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Teen Movie Critic



Roger Davidson

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Clint Eastwood returned to the Western genre in style, with this brilliant anti-violent look at the brutal lives of cowboys, lawmen and gunslingers, and the price they have to pay for such violence. It follows the last killing job of a one-time viscous killer (Eastwood), who simply wants to retire and get some much-needed money for his family and farm. He also wishes that he could repent for his brutal past, as does his friend and fellow traveler (Morgan Freeman). In the meantime, Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett (Gene Hackman) is making sure nobody attempts to collect the reward Eastwood is after, mainly because it ruins his vision of law and order in his town. He takes drastic and bloody steps in keeping the bounty hunters from attempting to collect their rewards, which leads to the climactic showdown between Eastwood and Hackman.

A dark, bleak western that truly explains the meaning of "You live by the gun, you die by the gun!". Eastwood, Freeman and especially Hackman give towering performances, as men who don't wish for violence, but get thrust into bloody conflicts none the less. I find it strange how these days, few films that show what violence really does to people (for those who cause it and those who are victims of it) are being made, while gory, cartoonish fare like The Rock, Under Siege and Escape From LA are still being made by the dozen each year. Still, Unforgiven is a more interesting substitute for such idiotic action fare, and a perfect throwback to the get-down-and-dirty style of Peckinpah westerns.

My Rating = Four Stars

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