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.
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.