User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 173 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 173
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  1. 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 isU 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
  2. James
    Dec 27, 2007
    10
    Phenomenal film. Aimed at people who aren't stricken with, how should I say, stupidity. The Assassination of Jesse James is why I watch movies in the first place. There's no good or bad guy, the audience is not asked to pick sides, but only to witness the path that these two men have placed themselves upon. The film is beyond gorgeous, and evokes a certain awe during each and Phenomenal film. Aimed at people who aren't stricken with, how should I say, stupidity. The Assassination of Jesse James is why I watch movies in the first place. There's no good or bad guy, the audience is not asked to pick sides, but only to witness the path that these two men have placed themselves upon. The film is beyond gorgeous, and evokes a certain awe during each and every scene. Casey Affleck gives the performance of a lifetime. Just see it if you're not retarded. Expand
  3. CherylM.
    Oct 4, 2007
    10
    A flawless meditation of a time literally brought to life through skillful acting, immaculate research and a knowing understanding of the not too distant past.
  4. JayM.
    Apr 9, 2008
    9
    This western meditation on the perils of celebrity is certainly one of the best films of 2007. There is no denying the integrity and subseqent execution of Mr. Dominik's most singular vision; with this film he has elevated himself to the fore of American filmmakers. And I might add that Casey Affleck gives perhaps the performance of the year.
  5. RCR
    Oct 22, 2007
    10
    An excellent film. Its plodding pace mirrors the slow boil of youthful fantasy turned matured disillusionment. Affleck is perfectly cast as the designing, dangerous Ford. Pitt possesses greater range than I have previously given him credit for with a wonderfully deep performance. Rockwell continues to inhabit his on-screen personas with such ease and skill; he's frighteningly good to watch.
  6. RickS.
    Feb 20, 2008
    10
    One of the films of the year. It blew me away with the masterful cinematography; there are some powerful shots in this. Say what you will of Brad Pitt, but he is a good actor. I must say I was surprised by Casey Affleck having 100 times the talent of his brother. I saw Atonement, and I still believe that a few of their Oscar nods should be replaced with this masterwork.
  7. StevenH.
    Mar 8, 2008
    9
    Slow, yes. But brilliant, too.
  8. Tristan
    Dec 17, 2007
    9
    Id like to see it again. A fantastic movie, such a beuatiful portrayal by Affleck (Pitt is also good). The interplay between James and his killer was brilliantly drawn out, how I long to see movies like this where you actually get to know the person and their frailties without having it shoved in your face by obvious dialogue. It was quite long a la LOTR, but i respect that because it Id like to see it again. A fantastic movie, such a beuatiful portrayal by Affleck (Pitt is also good). The interplay between James and his killer was brilliantly drawn out, how I long to see movies like this where you actually get to know the person and their frailties without having it shoved in your face by obvious dialogue. It was quite long a la LOTR, but i respect that because it didnt end where we expected it to. I cant help feeling this film draws parallels with two of my other favourite films and predecessors in the Western (style) genre, The Proposition and Dead Man. Nick Cave wrote The Proposition and Warren Ellis its score. Beautifully slow cinematography and exceptional realism take you right back to the mid-19th century. Just lovely to watch. Expand
  9. AndrewG.
    Oct 7, 2007
    9
    I had no idea what I was walking into when I went to see this. Some people might find this film slow or boring, but I was glued to my seat for the entire duration. It is very emotionally intense, and if you really get into it, it won't seem nearly as long as it really is.
  10. MattR
    Feb 22, 2008
    10
    an instant classic western anyone who rates this movie poorly has no taste! Seriously I am surprised more people aren't talking about this movie. I guess real movies (not crap edited down to 100 minutes) aren't suited for today's audience. Watch it!
  11. RobertH
    Feb 8, 2008
    9
    really a terrific atmospheric western. like nothing you're gonna see around right now. there are more than a few movie watchers who won't be alble to handle it , so beware.
