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One of the most acclaimed movies of the 90's! The more a lawman probes into a long-ago murder, the more he uncovers layers of family and racial strife that divide this Texas border town.Year: 1996 Director: John Sayles Starring: Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Pena.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought it was okay. It's been a few weeks since I watched it and I don't remember much about it now, so I guess that's all there is to be said.Published 8 days ago by Waymac
This is a great movie. Too bad that it's not all that well known. Both the story and the acting are 10's in my book. Read morePublished 15 days ago by TSC
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Oh, by the way, did I mention excellent. This is a sleeper of a movie and, in my never to be humble opinion, would have been an award winner had it... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Richard Small
Excellent on all levels, Great cast and superb storytelling!Published 2 months ago by Paul L. Jones Jr.
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