforcing them with brute force. The four men feel compelled to step up and confront to fight this injustice. The action that follows is unpredictable and unique. You simply have to see one of the greatest westerns ever made.

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