  12. GalenS.
    Mar 10, 2008
    10
    I was a little hesitant to purchase this D.V.D., considering the fact that I don't like western films at all. However, knowing that the movie was based on historical facts encouraged me to go ahead and take a chance. All I can say is WOW! I've never seen a movie with more intense visuals, a better sound track, or more intense acting performances! This isn't a movie, I was a little hesitant to purchase this D.V.D., considering the fact that I don't like western films at all. However, knowing that the movie was based on historical facts encouraged me to go ahead and take a chance. All I can say is WOW! I've never seen a movie with more intense visuals, a better sound track, or more intense acting performances! This isn't a movie, it's a masterpiece of art on the Widescreen! The adaptation of the story is phenomenal, the panorama of the visuals is amazing, and the soundtrack is haunting. Casey Affleck gives the performance of a lifetime as the nit-witted, apparently harmless, yet ruthless Robert Ford, and Brad Pitt plays the part of Jesse James to perfection. In fact, all the acting performances in this movie are top notch, not to mention the fact that the cinematography is out of this world, the sound track is hauntingly surrealistic, and the story itself compelling. While watching this movie, I felt as if I myself had been transported back in time to 1881, and was watching the whole drama unfold before my very eyes! Incredible!!!!! Expand
  13. DanL.
    Nov 14, 2007
    9
    Not only was it beautifully shot- the music also fitted effortlessly and dramatised the effect. You can listen in full to the Nick Cave soundtrack and listen to director Andrew Domink's playlist on the Last.fm Jesse James group page- have a look! Join the group and lots of goodies to win.
  14. GeneralL.
    Nov 10, 2007
    10
    Excellent movie, no hollywood-flick but an emotional, historically correct masterpiece, that builds it's tension not by surprising plot-twists (everyone actually knows how the story goes) but by the great atmosphere, cinematography, the A+ musical score, the acting, cought in long, brilliant close-ups. If you're easily bored and rather entertained by car-chases and explosions, Excellent movie, no hollywood-flick but an emotional, historically correct masterpiece, that builds it's tension not by surprising plot-twists (everyone actually knows how the story goes) but by the great atmosphere, cinematography, the A+ musical score, the acting, cought in long, brilliant close-ups. If you're easily bored and rather entertained by car-chases and explosions, and you don't like the setting, than this film is indeed not recommended for you. Expand
  15. ValS.
    Oct 1, 2007
    9
    Excellent movie! Casey Affleck was superb.
  16. AlexH.
    Dec 9, 2007
    9
    One of my favorite films this year so far. Beautiful cinematography and scenery, great soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and excellent acting. The film manages to feel authentic and mythic at the same time. It is a 'slow' film, yes, but an extremely compelling one for viewers with patience and an admiration for the genre
  17. SmithA.
    Feb 29, 2008
    10
    I am a connoisseur of cinematic detail. Especially in historical movies that I have a fair knowledge of the times they depict. And I am often absolutely, verbally, anal. I drive my wife nuts on this but to me even a background set filled with accurate prosaic items is cause for a private gasp of wonder for me. Hey--someone connected with the movie I am watching actually CARED about I am a connoisseur of cinematic detail. Especially in historical movies that I have a fair knowledge of the times they depict. And I am often absolutely, verbally, anal. I drive my wife nuts on this but to me even a background set filled with accurate prosaic items is cause for a private gasp of wonder for me. Hey--someone connected with the movie I am watching actually CARED about attempting to render history halfway realistically! Someone once said that the past is another country: "They do things differently there." Kudos to the screenwriter and the others who cooperated on this masterpiece. The dialog and diction (supported by the splendid cinematography!) transported me back to the late 1800s. The film seemed to me to be about as linguistically/historically perfect as it could possibly be. If the speech was not exactly "factually correct," it nevertheless rang profoundly true. These old flesh and blood American characters probably and actually talked like this--a mixture of transplanted British courtliness and low-down--often obscene--countrified slang. The clothing was right there along with everything else. I don't believe I will ever look at Kirk Douglas or John Wayne with their smart and silk perfectly-knotted neckerchiefs below their ostentatious Stepsons the same way again. A word or two on the film's cinematography.... This is the first time I have seen color photography that evoked both the beauty of western landscape, the stark, papered-over gritty poverty of frontier life and the "blurred-at-the-edges" sepia daguerreotyped glass plate images of a century ago. This movie was an outstanding experience for my wife and I. Expand
  18. [Anonymous]
    Mar 22, 2008
    8
    Not to dismiss John Wayne; but this is the best movie ever in the Western genre.
