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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 April 2004
Well, what a pleasant suprise. I rented this DVD purely on reading reviews. For once, the critics got it right. Infact, some have drastically undersold this gem of a movie. You may know the story; two old friends driving cattle become entagled in small town injustice and bullying.
Ok, it aint original is it? Well, watch the movie and you will feel like this is the first time you have ever seen this plot. It feels so fresh and original. The vast majority of the credit should be given to Kevin Costner himself. On the directing side, he manages to use subtlty and reality in perfect combination. He uses the terrific landscapes spectacularly and allows the actors to instill a genuine sense of belonging to the area. The climactic gunfight is as thrilling as it is realistic. Five shots can be fired, one may hit the target (and that goes for good and bad guys).
Performance wise, Michael Gambon is wonderfully nasty in what is essentially a cameo appearance. Annette Benning plays her role neatly, sticking to the woman-with-morals line. But the two leads, Duvall and Costner, ARE the film. Duvall can do no wrong when playing the older, wiser friend. Here he adds a menace and power little seen before. Costner is breathtaking. The opportunities to glam-up his tough cowboy role are completely avoided in favour of a complex, shy and tortured man. A man who has fallen in love sits effortlessly with a gunslinger trying to forget his violent history.
Open Range should really have found its way to Oscar night. Costner has demonstrated that Dances with Wolves was no fluke. In my humble opinion, this film is better. It is a simple narrative, played honestly...and is all the better without any showey "oscar-look-at-me" moments.
One added feature that shows why it turned out so well; On the DVD, there is an extra feature called B-Roll. This is behind the scenes video. Not one of the crappy makings of, just unedited video. Look at the pure joy in Costners face as he directs. There's a man enjoying being one of the best in the business.
A triumph!
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on 16 August 2016
Traditional cowboy movie with a happy ending.
If you have a decent Home Cinema system then PLEASE turn up the volume, these could be the most realistic gunshots you will have heard to date. Sorry but Soundbars will disappoint, it does need a proper AV setup. I've watched it three times now and still cannot help myself grinning from ear to ear. Another bargain!
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on 7 April 2017
arrived on time no damage film quality
what you expect on a blu.ray film highly
recommend at that price when it came
my blu.ray collection hit the 505total
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on 9 April 2017
I so enjoyed this western movie,a tale ending up a love story well acted,

and a great shootout at the end
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on 18 May 2017
This is one of the best Westerns ever made and so I was excited to get a blu ray copy of it. Trouble is it doesn't play on my player and I have a very expensive, just come out, top of the range Sony 4k UHD player as well so I am absolutely gutted. If I wasn't so busy I would have followed this up with a demand for a refund. Real shame!
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on 15 June 2017
An excellent film.
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on 10 July 2011
I have now seen three Robert Duvall westerns, Lonesome Dove, Open Range and Broken Trail. Duvall plays a similar character but different, in them all, but is thoroughly believable as a tough no nonsense man of the West who merely wishes to be allowed to live according to his strong moral convictions. In Open Range he plays an old hard bitten free grazer, moving his herd across the open range to the annoyance of a large ranch owner who also rules the town through a thuggish marshall.
Kevin Costner plays Duvall's right hand and for most of the time plays well. Where this film is let down, is by the love angle, I presume Kevin wanting to appear the great lover as well as the tough guy, and the end is protracted and somewhat boring as Kevin cosies up with the most eligible woman in town.
However, this is a good western when compared to say many John Wayne movies. It is dark, the violence is sharp with a sense of natural justice. The gun play is mostly believable, but Kevin appears to have a ten shot revolver. The filming in Wyoming is stunning, moody skies rather than the blue of Texas and green everywhere rather than desert scrub. A pity that a five star movie if left to Duvall becomes a four star movie due to Kevin's extraordinary ego, but I like it a lot.
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'Charley Waite' (Kevin Costner) rides with 'Boss Spearman' (Robert Duvall) they're Cattle-Drovers and have been working together for the past 10 years,they ride with 'Mose' (Abraham Benrubi) and 'Button' (Diego Luna)
In years gone by 'Charley' was a notable gun-fighter.
After a heavy Storm they make temporary camp upon open-range, needing to get a few supply's 'Mose' rides back to the town they'd passed a short
while back, 'Harmonville' it should take a day to get there and a day to get back to camp, when he fails to return 'Boss' and 'Charley' go to find him.
In town they find he's been beaten and is, under lock and key, and injured in 'Sheriff Poole's' (James Russo) Jail.
They are given quite an insight into the state of play in town, much of the surrounding land along with the town and the Sheriff are owned by Rancher
'Denton Baxter' (Michael Gambon) who has made it clear 'Free Grazing' isn't acceptable in this territory, it was 'Baxter's' thugs that ganged up upon 'Mose'
'Baxter' has ordered his 'riders' to scatter 'Boss' and 'Charley's' cattle, four of them are spotted by the four 'Charley' and 'Boss' ride out to warn them
off, whilst away more of 'Baxter's' thugs ride into the camp killing 'Mose' and leaving 'Button' for dead.
'Button' will have to be taken to 'Doc Barlows' for treatment, he;s away treating the four that 'Charley' and 'Boss' had warned off the night before so his sister 'Sue' (Annette Bening) does what she can.
'Boss' and 'Charley' have some business to take care of, revenge is very much on their mind, a showdown inevitable, 'Charley's old-skills will be put to the test.
This is a Top-Drawer Western which includes a spectacular shoot-out.........great performances from all the movies cast, with 'Kevin Costner' equalling his best performances of years gone by.............shouldn't be missed if you are a Western-Fan.
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on 29 October 2015
Open Range is a very underestimated but hugely compelling ride into the rather Unknown World of "Free Grazers".

