A young Texan drifter named John Grady Cole who seeks a better life in Mexico, but when he crosses the border, all he finds is adventure and hardships.
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No matter if this film would run for 4 hours or only two - everyminute of it is a waste of time. Pretentious camera movements,the dullest editing since a long. long time, crappy, sugary musicpoured over really lame performances of all the actors involved. Itdoesn't matter if the dialog was lifted word by word from the book -it's supposed to be a movie. I'm having no trouble watching 'slow'movies if there is any kind of actual content tickeling my brain. Notso here where every clichee in the world seems to have found it'splace. The person responsible for this is unfortunately Billy BobThornton, the director. Big, big waste of time (and money).
There is nothing pretty about a film that contains so many positives,whichturn out to be complete wastes of time. Matt Damon, Henry Thomas,PenelopeCruz and Lucas Black are the ingredients for a great film; however, thereisa problem with this recipe, it was made. I knew I should have listened tomyinner voice when it told to stay away from "All The Pretty Horses" becauseit would be the most boring film of the year; my inner voice was correct.There is no reason to for any movie fan to be subjected to an awful film,but I give them a lot of credit to sit through this pointless film andsuffer so painfully."All The Pretty Horses" was a stagnant, one dimensional that went nowherefast. I should have been aware to stay away from this film because itbarelygot a chance to promote itself. This took the cake as being one of theworstfilms in the past year including "The Cell." I had to ask myself how MattDamon could go from success in films such as "Saving Private Ryan," "GoodWill Hunting" and "The Rainmaker" to failures such as "The Talented Mr.Ripley" so quickly with two films back to back. I still think he istalentedbut the bottom line is Matt Damon ended the year on the sour note. Hecouldnot match the success of "The Legend Of Bagger Vance" with "All The PrettyHorses" when it opened.Everybody deserves to have a bad movie once in a while, I just hope thisisthe only one Matt has for awhile. I am huge fan of Matt Damon, but Ididn'tunderstand why he chose to make a movie with a stilted script. With thetalent of Damon, Billy Bob Thornton, Penelope Cruz and Henry Thomas; Iexpected "All The Pretty Horses" to be competent in the presentation ofthefilm. I spent most of the movie wandering why it was made and the purposeofthe journey Damon and Thomas were taking. "All The Pretty Horses" has nocharm and nearly put me to sleep with the uninteresting story it had andcharacters it introduced.I have never been a Billy Bob Thornton fan as an actor or director. Hisdirectorial effort of "All The Pretty Horses" has not changed my opinion.Ihad to force myself to stay awake throughout the movie and keep watchingtosee if it would get better, but it didn't. I kept asking myself what thetrue point of this movie was since it was unclear. There is more chemistrybetween Damon and Thomas than there is between Damon and Cruz. It was amistake to classify this film as a romance because there isnone.It was a bad decision to cut the running length of the film by two hoursbecause it took away from the explanation of the whole movie. "All ThePretty Horses" takes too long to get the point across. When it finallygetsto the point it is too late and 10 minutes later the film isover.Neither the beautiful scenery nor all the pretty horses can save this filmfrom disaster. "All The Pretty Horses" is just one entry I would put in mybook of movies to stay away from under all circumstances. I nominate thisfilm to go in the category of failures alongside "Battlefield Earth" and"The Cell.""All The Pretty Horses" was a complete waste of everybody's time, talentandcreativity. I know this is only going to be an isolated incident becausethecast is too talented to be associated with failures.
Beautifully shot, it was like a travel-log. Two young horsemen from Texasgo down to Mexico to be real cowboys (Matt Damon and Henry Thomas). Onefalls in love with the boss's daughter, the other one doesn't. Yes, I'mleaving everything out but you get the idea. The relationship between Damonand Thomas was interesting. I wanted to spend more time with them, watchingthem interact with each other and getting to know their characters.Character development got lost in the shuffle here. The rest of the moviejust seemed whiney and empty. Oh, well. I will say that I did want to goto the dusty plains of Mexico and frolic with horses. It was also good tosee Henry Thomas again. I think his talent has been under-used andoverlooked in the film industry.
