User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 166

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  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
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.