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Seraphim Falls

175 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Liam Neeson (Batman Begins, Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace) and Pierce Brosnan (Bond movies, The Thomas Crown Affair) star in this epic chase and primal battle set in the breathtaking landscape of the West. The civil war has ended but Colonel Morsman Carver (Neeson) is on one final mission: to kill Gideon (Brosnan) no matter what it takes. Launched by a gunshot and propelled by rage, the relentless pursuit takes them both far from the comforts and codes of civilization, into the bloodiest recesses of their own souls. Also starring Academy Award(r) winner Anjelica Huston (The Royal Tenenbaums, Daddy Day Care) and Angie Harmon (Glass House: The Good Mother, TV's Law & Order). It's been five years since the end of the American Civil War. Somewhere deep within the snowy mountains of the American West a lone figure - Gideon (Brosnan) sits in front of a fire, lost in thought. Abruptly, he is pulled out of his reverie by the echo of a Henry rifle and a bullet puffing into the s

A great-looking, well-acted Western in the old-school tradition, Seraphim Falls is definitely worth a look for fans of the genre. There's nothing really new here (which explains why it played only briefly in theaters), and more than a few critics noted its obvious similarities to Clint Eastwood's classic The Outlaw Josey Wales. Still, you have to admire director and cowriter David Von Ancken (a 10-year TV veteran making his feature debut) for delivering an engrossing post-Civil War revenge story (cowritten with Abby Everett Jacques) that isn't hobbled by its overly familiar plotting. Blessed by the exquisite cinematography of John Toll (whose credits include The Thin Red Line, Almost Famous and The Last Samurai) and bolstered by a lush but unobtrusive score by Harry Gregson-Williams, this prestigious production begins very well indeed, with a wintry manhunt in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada, circa 1868. Former Union captain Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) is being tracked by a seemingly brutal pursuer named Carver (Liam Neeson) whose four-man posse (including veteran character actors Ed Lauter and Michael Wincott) is soon reduced to two.

As the manhunt continues, Brosnan and Neeson make the most of minimal dialogue, and flashbacks give us hints about the tragic event that set this plot in motion. It's a simple, elemental tale of justice in the wilderness, with occasional quirks like a snake-oil vendor (Anjelica Huston) who appears literally out of nowhere, and a top-hatted Indian (Wes Studi) who gives the film a slight, mystical air of mystery. And while a more daring director might have opted for a more powerful visual style, there's something to be said for Von Ancken's straightforward approach, perfectly matched by Toll's breathtaking landscapes, shot on location in Oregon and New Mexico and ranging from raging rivers to sun-baked desert flats. None of this makes Seraphim Falls a particularly exceptional movie, but with a fine cast that also includes such familiar faces as Angie Harmon, Tom Noonan, Xander Berkeley, and Kevin J. O'Connor, there's ample reward in a film that doesn't pretend to be anything more than a respectable entry in its genre. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Anjelica Huston, Michael Wincott, Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Angie Harmon
  • Directors: David Von Ancken
  • Producers: Bruce Davey, David Flynn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2007
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NOIVT0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,807 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Seraphim Falls" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 86 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on May 24, 2007
Format: DVD
Remember when Westerns held nothing back? When the characters were REAL, when the dangers were REAL, when you were pressed to the edge of your seat waiting for the next harrowing moments? "Seraphim Falls" is a movie in this tradition, featuring brilliant acting, great cinematography, and super writing.

Gideon, a former Union captain, has headed out west, alone. The war is three-years gone; he is a wanderer escaping his brutal past. But he is pursued by Carver, a former Confederate general who has a grudge against Gideon. What follows is a chase, of sorts--one man pursuing another through the wilderness, approaching a conclusion that, although predictable, is still strangely satisfying.

Pierce Brosnan, as Gideon, gives his the performance of his career, even topping his previous high in "The Matador." Liam Neeson is engaging as always; you can't take your eyes off him. A super cast, featuring a supporting role from the ever-rivetting Michael Wincott, as well as excellent cameos from other artists, helps keep this movie grounded. The writing is great--dialogue is sparse and never used simply as filler; the violence is real but never gratuitous--and the cinematography is to die for. There's nothing extraordinary here, which is why the film soars--it takes pride in being a Western, in being a revenge story, and doesn't waste time in trying to be anything more. Sure, there are morals to learn from watching this movie, but director/writer David Von Ancken doesn't force them down your throat; he lets you ponder them at your own leasure, when you are finally able to take your eyes away from the screen. "Seraphim Falls" ranks as one of the most engrossing movies I've seen this year; it's easy to watch and hard to forget. To me, that's what makes a great movie.
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Format: DVD
"Seraphim Falls" works very well as a western because of the contrasting lead characters--Col. Carver (Neeson)obsessed with revenge trapped in the past and his own pain while Captain Gideon (Pierce Brosnan)wants nothing more than to escape his past. He isolates himself in the wilderness working as a trapper in post-Civil War America almost as if it's his penance for an act in the past. Gideon was instrumental in a horrible tragedy that killed Carver's family. Carver hunts Gideon like he's nothing more than a wily animal. Gideon plays the part proving that even though he has isolated himself from people, he hasn't forgotten or lost the small remains of his soul. Gideon rediscovers the value of life--any life even someone else who hates him while Carver discovers that the need for revenge can eat away our reason for living.

"Seraphim Falls" isn't a perfect film but it is one of the better westerns that has been released in some time (although it can't hold a candle to "Open Range"). Because director/writer David Von Ancken focuses on the demons that drive these men, his film is admirable and entertaining. Both actors working with a great supporting cast do a terrific job of creating their characters with a minimal of dialogue particularly during the first third of the film. While the film falls apart by the conclusion and runs about 15 minutes too long, it's still enjoyable ride through the high country.

The DVD features an interesting and trivia packed commentary track by Pierce Brosnan and writer/director Von Ancken aided by roduction designer Michael Hanan. We get the usual trivia about the difficulties in shooting the film but also bits of history as well that make it informative and fun.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on June 27, 2007
Format: DVD

Written by Abby Everett Jaques and David Von Ancken and directed by Von Ancken, "Seraphim Falls" is a rough, tough, old-fashioned western set on the dusty plains and snow-covered mountains of western Nevada. The plot is little more than a straightforward revenge tale involving Liam Neeson (sans Southern accent) as a sadistic Rebel army colonel who hires a posse to track down the marauding Union officer he believes slaughtered his family in the days following the Civil War. The officer, played with steely-eyed determination by Pierce Brosnan, is a savvy, quick-on-the-draw survivalist who, through sheer ingenuity and skill, stymies and outwits the colonel and his men at every turn.

What "Seraphim Falls" lacks in substance, it more than makes up for in grit and style. For even though there isn't a great deal of depth to the characters, there's much pleasure to be derived from merely watching two actors of the caliber of Neeson and Brosnan squaring off in a grueling game of cat-and-mouse played out in a punishing, unforgiving landscape. Brosnan's character achieves an almost Superman-like quality as he stays one step ahead of his pursuers, devising ever-more elaborate means of ensnaring them in his traps. The movie takes a decidedly metaphysical turn in its closing stretches, with the divine Anjelica Huston, no less, appearing out of nowhere as a desert apparition to set the boys straight on a few eternal verities like redemption and forgiveness. But it is as a simple tale of vengeance and obsession that "Seraphim Falls" most captures our imagination and interest.
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