Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. 88
    Appaloosa is gripping entertainment that keeps springing surprises.
  2. 88
    Goes down like a single-malt aged for 25 years.
  3. If you're an actual adult who likes old-school Westerns, this won't disappoint you.
  4. A fine dramatic comedy with fresh characters, witty dialogue and a keen interest in how relationships must have developed among frontier folks, tyrannical ranchers, no-nonsense lawmen and -- oh, yes -- the complicated women on that frontier.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    80
    The romantic subplot dovetails wonderfully with Harris' tribute to the genre's golden age. The moral quest of taming the West always thrived if a lady could be won in tandem.
  6. 75
    What makes the movie absorbing is the way it harmonizes all the character strands and traits and weaves them into something more engaging than a mere 1-2-3 plot. I felt like I did in "Lonesome Dove" -- that there was a chair for me on the porch.
  7. 75
    It turns out to be a satisfying, if occasionally wandering, adventure.
  8. 75
    Beautifully photographed by Dean Semler, Appaloosa is the best Western since "Open Range" and shows there's still life in this most unfashionable of genres.
  9. First and last, Appaloosa is the slow-but-sure story of the friendship between Virgil and Everett, one a man of action surprised by emotion, the other a man of emotion surprised by action.
  10. Most of the time, the movie is appropriately gritty and plenty engaging.
  11. 75
    A warmly made, slightly offbeat movie about friendly devotion. It also happens to be a western, and every man in it is grizzled or wizened or both.
  12. 75
    Westerns often take themselves seriously and, while Appaloosa is no "Blazing Saddles," there's a refreshing vein of understated humor running throughout the production.
  13. An old-fashioned Western with all the classic elements -- buddy loyalty, stalwart heroes, despicable villains, plenty of gunfights and marvelous wind-scoured desert landscapes -- marked by some modern ideas about relationships.
  14. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    70
    Harris and his collaborators are playing it straight with a timeless male fantasy--horse, hat, six-shooter--a traditional approach that will please moviegoers like my dad and yours.
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    It's good to spend time with a movie that takes its time. Granted, Harris doesn't advance the genre; instead he burrows into it, finds a home there, as one might retreat to musty library stacks, where old pleasures and treasures await.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Mayo
    70
    Harris and Mortensen may not have the combined star power to push Appaloosa to the level of popularity of last year's "3:10," but the film is every bit as enjoyable, and, for traditionalists, more measured.
  17. 70
    In all, Appaloosa is good as far as it goes--everything in it feels true--but I wish that Harris had pushed his ideas further.
  18. This isn't a visionary western like "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" (2005), but in its own quiet way it delivers the goods.
  19. 67
    We've heard tell about the rebirth of the Western at least since Clint Eastwood's vicious, "Unforgiven" 16 years ago, but since the genre never truly died in the first place there's no need to flog that horse here.
  20. A throwback to the age when Westerns were quaint.
  21. 67
    As with many other mediocre actor-directors, Harris' attention to the performances, including his own fine turn, has cost him in other areas.
  22. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    67
    As director, Harris takes this classical sense of the western too far, though, until it seems that the movie is carefully trying to keep the genre alive.
  23. It's less a western than a loping buddy picture.
  24. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Harris is a major asset in a film that is entertaining but somewhat unfocused and occasionally badly cast.
  25. Appaloosa wobbles and wanders, promising to take a fresh look at those old myths, only to lapse back into weary convention.
  26. Though the leads do fine work, their efforts often feel slightly futile. Despite a few flashes of the darker tone percolating under the surface, the movie remains too well-mannered to truly pull us in.
  27. The two men collaborate so well, in fact, that the real love match of Appaloosa is between the two of them and no one else.
  28. 60
    The movie's tolerant, good-humored view of its characters drains it of some dramatic intensity, but Mr. Harris seems more interested in piquant, offhand moments than in big, straining confrontations.
  29. 50
    If Appaloosa is something to look at, it's also unnecessarily lethargic. Even an intentionally slow-paced picture needs to have its own internal source of energy, and as a filmmaker, Harris can't quite get that motor running.
  30. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Harris' first directorial outing since his impressive and entirely different "Pollock" biopic bears echoes of many genre predecessors, especially Howard Hawks' "Rio Bravo" -- but echoes they remain.
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 37
  2. Negative: 18 out of 37
  1. BEEsnider
    Jul 18, 2009
    10
    Great Cinematography, acting was superb, I have a feeling most people did not understand much of the story but hey, it's their loss.
  2. JohnC.
    Feb 12, 2009
    8
    Its a good old fashion western. I loved it.
  3. Oct 7, 2013
    0
    The biggest flaw of the film is that it doesn't go anywhere. You sit through a 2 hour film and expect something but sadly there is nothing here with Appaloosa. The acting is average, The plot is painfully generic and boring, and it fails to keep you interested or entertained at all. I would not recommend. Full Review »