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4.1 out of 5 stars99
4.1 out of 5 stars
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I didn't have high expectations, with yet another straight to DVD Western coming along. The cast of eminently watchable actors (Ed Harris, Jason Isaac) persuaded me though, and I'm glad I was. This is a thoroughly surprising movie, never a pure Western and often pushing genre boundaries. But after a slow start, it really works, thanks in large part to an intermittently witty script and of course the performances.
January Jones plays a woman who endures a tragic loss, which tips her over the edge to drastic action against the source of her tragedy - the self proclaimed Prophet Josiah, played by Jason Isaacs. His delusional, dangerous preacher is also responsible for another couple of murders, which brings an eccentric (putting it mildly) sheriff (Ed Harris) to come investigating. Harris is great value, genuinely unnerving in his eccentricity, skirting the line of cartoonishness while never going over it, and never letting it blunt the characters hard edge. You feel some sympathy when Isaacs tells him `You're a really queer man', to which the sheriff replies "Unusual. I prefer unusual.". However for me it is Jason Isaacs who steals the show with his portrayal of a character who could easily have been a wafer thin characterization, but becomes fully fleshed out and endlessly watchable in Isaacs hands. All of these means that the core of the movie - January Jones revenge driven widow, taking matters into her own hands, never quite draws us in as it should - we are more voyeurs to her story than engaged in understanding or debating her motives and actions.
Beyond the characters, the cinematography belies its straight to DVD origins - as it should, with Brad Shield on lensing duties (Moulin Rouge, Star Wars Episode 2, The Avengers). The scenery in New Mexico is immaculately shot, and the direction by Logan Miller although slow to start, works well in creating a movie with its own distinctive hotch potch of genre styles.
All in all, I liked this - nothing new in the story, but it's executed well (no pun intended) and Harris and Isaacs make it a cult classic in my book - not up there with Open Range or Seraphim Falls [Blu-ray], but a solid 6/10.
p.s. - this has also been marketed under the title "Sweet Vengeance" in the UK.
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on 9 June 2013
Just watched ' Sweet Vengeance ' and loved it , this movie was a blind buy for me as I had not heard of it until I seen it for sale here on Amazon , it was the cast and the story that really attracted me to it ,and also the fact that I love a good western , Ed Harris and Jason Issacs are always good value for money ,and they do not disappoint in this film ,they both give the stand-out performances - one as a Mad Preacher type, and the other as an Eccentric Sheriff type, the movie was shot in Santa Fe ,and the sprawling scenery is truly stunning

The story goes a bit like this ,Issac's ,Jones and Harris's characters all clash when some people go missing on land owned by Issac's ' Joshia ' The Prophets character ,Harris is a sheriff who has been trailing two men for miles,but they suddenly disappear after they go onto Joshias land ,Jone's husband has disappeared near that land too ,so sheriff and wife in there own ways are trying to find out exactly what has happened to them ,the movie gets quite violent in places as the pieces of the puzzle starts to get put together ,and some revenge gets dished out to those who deserve it

I really loved this western ,its well acted,well shot ,and well produced , and if you are a western fan then I am sure you will not be disappointed ,cos it has all the ingredients of a good western = great bad guy ,great good guys ,and great shootings ,it also has some great humour too-mostly provided by Ed Harris's character

The DvD only has one extra ,and thats a ' The Making Off 'featurette / about 25mins long ,where all the main cast talk about the film
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on 21 March 2014
Ed Harris, as usual is superb in this interesting revenge western, the cinematography is good and the villain is a menacing psycho with a god complex, some scenes stick in the mind - like Harris drinking wine and riling up his host, just a little unbelievable towards the end - but well worth watching for western fans.
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on 28 September 2014
Its rare these days to find a new film as good as this without knowing anything about it before hand, easily the best western i've seen in many years its a shame they don't make more of them instead of all theses (now generic)kiddy superhero films.

The 3 leads are all amazing(yes even January Jones) stunningly shot and very well written.

highly recommended from me.
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Almost as deft and dazzling as Reservoir Dogs, this unrepentant western blends a wickedly witty script with three brilliant performances from the key characters. All the traditional elements of an old-style western are present and correct: the evil preacher out to swindle a young couple; the corrupt local officials; the wise old lawman sent to untangle matters, all of which inevitably adds up to a rising body count of slaughtered bad guys and bystanders. But there’s a twist to every trope, a kicker to every cliché, from the opening monologue delivered by the best villain since Hannibal Lecter, to Ed Harris’ utterly idiosyncratic yet measured and menacing sheriff.

You could sum up the story in less time than it’d take to type it, but the action doesn’t sag or flag for captivating 90 minutes. The humour runs as black as blood in moonlight; the filming is as jaw-droppingly gorgeous as any National Geographic documentary. The action scenes deliver sudden, visceral violence while the script is expertly explicit both in its use of language and its mastery of Anglo-Saxon expletives. (Some times it is both big and clever to swear…) The final showdown is almost comic but completely compelling – and the ultimate ending is poignant and perfectly fitting.

