User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 163 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 163

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  1. Aug 27, 2010
    8
    Just as Kubrick did with "Barry Lyndon," Andrew Dominik presents the story of Jesse James with a sweeping exposition, exchanging all dramatic cues in favor of character closeups, avant-garde style and a revealing narrator. Thanks to great performances by the whole cast and the expansive Western setting which complements the style surprisingly well, Dominik pulls it off.
  2. Feb 3, 2011
    8
    U have to be very psychologically prepared for this drama feast of fabolous performance by Casey Affleck and ofcourse Brad Pitt. At first, the movie seems hard to be watched but as time passes (movie last for about 3 hours) u become more curious 'bout things that would eventually happen, though aware what will be in the end. Name of the movie itself is the mini-synopsis, but this one is definitely slow-paced drama NOT written for mass audience. For what is worth its not commercial... Expand
  3. Oct 27, 2013
    5
    Moseying along for 160 minutes, this revisionist western by writer-director Andrew Dominik makes a wan attempt to present the Jesse James legend as the dawn of celebrity culture in America. This film is far too long but the central relationship of James and Ford is fascinating.
    ...it's got a title that perfectly matches its subject matter: They're both too long by half.
  4. Sep 17, 2010
    7
    Well the first hour sort of plods along then the last hour & a half is excellent. Casey Affleck is very good as Bob Ford as is Brad Pitt. Music is also excellent & a nice cameo by Nick Cave (who did some of the music).
  5. Feb 4, 2012
    8
    A good movie that I'm sure was a flop at the box office. It's too long, too thoughtful, too nuanced, and too talky for most viewers. It's another Scott father son vehicle, and like the recent "The Grey" it's focus is on the underlying themes and not the overt action. The movie does dispense with the "Jesse James was a hero" pretty conclusively after he beats a young boy, and we all know what's coming (don't take off that gun belt Jesse; don't dust that painting) and while his death was long past necessary his killer went on to infamy and also an assasinators bullets. Casey Affleck is great as a whispy hero worshipper who slowly develops traitorous thoughts. Pitt continues his under valued work as a very competent performer, but the kudos should go to the direction. Beautifully filmed, scored, and dialogued. Not a film for those with ADHD. Expand
  6. Aug 19, 2013
    8
    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a masterful, slow-burn piece of revisionist western art. Static camera work, detailed acting and inferred subtexts are order of the day here, with almost no gunplay to speak of. The tone is nailed just right and the acting is phenomenal. The assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is intriguing stuff indeed.
  7. Sep 26, 2011
    9
    Some may find it tiresome (they should watch more action-packed Westerns then), for me it is the best Western ever made. Not that it's a perfect representation of the genre per se, but it's a perfect, psychologically energetic, beautiful drama about human nature, about identity, loneliness and friendship, fatherly bonds, rivalry, vulnerability and affection, and maybe above all, the human need of creating and believing in myths.
    Also probably the best acting I've ever seen in a Western, Casey Affleck is outstanding.
    Expand
  8. Nov 11, 2011
    10
    This movie is simply amazing. The writing, acting, direction, and production are all perfect. Some may call the movie slow, but I didn't think so at all. I was engaged throughout the entire movie.
  9. Aug 24, 2014
    7
    Brad Pitt is clever and convincing as the legendary Jesse James; however, it is Casey Affleck, as Robert Ford, that really allows us to sink our teeth into this one. It's a western, but there's more than that here.
  10. Mar 28, 2012
    9
    This is a tremendously ambitious movie. Clocking in around two and a half hours, it is a hefty investment for a movie whose scale and action is more implicit and controlled than grandiose and bombastic. This is to say that the movie dragged a bit. But, taking it aside from this fact, if you can make your way through it in one sitting, it is the most compelling character study I have ever seen. Everything is acted to a near perfect level and the cinematography is engrossing. For me at least, the artistic value of this piece outweighs the length and it is by far my favorite movie of 2007. Expand
  11. Oct 5, 2012
    9
    Thanks to slick lighting, immersive storytelling and nuanced character depth, Andrew Dominik's Neo-Western drama is visually and emotionally gripping throughout. The film offers a fascinating exploration of idolisation and myth-making, and Casey Affleck is superb as nerve-stricken adolescent Robert Ford. Dominik's balance between art and entertainment is spot-on, and although (like its title) the film is a little on the long side, the story of America's best-known outlaw has never before been told with such spellbinding energy and emotion. Expand
  12. May 27, 2012
    10
    Point blank, this is probably the single most underrated film in the last decade. Absolutely **** amazing, and one of the best movies I have EVER seen. The acting was beyond incredible, as was the cinematography, music, directing, writing, plot, and everything else. This is a true masterpiece.
  13. Aug 6, 2014
    8
    This one is certainly very good. It is slow, but never creeps into "boring territory". Rather, it commands your attention and full wraps you into its world. The storytelling here is really is most unique element, as it essentially feels like a visual book in the way it is told and it really benefits from it. Not only does it set it apart from other Westerns, but it breathes a certain amount of life into the film that is very beneficial. The acting from a great cast including Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, and Jeremy Renner, is great as always. Pitt and Affleck both really stand out as stars in this one for sure. The writing here is also very strong and the relationship between James and Ford is very well done. Really, all the relationships here are very diverse and well written to the point where it feels as though we know everybody and their motivations. This film is really about the characters, in large part thanks to the great writing of the characters. And finally, Roger Deakins kills it with the cinematography here. Just absolutely stunning cinematography that is really picturesuqe at every single turn. Each shot is just breathtakingly gorgeous and really give this film a fantastic look. Overall, this one has a long, unconventional title and a unique way of telling its stories and is a rounding success. Expand
  14. Sep 3, 2012
    10
    Haunting, Spellbinding, complete badassery. Easily of the best movies ever made!!
    Definitely the best soundtrack ever made. Yes Nick Cave is a serious rockstar when it comes
    to making a soundtrack sound so honest to its tone that is makes you feel six emotions at once. Give this
    movie a chance and it will change your life.
  15. May 6, 2013
    0
    I cant say how bad is this. I really cant but I will try, even if is painful to remember. Lets see, It does not make you cry or bring tears at least (its not a drama film), it has very few bullets or kills or chases (is not an action film), it will not scare you (is not a terror film), it does not have a mystery or plot twist (is not a suspense film), it absolutely will not make you laugh (is not a comedy film), It does not help you at all (it is not a self-help film), it has not biographical accuracy or plot (is not a bio film). To be short, IT IS NOT A FILM AT ALL. But if it would be a film, it would be the worst film ever. Expand
  16. Dec 21, 2012
    10
    Equally barren and majestic with an affective anti-western motif running through it's doom-laden story. Pitt; equal parts sociopath and charming snake plays the character for what he realistically probably was is matched in some ways exceeded by Affleck's callow and servile Ford. A study of perverse hero worship gone awry. Where the movie really delivers is not so much the killing of James, but the aftermath and consequences of murdering a pseudo Robin Hood is the most compelling material, and worthy of its prolonged running time which gives us the time to see how these characters develop their sad trajectories. Expand
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. This fascinating relationship gets smothered in pointlessly long takes, repetitive scenes, grim Western landscapes and mumbled, heavily accented dialogue.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    One of the best Westerns of the 1970s, which represents the highest possible praise. It's a magnificent throwback to a time when filmmakers found all sorts of ways to refashion Hollywood's oldest and most durable genre.
  3. 60
    Although not as radically defamiliarizing as Jim Jarmusch's avant-western "Dead Man," Jesse James has the feel of an attic ransacked for abandoned knickknacks.