Not much I can say here that hasn't been said by others. "All the Pretty Horses" (the book) was one of the best novels to be written in the past 20 years. "All the Pretty Horses" (the movie) has been edited to a point where it makes no sense. Also, John Grady and Alejandra are supposed to be 16 and 17 years old, respectively. In a coming-of-age story, that's kind of important. Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz are WAY too old for the roles.
This movie is has wonderful entertainment value for so many reasons. Thefilm moves at perfect pace - every single thing happens exactly when it'ssupposed to. The cinematography made me ache for my 'Sweet Mother Texas';it is flawless. Mr. Thorton's direction can be felt from the toes up inevery single scene - he never once drops the ball and leaves you hanging. He is the best, 'nuff said. Matt Damon comes dangerously close to perfection in every role I've everseen him play. His portrayal of John Grady Cole is no exception. What doyou mean in real life Mr. Damon is a New England born Yankee? Not possible. No one could portray a native-born son of Texas that good. I think helying to us about his heritage. That's O.K. though, we forgive him. HenryThomas' performance was altogether natural, believable and loveable. He"growed up" good. Lucas Black's portrayal of Jimmy was eerie andheartrending. Penelope Cruz and Miriam Colon's performances were sobelievable that you wanted to smack both of them by the end of the film. Isthis a good thing? Well, that depends on your definition of an entertainingfilm. If you want to see a film that moves you to tears, stops your heartwith terror a few times, and makes you royally ticked at others, then yes,it's a good thing. To make a long story even longer - you gotta see thisone. Just do it, you'll be glad you did.
I wasn't bored watching this movie, but it sure seemed like there were parts missing. Every changing storyline seemed rushed.It starts out with Damon's character's father dying and him losing the farm to his mother who is going to sell it to oil drillers. Then he goes to Mexico and joins up with a kid named Blevins who gets them into all kinds of trouble eventually. Then he ends up working on a horse farm training horses. The owner of the farm really likes Damon and his friend (Henry Thomas), but it all happens so quickly you have to assume alot.Then Damon falls in love with the owner's daughter, Penelope Cruz. They have a whirlwind romance and fall in love. Her Aunt tries to break it up repeatedly.Finally, the police come and arrest Damon and his friend for being associated with Blevins. They have to make a deal to keep quiet as the police take Blevins out in the desert and kill him for their justice. Then Damon and Thomas go to prison where they fight to stay alive and Damon has to kill a man for the first time in his life. Get it? Alot happens in a short amount of time. We're about an hour into the movie right now. Then Cruz's Aunt bails them out of prison but Cruz agrees to never see Damon again, but she does one final time at the train station. Damon tells her he loves and wants to marry her. They sleep together and in the morning she changes her mind because he was lousy in bed. Just kidding. She decides she can't go back on her promise to her Aunt. So she leaves. Movie has a half an hour to go which Damon uses to go get the sheriff at gun point and get his 3 horses back (his, Thomas, and Blevins), and a shootout happens, where he gets shot but escapes. He finally makes it back to Texas with a little help along the way, and ends up in front of a judge who believes his story and let's him go.The final scenes are Damon's character struggling to come to terms with his life and actions. The judges tells him he'll be alright. Then Damon finds his friend, played by Thomas, and the movie ends with him giving him back his horse.The movie crams alot into 2 hours. That's where I found the problem to be. Interesting and beautifully filmed at times, it seemed too fast paced and some of the storylines were missing information to explain what was going on, but you somehow figured it out. The acting was good. I actually thought Matt Damon, Henry Thomas, Lucas Black and Penelope did an outstanding job. The movie was just missing having something special about it.
