Dead Man is not your typical western, in fact the film is made in a concious effort to break the old goodies n' baddies heroic formaula. This film shows a lot of things about the West that your average Eastwood or Wayne film fails to show; the sloppy muddy streets, the dark begginings of industrialization, skilless shooting etc etc.
The films anti-hero is William Blake, a harmless accountant who falls victim to his situation. As we follow him in his strange journey through the other side of early-Western culture, the film turns into more of a film noir than an adventure story.
Johnny Depp is not at his strongest here, but the film is so sureal and enchanting that a strong performance wasn't required. Gary Farmer is fantastic, and the most likable character.
This film shocked and enthralled me, and although, unlike some other viewers, I cant relate to the spirirtual side of the film, this film was very much on my wavelength.
You could look very deeply into a great number of comments, situations and episodes, but I will leave that to you.
This film changed my perceptions of the Wild West for good, and in my mind stands alongside the classic anti western 'Unforgiven', and if you liked the dark surreal mood try 'U turn', but there is very little I can compare this film to. Give it a try, as you can see from the other reviews, many people find it fantastic.