A fantastic film in all respects, but most especially considering the language. The script, based on the amazing novel by Daniel Woodrell ("Woe to Live On"), tries to reproduce some of the speech patterns and rhythms of the real nineteenth century. When you add to this authentic clothing and weapons, a rattling good yarn (it ends with the atrocities committed by Quantrill's Raiders at Lawrence, Kansas), and some excellent acting, this is a must-see film. Lee manages to capture what looks, sounds and feels like an authentic slice of nineteenth century life. Especially good are the scenes where the raiders read out some letters captured from the Yankees. Expecting intelligence, instead they get a look at the humanity of their opponents. Or the scene with Jake and his friend talking about how they will identify Jake's body should he die ("That there is nubbin-fingered Jake"), and the scene where Jake gets married, partly against his will, and the scene where Jeffery Wright, a slave, explains why he is fighting alongside Jake and the others.
As to the reviewer who says there are no sub-titles, please note that his comments apply to the old Universal DVD. The new Criterion blu-ray not only is a director's cut (148 minutes as opposed to 138 minutes theatrical version), it also includes English sub-titles.
The only thing I would say is, the film is quite realistically violent. It isn't dwelt upon, and there are no slo-mo leaps or bullet hits, but it is violent. One final word, the the reviewer who compared it unfavourably to "Black Hawk Down": this is not a war movie, it's a movie about war. Big difference. Remember too, it takes place in the 1860s. "The past is another country; they do things differently there."