In short, a high-class act. Written and directed by the Miller brothers – give them a decent budget and people will soon be saying they’re the next Coen brothers.
8/10
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on 10 September 2014
The cast all do their jobs really well Ed Harris playing the intelligent but a little crazy sheriff tracking down 2 Brothers who the Governor wants returned,January Jones as the wife whose husband & dog are removed from her life by Jason Isaacs Preacher who is a psycho God hearing self proclaimed Prophet & preacher (cult leader) who is a multiple murderer who has a small group of men working for him on his sheep ranch.
I liked this movie because it deals with Vengeance in the cold calculated but abrupt way it is often taken which many movies will drag out to beyond boring before anything happens & really is on a par with Unforgiven rather than Carrie etc.
The most critical comment on here says it gets unbelievable to the end but I would ignore that as she is not a gun slinger but uses stealth & trickery to kill her prey which I find not unbelievable in the least.
The film is not a "Girl Power" movie which would be a disservice to it but rather a story of what happens when you misjudge someone & push them too far.
Well worth a buy & indeed I now have but also you can see it on Amazon Prime.
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Remarkable and off beat western with commanding performances from Jason Isaacs (yet again!), Ed Harris and January Jones.
The film is written and directed by the Miller brothers---is this the emergence of another pair of Coen-like siblings who are going to storm independent film making?

The makings are there---a tale of female revenge on the men who abused her, her land and her husband but she is more than capable and doesn't need to be taught how to do it a la 'Hannie Caulder'.
A priest intent on sexually enslaving our heroine and showing signs of delusional power and willing to kill anybody that blocks his agenda.
A manic sheriff who uses forensics to gain evidence to find the perpetrators of crimes that he is investigating.

It's an interesting mix with plenty of black humour and violence.One scene is particularly nasty but it is laced with the brothers brand of mirth which for me gave the scene some balance.
Interestingly the Miller brothers each have a small but pivotal cameo early in the film that sets the scene for what is to come.

The last scene in the film is a shootout at a corral but this is not the OK masterpiece of other iconic westerns---- the animals are sheep. Different to say the least.
I enjoy westerns and can recommend this delight but it has some unusual elements which some purists may find disappointing.
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on 24 January 2014
The film starts out with three subplots. Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs) has lead of group of followers from Utah to New Mexico. He preaches righteousness, has multiple women share his bed, and has no problem killing. He also raises sheep.

A young couple who are farmers have lands that are adjacent to that of Josiah. The sheep come over and graze to the dismay of Miguel (Eduardo Noriega) and Sarah (January Jones of "Mad Men").

The third subplot involves Sheriff Cornelius Jackson (Ed Harris) who has just arrived in town. He is brutish and unorthodox, but knows a guilty man when he sees one. He later find out he hung Sarah's father.

The preacher is in the role of the antagonist as the film turns into a "I Spit on Your Sweetwater."

It was not your ordinary western, but it was one that held my interest even with the formulaic script and ending.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, rape (off screen) nudity (January Jones, Jiji Hise, Jenny Gabrielle-full frontal)
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on 2 February 2014
It's late 19th century in the arid desert of New Mexico. Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs) declares himself a deeply religious man, a servant of God, but when he comes across two brothers, Levi and Jacob (Noah & Logan Miller) on his 'Holy Land', sheltering from the parching sun under what little shade there is from a dead tree, cooking an animal they caught on the land, he accuses them of trespassing and stealing - and he sends them on their way, to Heaven or Hell. Merciless, covetous, and hypocritical, Prophet Josiah didn't care to listen to the men's explanations about their miserable mishaps on the hard journey to their waiting and wealthy family in Santa Fe. Prophet Josiah doesn't care either for the Hispanic farmer (Eduardo Noriega) with his beautiful but deceivingly resourceful wife, Sarah Ramírez (January Jones) and cared much less about their dog. But he starts to care when a white-haired stranger, an odd kind of man who seems to fear nothing and no one, comes to town. The stranger declares himself the new town Sheriff (Ed Harris) and says he's looking for two men travelling that way, relatives of the state Governor.

The above is the correct story and contains no spoilers.

Sweetwater (2013) is possibly one of the best westerns that I have ever seen. It ticks lots of boxes, to coin a cliché. Not only is it a western (thankfully devoid for once of whooping Indians and sleazy carpetbaggers) but it's also a detective thriller, a revenge thriller, and the sort of movie that even non-lovers of westerns might like. There's a wonderful atmosphere of menace and confrontation as Prophet Josiah and Sheriff Jackson become enemies, not to mention Sarah getting caught up in it all in a big way. It's also darkly funny, with Sheriff Jackson doing the most outrageous things. Don't imagine it's a comedy though or some kind of family movie. It's rated 15 and there are scenes of a sexual nature, nudity, some very strong language, and graphic violence.

Handsome Ed Harris is perfect in the role as the odd stranger and it's a long time since I've seen him with that much hair on his head. I didn't recognise him at first and for some reason he managed to remind me of rascally Lee Marvin in Paint Your Wagon (1969). You might recognise the equally handsome Eduardo Noriega who recently had a major role as a Mexican drug lord in The Last Stand (2013) with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

VJ - Movies and Books World
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Great Western a very stylish film January jones stars as a wife who's husband was killed by Jason Isaacs religious glan she seeks to find out the truth ed Harris plays a marshall who comes to town to investigate the disperance of family members and both his and January's paths collide on the same mission to find kill and get sweet vengeance on those who killed they're loved ones. This is one of the better modern westerns out there it has a modern twist but stayed loyal to the original westerns. The film has many characters that will be remembered for a long time highly recommended
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