One of the best performances of Duvall I have seen, and with Costner, you get what's on the tin.

An unlikely troop of a few hands with a lad in tow and cattle, find themselves passing through A land that's owned supposedly by Baxter (Michael Gambon) and his cronies, Including the arrogant Sheriff Poole. Superbly written, and with majestic Scenery, death comes on swift wings those who oppose Baxter's rule. For me, its an emotional ride, as Costner, eaten up by past experiences has nightmares which make him very unbalanced.

Then along comes a woman, who's the Doctors Sister (Annette Bening), who looks after the wounds they got from Baxters Stooges.
It doest take to long for Costner to take a liking to her, But as you will see, a possible romance is mostly off the table.

The depth of humanity, shown by the town & just four Cattle hurdlers, off set by the thuggery of Baxters hired guns, makes this an unmissable film.
Dont forget to see them both go and buy expensive candy and Havana Cigars to enjoy, before they may, meet their maker sooner than later.
Extremely realistic Town & Western gear, and store items, shows a lot of time had been taken in researching the Era.

"Now then boys time for breakfast"......"Chloroform"... But thats another story, go get it!!, (needs a good home theatre 5.1 system, some DVD copies are known to be rather muted, hence you may need to increase sound settings)....
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For those viewers who fondly remember, and miss, Robert Duvall's role as Augustus McCrae in the 1989 TV miniseries LONESOME DOVE, take heart. Duvall is back in the saddle again as "Boss" Spearman in OPEN RANGE. It's been way too long.
The lead role in this western actually belongs to Kevin Costner, who plays Spearman's trail partner and employee, Charlie Waite. Boss is a cattleman that practices free-range grazing, i.e. driving his herd from place to place, only staying long enough for the animals to deplete the available food supply. But it's 1882, ranchers are beginning to fence in the West, and freegrazers are an endangered species. So, its no surprise when Charlie and Boss are ordered to take their beeves and get out of Dodge, so to speak, by big time rancher Baxter (Michael Gambon), who also owns the local town and its sheriff. Waite and Spearman are soon backed into a corner when the latter's two other hired hands, Mose (Abraham Benrubi) and Button (Diego Luna), run seriously afoul of Baxter's thugs.
It would be hard to choose between the better performance - Costner or Duvall - both playing characters so strong, self-reliant and silent that neither knows the other's full name. And they've been riding the West together for ten years! Nor does Boss know Charlie's violent history, which included being a Civil War raider, and then a hired gun much like the ones now working for Baxter. When Charlie falls in love with Sue (Annette Bening), the spinster sister of the local sawbones, his guilt over his rough-edged past is a self-imposed handicap that Sue, who sees Waite's inner goodness, must overcome.
Moviegoers accustomed to a steady diet of mindless, FX-laden action thrillers may find the first three-quarters of OPEN RANGE slow going. It's called "character and plot development", an intelligent change of pace. And when the final shoot-out comes, it's perhaps the best ever filmed. While most such western confrontations seem like a choreographed ballet, this one shows them for what they were: relatively short, extremely violent, chaotic, and lacking in fancy gunplay and sharpshooting finesse.
Big Screen westerns are such a rarity nowadays that it's hard to compare this one with any other in recent memory. Though perhaps not as memorable as DANCES WITH WOLVES, this Old West morality play is certainly the best since UNFORGIVEN. Admittedly, we've seen similar plots before: the small homesteader/Big Ranching feud in the classic SHANE, and Big Mining vs. the small prospector in PALE RIDER, Clint Eastwood's transparent re-scripting of the former. However, the acting, cinematography and costuming of OPEN RANGE are excellent. Duvall surely deserved a Best Supporting Actor nomination, and the production as a whole merited a Best Picture nod. My only complaint lies with the editing, which left in one too many leave-takings between Charlie and Sue, the last being completely superfluous. That said, however, this is a five-star tribute to loyalty, rugged individualism, integrity, and simply doing what's right. I think, sometimes, that Hollywood has forgotten what those qualities are all about.
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