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All the Pretty Horses

Matt Damon , Penélope Cruz , Billy Bob Thornton    Unrated   DVD
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 41.38
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Product Details

Product Description

Matt Damon, Henry Thomas, Penelope Cruz. Two young Texans looking to experience the thrill of the Old West run into problems when one of them falls for the gorgeous daughter of their new boss. Directed by Billy Bob Thornton. 2000/color/112 min/PG-13/widescreen.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty but aimless Jan. 4 2005
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Really a disappointment Dec 29 2003
Billy Bob really botched this one. Cormac McCarthy's amazing and epic book deserved much better. Overall, the acting is spotty, and why he would choose someone from Boston to play Grady Cole, a Texan, is beyond me. Barry Pepper would have been a better choice for the lead. Anybody would have been better than an overrated Matt Damon. The outdoor scenes are all shot during the middle of the day, in pale lighting, and the mystique of the southwestern desert landscape that Cormac so eloquently captures on print is lost on film. The cinematography leans more toward a made-for-TV look than film. Marty Stuart provides a slick, polished country music gloss to the soundtrack, when a better band like Calexico, from Tucson, could have provided more haunting and appropriate accompaniments. Hopefully someday a more promising director like Alejandro González Iñárritu or Christopher Nolan will get the rights and give the book the treatment it deserves. Stick to B-movies and Bad Santa sequels Billy Bob!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a movie that is faithful to the book May 8 2003
It's a shame that Billy Bob Thorton and Co. had to cut so much from this movie. After two hours, I felt as though I could stand another two. This movie is an excellent rendition of Cormac McCarthy's novel, and remains very, very true to the book. The acting is nearly flawless, especially that of Matt Damon (John Grady Cole), Henry Thomas (Rawlins), and Lucas Black (Blevins). The directing was great, the scenery and landscape all very beautiful.
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The Only Good Actors Where the Horses July 14 2002
I'll say this. If you watch this movie first, then read the book, you'll wonder just what the heck the author was bribed with to allow his creation to be depicted this way. This movie fails because of the foremost problem in all book-to-movie conversions: the story speeds past your eyes as fast as cars of a freeway. I would attribute the cause to this is obvious: books are long and screenplays and movies have constraints of length and time. Unfortunately, it seemed that those two factors lead to this movie's downfall.
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A sleeper
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 more
Published on June 8 2004 by Jorge Barbarosa
1.0 out of 5 stars Ouch
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 more
Published on June 8 2004 by Kosovar
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Authentic
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 more
Published on Nov. 16 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and beautiful
Story was moving and the scenery was expansive and beautiful. The love story seemed artificially inserted, but probably made it more popular. Read more
Published on April 11 2003 by Catspec
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
I found this to be a very underated movie!
Published on Feb. 6 2003 by J. Finuf
1.0 out of 5 stars More action with horses, PLEASE!!!!!!!!
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 more
Published on Dec 29 2002 by Megan K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Matt Damon gives a phenomenal performance
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
Published on Dec 12 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, at least Matt Damon is pretty!
Watching this movie I get the feeling that somehow there was a really great movie filmed here, but somehow that's not what made it into the final cut... Read more
Published on Sept. 6 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars They've found a cure for insomnia...
I bought this movie with high expectations, knowing that Billy Bob Thorton is an excellent director and Matt Daemon is by no means a bad actor. Read more
Published on July 25 2002
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