If a movie could ever be used to prove the existence of entropy, `All thePretty Horses' would definitely be it. Here is a film so devoid of energyand momentum that it seems to be not a movie at all but a succession ofstill images fading in and out of each other at an enervating pace. Putsimply, as director, Billy Bob Thornton has made a world-class snorer out ofCormac McCarthy's best selling novel, for, indeed, rarely has an adventurestory seemed so lackluster in its pacing, so inert in its narrativemomentum. The characters even seem to talk in muted whispers, as if theywere afraid to violate the atmosphere of profundity that surrounds theproject.All that would be fine if the film actually had something profound to say. Unfortunately, this is a pretty shallow story filled with deeper meaningshinted at but never explored and characters who are never given the screentime to grow into fully developed people in their own right. Matt Damon andHenry Thomas star as two Texas cowboys who head to Mexico looking foradventure and en route end up befriending a disturbed teenager, working ashorse wranglers on a tycoon's ranch and even spending time in a Mexicanpenitentiary. In its bare boned outlining, this plot seems rife withpossibilities. However, it is difficult to overestimate just how tediouslyit all plays out on screen. For one thing, the motives for many of thecharacters' actions remain murky at best, partly, I feel, because theauthors rarely seem to know where to best concentrate their focus formaximum clarity and effect. The quirky and enigmatic teen, for instance,who has the potential to be the most interesting character in the story,disappears through large chunks of the film, so that poor-as-dirt Damon, inone of the oldest plot devices known to man, can play footsy with thetycoon's beautiful, dark-haired daughter. The movie tries to imply thatthe rich man feels hurt and betrayed by Damon's romancing of his daughterbecause he has grown so fond and trusting of the young man. Yet, we neverreally see that bond developing. We are simply told it exists and areexpected to react accordingly. This is the case with much of the film. Despite the movie's near-two hourrunning time, we never feel like we get to know or understand any of thesecharacters. The landscapes are pretty, but the deadly pacing of the filmdestroys our interest even in THEM. Ultimately, the film feels unformed, asif it were nothing more than a series of unrelated incidents arbitrarilystrung together in a pointless slow-moving jumble. Maybe the prettypictures (and even the `pretty horses') and the charisma of Matt Damon willbe enough to keep your interest at peak levels for the duration of the film. Just be forewarned, though: movies don't get much more soporific than `Allthe Pretty Horses.' My advice is to keep a pillow handy.
Some have complained that the plot develops slowly. Time was needed tomakeus care about the characters and I did care! There was nothing far-fetchedin the behavior of the two young heroes. No super-human escapes here, theonly remarkable thing is that these men are so honest and so genuine intheir willingness to do the right thing!Matt Damon, Henry Thomas,PenelopeCruz and Reuben Blades all turned in beautiful performances that neverseemed like "acting".They were all people we'd like to know. Lucas Blackplayed the sort of teenager we hope to never have in our family, yet underhis rage we can see a boy we'd want to help.My nomination for "BestSupporting Player" would go to him. See this film at a theatre toappreciatethe gorgeous photography!
I must remember that just because it has an acadamy award does not mean itwill be a good movie. Don't get me wrong I think it totally deserved it'saward, every shot was as if a painting it was absolutly beautifull. Butforme i do like a little bit more then just to look at the movie i want to beentertained by the movie at some level. The story was a good story, itwasjust ruined by the apparent lack of dialoge within the movie. I guess nowdays people only speak about fifteen words to each other before knowingtheyare in love and then sleeping with each other well i guess that's what allthe stareing at each other was for. Maybe i'm old fashioned in mynineteenyears of being on this earth but i can't seem to get past the fact thatthroughout the whole movie i was wondering how we got to the next scene.Somy comment is as follows: if you like beautifull landscapes then you'lllikethis movie but if you want something more then just a dry western, withoutalot of point to it don't get this movie.