  19. RichR.
    Jul 27, 2008
    10
    Hmm, I finally got around to watching this on DVD, and WOW! I like Brad Pitt a lot, although something tells me I shouldn't. All I can say is this has to be his best acting ever. His sense of existential pain is harrowing. But the movie as a whole brings up something I always wondered about while watching westerns as a kid in the fifties: If there's just one mean boss and a Hmm, I finally got around to watching this on DVD, and WOW! I like Brad Pitt a lot, although something tells me I shouldn't. All I can say is this has to be his best acting ever. His sense of existential pain is harrowing. But the movie as a whole brings up something I always wondered about while watching westerns as a kid in the fifties: If there's just one mean boss and a bunch of weak other guys in the gang, why doesn't one of them just off him and get it over with? I mean, it seems like it would be so easy! Expand
  20. JoeB
    Oct 14, 2007
    10
    The film of the year... bar none. Long ? Baloney! If anyone calls himself a film buff and complains about length of this film, he should stick to 30 minute sitcoms. I wouldn't want to see a second clipped. Great performances down the line. The best film of 21st Century. When they want to, they sure can make 'em like they use to.
  21. JoshG
    Dec 20, 2007
    9
    Very involving and textured film. If you have any sort of cinematic attention deficit disorder, you will probably find it boring. Others will revel in its beauty
  22. JosefK.
    Dec 23, 2007
    10
    Best film of the year. A masterpiece.
  23. MTM.
    Oct 29, 2007
    9
    A fierce and beautifully stylized requiem to an era- easily our own- a post-apocalyptic monochrome Book of Hours, all quirky medieval illumination in Prairie Sampler simplicity. Pitt gives a majestic and leonine portrayal of Jesse, as much trapped animal as hunted outlaw and Affleck is superbly contemporary as an empty and cowardly vacuum of vengeance.
  24. ke
    Feb 26, 2008
    10
    The long title gives away the plot, but damn is the movie good. The cinematography and atmosphere is incredible and the acting by Affleck is great, too. the music is awesome and the final 30 - 45 minutes are awesome. The film is better than 3:10, and if you liked this film >>> go watch the proposition.
  25. MomoM
    Jul 24, 2008
    9
    although a rather long movie, the movie captures the last few months before james' death. I highly praise Affleck's performance. this is possibly the best western movie ever
  26. TheMan
    Apr 13, 2009
    10
    A realistic depiction of Jesse James. This is probably the most historically accurate version of his story that has ever been told on film.
  27. 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 knowA 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
  28. 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.
  29. Johnny
    Nov 8, 2008
    10
    Absolutely spellbinding. An endlessly interesting character study that's flawlessly written and directed. Casey Affleck delivers in this career-defining role, and both he and Brad Pitt give two of the most complex performances I've ever seen in cinema. I understand that this film will actually bore many people. It is described as a western but it is an artistic western. It is Absolutely spellbinding. An endlessly interesting character study that's flawlessly written and directed. Casey Affleck delivers in this career-defining role, and both he and Brad Pitt give two of the most complex performances I've ever seen in cinema. I understand that this film will actually bore many people. It is described as a western but it is an artistic western. It is about the film-making; the story; the characters, and not about the all so cliched shoot-em-ups and explosions you see in old westerns. If you can handle art, and steer away from action for just a little bit, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" will truly move you if you can view this in the correct context. If historical accuracy means anything to you, this is THE film to watch. Expand
  30. 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.
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.