Skip to main content

Movie Review: "Hostiles" Is A Compelling Drama of Survival

Starring Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi,
Adam Beach, Rory Cochrane, Ben Foster, Timothée Chalamet
Story by Donald E. Stewart
Screenplay by Scott Cooper
Directed by Scott Cooper

Out of Four

Reviewed by Paul & Patrick Gibbs

In 1892, Wesley Quaid and his family are attacked by a Comanche war party who proceed to murder and scalp him and kill his three children, but his wife Rosalie (Rosamund Pike) escapes capture in a thicket.

In Fort Berringer New Mexico, Captain Joseph Blocker Christian Bale) rounds up an escaping
Apache family and bring them to the fort. He is then called to the office of Colonel Abraham Biggs, who informs him of his new orders direct from the President: escort dying Cheyenne war chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi)and his family back to their tribal lands in Montana. He reluctantly accepts despite his history with the chief including the murders of several friends. He chooses a detail to accompany: Private "Frenchie" DeJardin, the youngest, Lieutenant Kidder, fresh from West Point, and old friends Master Sergeant Metz and Corporal Woodson, a Buffalo Soldier.

They begin their journey, but diverge from their path to investigate the charred Quaid house. Inside they find the emotionally scarred Rosalie, who after coaxing from Blocker, agrees to sleep in their camp, although she is initially hostile towards the Cheyenne family because of the previous attack. She buries her family the next day and joins them on their journey. They are soon ambushed by the Comanche party, who kill Frenchie and critically wound Woodson, although he survives. Quaid is again traumatized for a bit, but soon recovers.

The biggest thing Hostiles has going for is its cast, and they are quite a substantial asset. Bale showcases once again what a powerhouse actor he is, and this is one of his most layered and mature performances. Pike is also outstanding in an Oscar-bait role that could easily be overplayed, but Pike and director Scott Cooper resit the urge to ever let it become so. And while Wes Studi isn't given quite as much to do as we hoped, it's great to see this excellent actor given even a small chance to shine, as too often in the years since his breakout performances in The Last of the Mohicans and Geromino: An American Legend, he's been relegated to roles unworthy of his massive talent.

Cooper (Crazy Heart, Black Mass) has crafted a film that moves at a slow pace, developing compelling characters and situations. Unfortunately it has a tendency to meander at times, and the commitment to feeling authentic is both the film's greatest strength and biggest weakness. it's more true to life than a film like The Revenant, but it's not nearly as gripping or satisfying. When all is said and done, Hostiles is a very good film, but there is a feeling that it was only a script draft or two away from being a great one, and that's shame. Still, it's well worth the price of admission, especially for history and genre buffs.

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.



Popular posts from this blog

Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in  Raiders of the Lost Ark ?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth? I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack. Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with  and settled 'flygate:' This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of th

Star Wars VII Movie Poster - Every End Is A New Beginning

Star Wars VII Movie Poster Just saw this Star Wars VII movie poster on Kyle Newman's Facebook fee d.  The poster is by  Lyndon Berresford and Paul Bateman.  I am loving this.  Who do you think the two characters are?  Lando and Leia?  Han and Leia's children? Have you seen other Star Wars VII movie posters?  Let me know. Rob Wainfur @welshslider

Explaining That "Weird" Cut In Poltergeist. Read The Missing Scene

Why Is There A Strange Cut In The 1982 Horror Classic, Poltergeist? If you're a fan of the 1982 Horror classic, Poltergeist then you will be very familiar with that "weird" cut in the movie.  It's 32 minutes and 47 seconds in to the movie and the scene is where Diane is explaining the strange phenomenon that is happening in the kitchen.  First, she shows to Steve a chair scraping across the floor all on its own then she does the same with Carol Anne.  Steve leans up against the kitchen wall and is completely shocked at what just happened.  It's at this point Diane starts to explain the sensation of being pulled and then...A very abrupt cut.  One moment we are listening to Diane and suddenly it cuts to Diane and Steve at their next door neighbours door.  Why the sudden cut?  It's on the VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and even the streaming versions.  Why does this awful and weird cut exist in the movie, Poltergeist?  Watch the clip below to see the cut: Well, the ans