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Slow West

Romance . Thriller . Western

In the Old West, a 17-year-old Scottish boy teams up with a mysterious gunman to find the woman with whom he is infatuated.

Actors: Michael Fassbender , Kodi Smit-McPhee , Ben Mendelsohn , Caren Pistorius , Rory McCann , Brooke Williams , Alex Macqueen , Kalani Queypo , Madeleine Sami , Aorere Paki
Directors: John Maclean
Release: 2015-04-16
More Info:
  • Rodrigo Perez

    A dark, but spirited fable about the pitilessness of the West, the meaning of home on the range and the worthwhile qualities of wicked, seemingly irredeemable men, “Slow West” is a terrific little parable, and a strong debut by John Maclean worth treasuring.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • David D'Arcy

    The saga, directed by a Scot in New Zealand with no American actors, takes us back to American truths. Guns, greed and rugged nature defined the West, setting the New World apart from the old. The roots run deep.

    Screen International Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    John Maclean’s impeccably crafted writing-directing debut at times has a distinctly Coen-esque flavor in its mix of sly intelligence, bleak humor and unsettling violence, exuding fierce confidence even when these qualities don’t always cohere in the smoothest or most emotionally impactful fashion.

    Variety Full Review
  • John DeFore

    Maclean's screenplay is unshowy but keen.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    If Slow West never quite settles on a tone to call its own, it does still offer many pleasures. Fassbender and Smit-McPhee are excellent — the boy's outward bewilderment and unpreparedness play off well against the cowboy’s ragged, stone-faced charisma.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Anisha Jhaveri

    Slow West certainly makes a valiant effort to reach beyond expectations of its genre, even leaving room for some welcome tongue-in-cheek humor when it's least expected. But at the end, all its waffling between various stylistic touchstones fails to hold much interest.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    Its central journey lives up to the title: Maclean finds time to savor rivers and starscapes and layers of light and mountainous land. The dialogue is flighty yet weighty, each line like some delicate woodcut.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • William Goss

    A folksy fable defined equally by its whimsy and wistfulness.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Imagine Terrence Malick directing the climax of "The Wild Bunch," and you’re on the right track.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Olly Richards

    Maclean has made a Western of such confident ease that it’s hard to believe this is the director’s first feature film.

    Empire Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It's always entertaining to see a genre tweaked, at least when it's done so with the proper mix of respect and madness at work in Slow West.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    The glorious cinematography, by Robbie Ryan, sharply illustrates the disparity between the rugged majesty of the landscape and the savagery of its outlaws and adventurers, who resemble vermin scuttling through the underbrush of a perilous no man’s land.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    Slow West often feels like the Coen brothers’ rendition of True Grit, if they’d brought Wes Anderson in as a collaborator. It’s a shaggy-dog story full of colorful characters and aimless but diverting narrative byways, all delivered with Andersonian solemnity, against a backdrop of deeply saturated colors and meticulously dressed sets.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Slow West isn’t a grand epic of that genre. It’s more like “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” “Dead Man” or the recent “The Homesman,” using familiar signposts to tell a simple, compelling, terrific story.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Ehrlich

    Like any good Western, Slow West percolates with the constant threat of violence, but debuting feature director John Maclean wrings the genre for its mythic value.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    The director is John Maclean, making his début, and, if he demonstrates how hard it is to handle whimsy, he more than atones for it with two tremendous set pieces — one in a store, and the other in an isolated homestead, girded with cornfields where a shooter can nestle and hide.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Slow West doesn’t really go anywhere we haven’t been, but because Maclean is discovering the genre for the first time, we see through his fresh yet jaundiced eyes.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    [A] meandering, deliberate and tearless — yet oddly moving — western vehicle.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    The film is too artsy for its own good, but it has some marvelous Coen Brothers-style black humor.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Maclean and his cast create a sound, tone and feel that makes even a moldy tale like this lean, mean and fresh, even if it never quite transcends the gun smoke of its genre.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Gary Goldstein

    Between the gorgeous locations (New Zealand subs for Colorado), a credible emotional core, some effectively droll dialogue and a well-staged finale, Slow West is worth a look.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    Despite convincing work from its cast, the movie remains oddly uninvolving.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    What it demonstrates most conclusively is that writer-director John Maclean, making his first feature after a career spent mostly as a musician (notably as a member of The Beta Band), knows how to tell a terrific yarn. Why he chose not to do so with the movie as a whole, then, is something of a mystery.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    If ultimately Slow West seems more like a filmmaking exercise than an engaging piece of work — despite Fassbender’s star presence — that’s all right. Filmmakers need to get their exercise. Let’s see what Maclean does next.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ed Gonzalez

    A pageantry of pseudo-art poses, a self-consciously cool reorientation of the western as silly symphony.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Godfrey Cheshire

    From first till last, this tale of a hard-boiled bounty hunter helping a Scottish lad on his quest to find the woman he loves, who’s on the lam in the old West, is a tissue of creaky contrivances and outright absurdities. Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Slow West certainly lives up to its title: It’s one poky Western, plodding and perambulating and moseying across the 1870 frontier on a grim march to a pointless ending.

