Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. It's a gorgeously atmospheric, perfectly cast, beautifully crafted oater of the old school, made with heaps of integrity, no gimmicks and few concessions to the box office. Its only real flaw is that it strains a bit too hard to be a "classic" western.
  2. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    90
    Open Range gets better the deeper you get into the story.
  3. There's a lot in this movie, simple, big, small and exciting. It's the year's first serious contender for big prizes. What's not to like about this picture?
  4. 90
    In this handsomely traditional movie, Kevin Costner has tried to fix the Western myth for all time in the stern contours of Duvall’s face and the guttural beauty of his voice. [1 September 2003, p. 130]
  5. 88
    An imperfect but deeply involving and beautifully made Western.
  6. 80
    Costner sets course for one of the most stirringly choreographed shootouts in movie history.
  7. Reviewed by: Alan Morrison
    80
    A return to the Western in its pure, cinematic form.
  8. 80
    Here is a Western without irony or innovation, without any of the overt efforts toward “revisionism” we’ve come to expect even from Eastwood -- a movie that waxes elegiac about the end of the West, but remains sure that cowboys and cattle and ramshackle frontier towns will live on in perpetuity at the cinema.
  9. Say what you like, think what you will, scoff if you have to (and you will definitely have to), but in the final analysis Kevin Knows Westerns.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    It's a real and rare pleasure to see Costner and Duvall together -- these masters of intense passivity, who know how to be watched when they're listening.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    An intensely scenic, refreshingly humanistic oater that dares to be sincere and open-hearted.
  12. A fine, heartfelt film, sometimes harrowing in its violence but blessedly free of pretension or bombast, even though it aspires to -- and achieves -- the stature of a classic Western.
  13. It's a fine, old-fashioned 2 1/4 hours at the Bijou.
  14. A flawed but highly entertaining B Western blown up to John Ford scale.
  15. 75
    Open Range could easily have lost 20 minutes in the editing room, but its very casual pacing and beautiful vistas - gorgeously photographed in British Columbia by James Munro - are a soothing alternative in a season of movies seemingly aimed at sufferers of attention deficit disorder.
  16. 75
    A patient, suspenseful exercise in genre craftsmanship
  17. 75
    This is a great two-hour motion picture. Unfortunately, it runs 20 minutes longer than that.
  18. Nobody smells of sagebrush, campfire coffee, tobacco (smoked or chewed) and saddle soap like Duvall.
  19. There's nothing corny, however, about the climactic shoot-out, which Costner has staged superbly as an extended logistical mini-war that surges and rifle-cracks with bloody abandon through what feels like every building in town. Call it dances with guns.
  20. In spite of its portentousness, the film does engage one.
  21. Costner is always at his best when he’s a little ornery, and Duvall is the same way. His grizzled performance is so thoroughly in character that he even chews as if it were 1882.
  22. 70
    Mostly it's just a good yarn, with attractive picture-postcard vistas and an agreeable strain of light humor.
  23. 70
    The scenario recalls everything from "High Noon" to "Unforgiven," but Costner is less interested in grappling with the grim ambiguities underlying those films than in codifying them. There's still much to like, including the warm, thoughtful performances and cinematographer James Muro's fearless use of natural light.
  24. Though visually lovely and ambitious, never soars to the heights achieved by "Unforgiven." Costner’s film lacks the moral complexity that might earn it a solid berth in the canon of the American Western.
  25. 67
    When the picture's good, it's really something; when it's bad, you grit your teeth and pray it will end.
  26. A blend of the classical and the trite, the beautiful and tawdry, the genuinely moving and the cornball. Oddly, producer-director-star Costner often can't seem to tell the difference.
  27. The screenplay of Open Range, credited to one Craig Storper, is an awesome compendium of cowboy-movie cliches. It borders on parody, and often crosses the border, rustling up a drove of oater aphorisms.
  28. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    Compared with other films Costner has directed, Range isn't a folly like "The Postman," nor is it quite as over-elaborated as "Dances With Wolves."
  29. A better, and more relevant movie, might have left us at the point of troubled introspection, but Costner is compulsive about tying up loose ends and upbeat messages. If the climax of Open Range is disappointing, the ending is almost intolerable.
  30. 60
    While Costner the actor clearly imagines himself the Gary Cooper of the 21st century, he's got a crude sentimental streak that Costner the director fails to curtail.
  31. Many sequences, many moments, are turned skillfully, and the look of the film is much of the time breathtaking. Yet, for its entire two hours and fifteen minutes, we merely watch it. It is there. We are here, regrettably objective.
  32. Storper is pretty good at playing with and against certain western cliches in his treatment of the good guys (including Annette Bening's character), but resorts to pure cliche when it comes to the villians (e.g., Gambon and James Russo).
  33. 50
    Open Range copies the rain and flood of the Clint Eastwood classic but can't match it for dark-night-of-the-soul brilliance.
  34. In all, the film is a striking, if flawed, achievement by a talented actor who may become an important director if he sticks to the genre that suits him best.
  35. 50
    There's a fine little western lurking inside Open Range: Too bad it gets drowned out by director Kevin Costner's pretentiousness. Almost everything in the movie feels inflated, overblown, drawn out.
  36. Open Range veers wildly. It's a movie of beauty and sensitivity, and tedium and absurdity.
  37. 50
    A moderate success, if a bit clunky. Somewhere beneath the syrupy melodrama and the scenes that should have expired long ago, there is an intelligent, thoughtful western in waiting.
  38. Where "Silverado" swaggered, Open Range sulks; it's no fun at all.
  39. Mr. Costner's relentless, root-canal humorlessness turns what might have been an enjoyable B-picture throwback into a ponderous drag.
  40. 38
    Without Duvall, this movie would be as wet as Waterworld.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 33
  3. Negative: 6 out of 33
  1. Nov 28, 2012
    7
    "Open Range" is a 2003 film directed by and starring Kevin Costner. The movie tells the story of two cattle ranchers (Costner, Duvall) who are forced to take up arms when threatened by corrupt lawmen. The movie to me looked like it was gonna' be a slightly boring film about life on the. . .wait for it. . .open range. I was half right. A very large portion of this movie's beginning 45 minutes is about just that. However, past that point the movie picks up with a fairly plain, but still enjoyable plot. The characters in the movie are pretty good. Duvall's portrayal of Boss Spearman is the best in the film, by my opinion. I thought Costner's performance was a little stoic, but not bothersome (makes me think that that was the intention). The script was standard in terms of dialogue I guess. Then again, I wasn't alive during the 19th century, so I have no frame of reference. The best and most entertaining point in this film is the last hour where the film's most impressive set piece is set into motion - a really incredible gunfight happens. It's shot spectacularly well - a worthy testament of Costner's directorial aptitude. Through and through I found "Open Range" to be a fairly entertaining film with a great climax. Full Review »
  2. Nov 26, 2012
    7
    Duvall is just brilliant. Costner is Costner...the Jerry Seinfeld of dramas. He's just Kevin, in 19th-century America, hardly even trying to act. Just being Kevin. Despite that, it's a lovely film, well shot. Full Review »