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All the Pretty Horses
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When his grandfather dies and his absent mother sells the family ranch, John Grady Cole finds himself without a home or a job, and decides to leave Texas with his best friend, Lacey Rawlins, hoping to find work as a cowboy.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 3-FEB-2004
Media Type: DVD
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
That having been said, I must include the comment that I wish this movie had not been edited so much. Having read the book, I could easily follow the story of the movie, and enjoyed it thoroughly. My wife, on the other hand, has not read the novel, and was completely lost throughout despite my attempts to piece together the scattered fragments for her.
This flaw (and a large one it is) makes it difficult for this movie to have widespread appeal. Unless you've read the book, plan on being confused most of the time. Still, this movie is well worth seeing, even if you have to read McCarthy's novel first so you can understand it.
Story: The story is like this: boys get sick of Texas, flee to Mexico, get in trouble, fall for pretty horses. Even with the constraints of trying to jam all the elements from the book to 2 hours, that's no excuse for the method they chose to do so. Basically, you feel no compassion at all for the characters. The love between Damon and Cruz's characters is unbelievable. There was no foundation, no evolvement, no nothing. Literally, they shared a look, rode horses together and boom! these two are in love. And they're scenes together were so limited, it seemed so much as fake than real. Basically, they're love developed through numerous muted scenes of them running around and playing like 12 years olds. THAT'S IT! And all the sudden, he's so much in love that he does what he does?!(Don't want to give away the story folks). That's so unbelievable it would make you scratch your head a million times before you realize the ending credits were the most interesting part of the film. Damon's character seemed to have been more in love with the dang horses than with Cruz's character. If his actions in the movie were because of the horses, then yeah, I'd believe it. But Cruz's ain't no horse and they got more character development than she did.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Not only did I like the movie, it introduced me to a great writer, Cormac McCarthy. Cormac McCarthy is a modern realist, my American Lit class first brought my attention to this... Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by Jorge Barbarosa
I have watched this movie somehow from the beginning to the very end and I have only one comment about it : It was an extremely boring movie that told the story of two young men... Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by Kosovar
Given how disappointingly liberal, preachy, trite and predictable so many of Hollywood's dramas are, this film presents both tremendous moral balance and a wonderful ease of... Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2003
Story was moving and the scenery was expansive and beautiful. The love story seemed artificially inserted, but probably made it more popular. Read morePublished on April 11 2003 by Amazon Customer
This DVD was extremly boring. My mom and I bought it thinking it was going to be full of horses, but it isn't! We are both avid horse lovers and it was a big disapointment. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2002 by Megan K.
But there was no chemistry on-screen with co-star Penelope Cruz who seemed like she was catatonic through the whole thing.
The scenery was beautiful. Read more