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Lone Star (1999)

Chris Cooper , Matthew Mcconaughey , John Sayles  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.97
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Product Details

  • Actors: Chris Cooper, Matthew Mcconaughey, Elizabeth Pena
  • Directors: John Sayles
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: December 21, 1999
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00002E20R
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lone Star" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Lone Star (1996) (DVD)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Sayles at His Best January 2, 2000
Format:DVD
This is one of those films where words of praise seem to be almost always inadequate. I think LONE STAR may turn out to be a classic. It is certainly one of the best films Sayles has yet given us. The story is richly textured and wonderfully complex in it's characters, it's social themes and it's who-done-it mystery.
This film covers a potpourri of subjects: racial strife, national identity, interfamily relationships, political corruption and political correctness, among others. That Sayles is able to contain all these tumultuous matters in one film and make them work naturally within the structure of that film is nothing short of miraculuous.
The performances are uniformly excellent, with Chris Cooper and Elizabeth Pena standouts as former high school sweethearts who were torn apart by their parents. The reason for their separation is not what it at first seems to be and it is one of the "kickers" of this movie. Francis McDormand is featured as Cooper's bipolar ex-wife in a wonderful cameo. McConaughey is fine in flashbacks as Cooper's legendary lawman father. Kristofferson is all snake venom as a corrupt and murderous sheriff. Joe Morton is properly reserved as the commander of a local military installation, a man who has worked his way up in a formally structured institution, coming to terms with his estranged father, a former numbers runner and gambler who is now the owner of the only local bar that caters to the Afican American community.
This film is gorgeously shot in Super 35 by Stuart Dryburgh, who has captured the modern American Southwest in a way that few other cinematographers have. You can almost feel the sun on the back of your neck.
The DVD is light on extras but that is compensated for by the Amazon price. Grab this and settle back for an evening of challenging, adult entertainment.
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Wise, Best of the Best January 22, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Lone Star is about a lot of things. It's about a small town sheriff's investigation of a thirty year old murder which may have involved his father, a local hero. It's about his childhood sweetheart, a Latina public school teacher, and her mother, a successful restauranteur who pretends her roots are Spanish rather than Mexican. It's about a black army colonel who is posted to command a closing base near his estranged father's nightclub. It's about his father and his son. It's about a small town on the border between the US and Mexico, and it's about the borderlands between history and legend, between fact and truth, between love and enmity. It's a romance, a mystery, an unblinking portrait of an American town at the end of the twentieth century.
It's possibly the most intelligent commentary on American history I have ever seen or read, and the fact that it's so damned smart doesn't make it one iota less entertaining. John Sayles is a master, and this is his best film yet. The cast, the screenplay, the cinematography, the setting--everything is perfect, and everything combines to make a film one can watch over and over and over again, gleaning something new each time.
If I could make every US citizen watch one movie, this would be it.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful film April 7, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
First I would like to thank John Sayles for his unique style.
A somewhat sleepy Southwest Texas border town provides the backdrop for this most unusual film. There is nothing uncommon about the demographic mix here: Anglo, Hispanic, Mexican, Black, yet Sayles hand creates an unforgettable experience through the use of warts-and-all character development and beautiful insight.
I realize some may have issues with the regional nature of this film but make no mistake, having lived most of my life in the Southwest, I can name actual persons that closely match each character in this film.
Chris Cooper plays the part of Sam Deeds to perfection. Recently divorced, Chris returns to Rio County as its new Sheriff, following in his legendary fathers' footsteps. As Chris states in the film, 'I spent the first 15 years of my life trying to be just like my old man, and the next 15 trying to kill him'. For those who do not have larger-than-life fathers, Cooper's portrail is a direct hit. For those who do, I need not say anything.
Although the plot revolves around the discovery of the remains of long-dead Sheriff Charlie Wade, this film is about conviction and human frailty, not solving a murder. An example of the wisdom of Sayles is when Otis Payne, bar owner, explains to his black-and-white thinking Colonel son Chet Payne, poignantly played by Eddie Robinson that most blacks in Rio County patronize both his bar and the church. And Sayles holds true to these words. With the exception of Charlie Wade's character, each shares strengths and weaknesses, frailty and prejudice, practicality and remorse.
Sam Deeds and Elizabeth Pena as Pilar Cruz fit together wonderfully as high-school sweethearts who are reunited after Sam's divorce.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, realistic, and overlooked February 24, 2006
Format:DVD
kris Kristoferson delivers the performance of his career in the flashbacks-only portrayal of crooked Rio County, TX Sheriff Charlie Wade. When his shot-up corpse is found, 40 years later, Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) must confront his own past and the shadow of his father, the late, legendary Sheriff Buddy Deeds. A lot of still-hot embers are dug up as the modern-day lawman rakes through the ashes of a sordid local past. The plot twists keep coming right up until the end.

Yet, the murder mystery, interesting though it is, is not the great strength of Lone Star. Director John Sayles, a New Yorker, must have has some local Texas assistance because STAR is one of the most accurate slice-of-life films ever. As a resident of a place with nearly the same cultural, ethnic, and linguistic tensions and taboos, I vouch for the keen dialogue, sharp eye for detail, and dead-on accurate portrayals of the people and opinions of the region. The human drama and social issues add as much to LONE STAR as the murder mystery.

By all means get this DVD and prepare to enjoy STAR multiple times!
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