    New York Post Full Review
Add Soundtrack

  • fire

  • bounty hunter

  • shotgun

  • horseback riding

  • horse

  • cabin

  • frontier

  • outlaw

  • rifle

  • unrequited love

  • death of father

  • native american

  • shootout

  • search

  • shot in the head

  • pistol

  • death by accident

  • ireland

  • drinking

  • pursuit

  • shot through a wall

  • flaming arrow

  • dream sequence

  • flashback

  • shot in the heart

  • american west

  • horse riding

  • teenage boy

  • greenhorn

  • 19th century

  • 16 year old

  • scottish

  • directorial debut

  • yankee doodle dandy the song

  • rolling down a hill

  • beach

  • orphan

  • dog

  • wrapped in a blanket

  • black american

  • african american

  • drummer

  • drum

  • once upon a time

  • bridge

  • begins with narration

  • hold up

  • bare butt

  • horseshoe nailed over a doorway

  • horseshoe

  • banjo

  • story telling

  • wallet

  • burned out indian village

  • covered in ashes

  • ash

  • teepee

  • colorado territory

  • soldier

  • stealing from a dead body

  • chaperone

  • french

  • dead rabbit

  • tea

  • coffee

  • minister

  • reverend

  • two narrators

  • moon

  • reference to canada

  • reference to ireland

  • bloody face

  • mending a fence

  • hammer

  • nail

  • mysterious man

  • cigar smoking

  • cigarette smoking

  • whiskey

  • bed

  • hiding under a bed

  • cat

  • urination

  • tears

  • crying

  • shushing

  • blanket

  • falling into water

  • threat to murder

  • german

  • shooting an arrow through someone's hand

  • murder of father

  • theft

  • thief

  • eyeglasses

  • compass

  • sleeping

  • writer

  • reference to god

  • escape

  • scarecrow

  • mushroom

  • looking at one's self in a mirror

  • mirror

  • bow and arrow

  • money

  • calling someone a son of a bitch

  • chase

  • flooding

  • storm

  • mountain

  • rain

  • overhead shot

  • prologue

  • running

  • shot in the back

  • naivety

  • egg

  • calling someone a brute

  • calling someone a silly boy

  • blood splatter

  • blood

  • violence

  • subtitled scene

  • american indian

  • song

  • singing

  • singer

  • campfire

  • husband wife relationship

  • robbery

  • shooting

  • gun

  • reward

  • wanted dead or alive

  • wanted poster

  • woods

  • forest

  • long underwear

  • flash forward

  • dead body

  • death

  • murder

  • little boy

  • girl

  • f word

  • drink

  • calling someone kid

  • reference to charles darwin

  • knife

  • shaving someone

  • loneliness

  • drifter

  • voice over narration

  • father daughter relationship

  • hit with a pistol

  • lady

  • lord

  • caterpillar

  • baby

  • peasant

  • hit in the face

  • man hits a woman

  • reference to ursa major the constellation

  • star gazing

  • handbook

  • reference to edward hepple hill

  • uncle nephew relationship

  • reference to shakespeare's romeo and juliet

  • calling someone romeo

  • black bear

  • kiss

  • kiss on the cheek

  • falling to one's knees

  • child

  • child abandonment

  • boots

  • dying

  • bullet

  • outlaw gang

  • gun sight

  • falling to the ground

  • eating

  • food

  • biscuit

  • indian burial platform

  • gunshot

  • clothesline strung between horses

  • whispering

  • star the heavenly object

  • pegasus the constellation

  • irishman

  • scotsman

  • cardinal direction in title

  • accidental killing

  • tied to a tree

  • whistling on horseback

  • singing on horseback

  • empty gun

  • absinthe

  • shot in the forehead

  • shot in the chest

  • shot in the shoulder

  • shot in the leg

  • shot to death

  • family relationships

  • boyfriend girlfriend relationship

  • two word title