"All the Pretty Horses" is a director-centric piece. It is more about Billy Bob Thornton's desire to show what a great director he is than it is about telling the story. As is frequently the case when a director puts his creativity in the foreground, the film is diminished. Unquestionably, the film has numerous beautiful location shots including lovely sunsets, stunning panoramas and splendid backdrops. The digital sound on the DVD is exceptionally good. However, it is also burdened by excessive jump cuts, annoying wide angle close ups that distort the actors' faces, and poor editing that jumps to a new scene before the previous scene is really finished. This is all done to stylize the film, but while Thornton is busy "styling", the story is being shredded into a passel of tediously disconnected fragments that loses the audience.Unlike "Sling Blade", where Thornton was focused on the character study and stayed locked on the storyline, here he meanders around, using characters and scenes as excuses to show off his technique. The romance, which is the strongest element of the story, is rushed and minimized. Cole's (Matt Damon) relationship with Rocha (Ruben Blades) is glossed over. Disjointed events whiz by. Before the viewer has an opportunity to become acclimated to one set of circumstances, the story takes a major shift somewhere else. There are gaps everywhere. When Thornton reaches the logical end of the film, the final scene between John Grady Cole and Alejandra (Penelope Cruz), rather than roll credits he wanders aimlessly for another twenty minutes sending Cole on a suicide mission back to Mexico to retrieve some horses. I understand that he was trying to condense a novel that had enough material for a miniseries, but taking four hours of material and condensing it into less than two hours by leaving gaps everywhere was not the answer. He should have tried focusing on certain elements in their entirety rather than including incomplete versions of every element.The effect of this discontinuity is to disengage the viewer, which is why there is so much criticism of this film being lovely but boring. I must agree with this sentiment. While I can appreciate the beauty of the photography, the story is rendered uninteresting by too much directorial meddling.The acting is very good. Matt Damon continues to show his versatility and strength as an actor with a solid performance in a different genre. Henry Thomas continues to prove that he is more than just the kid from "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" by giving another strong supporting presentation. Penelope Cruz also gives a compellingly emotional performance despite limited screen time. Lucas Black (also from "Sling Blade") makes another strong showing as Blevins.This film could have been much better. I rated it a 6/10. Despite some gorgeous photography, it loses the viewer with its disjointed editing and poor storytelling. It is worth seeing for the acting, but don't expect to be enthralled.
Interesting how two people can view the same film and have such differingopinions. The shooting technique of this movie had a touch of OliverStone...you know what I mean...odd camera angles and close-ups of nothingatall. The love story is completely irrelevant to its surroundings. Therewas absolutely nothing to make these two people fall in love. It wasnothing more than lust and animal attraction. The story of the threeyoungmen who cross the Rio Grande in search of work and a better life isinteresting enough...but it soon becomes diluted with the introduction ofPenelope Cruz. Let's face it; she's a terrible actress! And, just whendidHollywood take on the role of making a movie for just 10 people? Oh, waitaminute, I remember now! They have steadily been alienating half of theiraudience in order to teach us a social lesson and enlighten us with theirvalues. Well, I hate to tell you Billy Bob, but I missed your lesson andeven had I gotten it, I'm sure I would have whole-heartedly rejected it!
This story is excellent. What else can I say? I watched ittwice in the theater (I must admit the first time I was partiallydriven to watch because it was filmed in my hometown), and I can'twait to have the video. Every time I see it I know I will findanother message hiden inside it. Truely deep messages for thoselooking for more than just a way to occupy a few hours.
I think what I liked most about this movie, was that it was just a story.Itdidn't seem to try to do anything above and beyond the telling of thetale,and for once it was kind of refreshing to see a movie that wasn'tattemptingto be something more than it was. It isn't perfect, admittedly it's alittlelong, and some of the "symbolism" seems a bit forced, but on the whole,notbad at all. Certainly worth renting, if nothing else, for thecinematography.
For me, this movie artfully depicted & captured the essence of ranch lifeduring post W.W.II. The A+ cinematography is fascinating and spurred meintimately into the beauty of wide open spaces and not only let me tastetheexperience of ranching, but, let me feast on the true bravery required toride horseback hundreds of miles over wild terrain. You will feel theemotional pain of being uprooted by developers and the loss of continuitybetween generations. Thus, an increasingly rare occurrence, that ofworkingthe same land as one's forebears, is illuminated for everyone toexperienceand appreciate. The story weaves the joys and sorrows of daily ranch lifeinlate '40's Mexico: Hard work; love; murder; Mexican prisons, etc., allcombined for the movie participant to consume, reflect and enjoy. This isavaluable and entertaining movie.
Even after I finished watching the whole film, I still wasn't able tofigure out why the main character and his buddy have to go to Mexico. And Iam totally confused as when that happened, because they didn't encounter anypoliceperson or any border control personals when they crossed the border. The story is just quite ordinary. a man met a woman, and fall in love,then she can't marry him, etc. I think that the best actress is the Aunt.She is very good, very authentic.
