Lushly photographed by Roger Deakins, Andrew Dominik has directed a fine psychological Western meditation on criminal fame and legend. It features career-best performances from Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, as the outlaw Jesse James and his intended assassin Robert Ford. Long, yes, but well worth the time. Where Terence Malick's films are often maddeningly slow and sometimes without much purpose ("New World"), Dominik's film is always watchable and even compelling.
Dont waste your time. I sure did. You will laugh at me for this but I tried to watch it THREE times and failed every time.I couldnt make myself do it. It is my top most hated film and I think someone should warn you before you make a mistake.
Powerful and incredibly well acted, this is one movie that, in my opinion, actually improved on the book. (I saw the movie first.) Incredibly faithful, it made only a couple of minor detours, but they were detours that made the story better. Some might complain about the length, but it never bothers me, as this movie is just too dang brilliant.
http://braidedthreads.blogspot.com/2008/09/running-with-matchsticks.html ...By the end of Matchstick Men, the filmmakers seem to feel guilty for asking us to sympathize with someone who steals for a living so they try to overcompensate by bringing Cage through an emotional, psychological, and professional meat grinder. A twist ending makes the film you just watched seem like a more fascinating one than it did while you were actually watching it. That "aha!" ending almost seems borrowed from another movie: one with enough mystery and suspense to prepare you for such a satisfying revelation. If only the the filmmakers had been able to transfer some of the tension and confusion of Cage's character to the viewer so that we could have a few more question marks to carry through the film until we reach the answers in the end. As it is, we get answers for questions we didn't know we were supposed to be asking.
I had to watch this film a few times before I loved it. Cage is brilliant portraying a mentally ill genius con artist. I thoroughly enjoyed his character from the 1st minute. I saw the movie in the theatre and thought, ugh. But once I bought it on DVD I began to like the movie more. The movie is slow at the beginning but it picks up enough and when the twist ending hits you, you're left wondering what the heck just happened.
If you're looking for a typical western with lots of action and quick plot development, this movie will disappoint. Andrew Dominik's script and style is like Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, Days of Heaven, The New World), long, ponderous with lots of silences but stunning photography more than makes up for plodding plot. Veteran DP Roger Deakins mans the camera (first cinematographer in Oscar history to be nominated for two films in the same year). Based on an adaptation by the novel by Ron Hansen. Worth watching if you can stand the slow pace. Affleck
This was a movie I would have very much liked to love, but it is so very long and seems to lose its way in the middle. Rather than try to focus & sharpen the film, or try to keep audience's interest by interjecting some action or other distraction, it simply continues to pound away at the psychological drama - just doesn't pull it off. Good storyline, premise and acting, but overall it seems to be wasted potential.