Director Billy Bob Thornton fills the screen with awesome scenery and a hardhitting drama about two young cowboys from San Angelo, Texas meeting up withanother young horseman and coming face to face with life altering situationsin and out of a Mexican prison. Friendship stays strong to the bitter end.And love proves to be stronger than life itself. Matt Damon, Henry Thomasand Lucas Black are the hard luck cowpokes. Damon falls in love withPenelope Cruz and provides some steamy love scenes. There is more drama thanaction in this western, but you should find it very entertaining. Damon andBlack are the most impressive characters in this well-mademovie.
not without faults - the cuts that director billy bob thornton was rumoredto have been required to make were obvious, especially if one read the novel- but a visually stunning masterpiece nevertheless. the score was theperfect backdrop and, along with the setting, as much a character in thefilm as john grady, blevins, lacey and the rest. and i don't know whichdamon and cruz the rest of the imdb users were watching, but i thought theirchemistry set the screen alight - with one look, it was obvious that theirpassions ran deep. lucas black was a wonder, completely inhabiting hischaracter - at once endearingly, refreshingly funny, honest andheartbreaking. a shame about the cuts thornton had to make as certainstorylines should have been given the chance to further develop and unfold. the film was luxuriously slow-paced, and though i was left at the endwanting more, i'm not convinced that that was a bad thing.
The reviews of this film that I read prior to seeing this movie led me tobelieve that it was just another forbidden romance movie between twopeoplefrom opposite sides of the track. I was pleasantly surprised to find outthat there was more to it. Matt Damon delivers a great performance, andPenelope Cruz convincingly develops her character into something more thanatypical spoiled, poor little rich girl. This is a good movie--no genericplot traps here.
I loved this movie and found it to be moving, romantic and beautiful. Matt Damon is superb and does a great job as always. Penelope Cruz is stunning and I adore her in this. I don't understand the negative reviews. I had no trouble understanding it or following the plot. It has action, drama, romance and the scenery is so lovely it makes you ache. One of the best films I have seen.
All the Pretty Horses, adapted from the novel by Cormac McCarthy, follows the tale of a young Texas rancher who sets out for Mexico to find adventure. Though promoted as a love story, this serious coming-of-age drama offers more than the usual "boy-meets-girl" plot.Despite the fact that the protagonist of the novel is only 16, the casting is excellent. Matt Damon plays the lead character of John Grady Cole and, although he is convincing, it is not the role of a lifetime. Henry Thomas shines in the supporting role of John's friend, Rawlins, who accompanies him on the epic journey. Along the way, they are joined by Blevins, a young boy played by Lucas Black (Sling Blade) with perhaps a secret or two. The weakest link is actress Penelope Cruz, who plays Cole's love interest, Alejandra; there is no chemistry whatsoever between her and Damon. The film also includes brief cameos by Sam Shepard, Robert Patrick, and Bruce Dern.Director Billy Bob Thornton has said All the Pretty Horses is the best work he'll ever do but, although his directing is adequate, it is hardly spectacular. The narrative becomes choppy at times, and fails to define Cole's motivation. Following the book closely, the film offers many unforeseen plot twists.Among the most exciting developments is a harrowing prison sequence, which captures both the fear and confusion of someone wrongly incarcerated. Further, a scene depicting Cole's attempt to tame a stallion is also notable, but is somewhat hampered by the obvious use of a stunt double.The cinematography throughout the film is breathtaking, and it's refreshing to know that there are parts of this world still unblemished by modern progress. This gives the story the look and feel of an old western.Set in 1949, just after the close of World War II and the advent of rock and roll, it is a world that Cole turns his back on. Perhaps searching for a bygone era, he looks upon the vast wilds of Mexico as a land of freedom and independence. Once can empathize with a lost soul who doesn't know where he belongs, but running away is clearly no solution. It's a shame Thornton didn't know into which genre to place his film, as it runs aimlessly from one event to another, like all the pretty horses with nowhere to go. Rating: 7 out of 10.