User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 72
  2. Negative: 2 out of 72
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. JonathanH.
    Jun 3, 2006
    10
    An excellent film, especially when viewed in a movie house. Visually stunning and a good story too.
  2. Battlejuice
    Jul 18, 2006
    10
    Fantastic film. Very harsh and brutal yet flowed with an almost fairy-tale quality where good and bad blended into grey to the haunting tunes of Nick Cave. I found there was a supernatural feel to this film on top of the harsh wild world that was colonial Australia. Magnificent.
  3. AlexP
    Mar 2, 2008
    10
    Better, more relevant and more real than all the trigger happy, gunslinging, sheriff hero excuses for a western film out there. If you like pistol duels at high noon try watching this to see what a real western with real characters should be like.
  4. GrantT
    May 9, 2006
    9
    A flawed but rivetting film, harsh, frightening, dirty where the human soul is exposed for what it is - good and bad with all shades between. The script and cast (especially Danny Huston) are outstanding.
  5. BaronL.
    May 17, 2006
    9
    Dark and savage like many of Nick Cave's songs. Great addition to the genre.
  6. PhilS.
    May 2, 2006
    10
    brilliant. Engaging, beautiful and arresting all in the same breath.
  7. KenG.
    May 31, 2006
    10
    Raw, dark, stark, suberb.
  8. BTn
    May 6, 2006
    10
    amazing: great acting, makes Unforgiven look 2D.
  9. JohnB.
    May 1, 2007
    9
    It took me a several times watching this movie, but I finally understand it. The Proposition is an amazing work of art that brings to attention the harshness of the land and the way it affected the lives of so many. In a land without law or justice, grand sweeping cinematic visuals paint a landscape captured perfectly. What makes The Proposition truly unique is the way motives clash and It took me a several times watching this movie, but I finally understand it. The Proposition is an amazing work of art that brings to attention the harshness of the land and the way it affected the lives of so many. In a land without law or justice, grand sweeping cinematic visuals paint a landscape captured perfectly. What makes The Proposition truly unique is the way motives clash and the plot weaves such a fascinating turn of events. You almost wish the characters could be more decisive in their actions but by contemplating things, we are allowed to fully understand the predicament each character faces. The Proposition almost plays out like a modern day Shakespearean tragedy. While I can see how this movie could be overwhelming at first, it deserves to be treated more like a work of art being viewed multiple times to fully grasp what is presented here. Collapse
  10. TracyB.
    May 29, 2006
    10
    Great film- I am not a fan of Westerns but this won me over. From the direction, acting, screenplay to the music- it was a first rate effort that hit its mark. Yes, it is violent, but many of its worse events were not shown in detail, although many were and they furthered the story and the mood of the film.
  11. H.C.
    Sep 21, 2006
    9
    Fantastic Australian-western. I haven't seen a western this good since Unforgiven (not including the TV show Deadwood--which is excellent). Guy Pearce and Ray Winstone really hold down this film along with the sort of fairy-tale dialogue amid this wretched violence and hard reality. The two brothers (Richard Wilson and Danny Houston) also give really memorable performances. I really Fantastic Australian-western. I haven't seen a western this good since Unforgiven (not including the TV show Deadwood--which is excellent). Guy Pearce and Ray Winstone really hold down this film along with the sort of fairy-tale dialogue amid this wretched violence and hard reality. The two brothers (Richard Wilson and Danny Houston) also give really memorable performances. I really wished I'd seen this in the movie theater as the landscapes are also just huge in the film. Bravo to Nick Cave and the director Hillcoat. What a great find this movie was. Expand
  12. May 8, 2011
    9
    Beautifully shot, impeccably acted out, cohesively written and a cast worthy of box office stardom but it's modesty is almost immaculate. The film's subtle underlying message is clear and is conveyed without adrenaline-inducing violence but in an odd sense, poetic, almost symbolic, violence. However, though a thorough story and excellently executed, it's lack of action, for a western,Beautifully shot, impeccably acted out, cohesively written and a cast worthy of box office stardom but it's modesty is almost immaculate. The film's subtle underlying message is clear and is conveyed without adrenaline-inducing violence but in an odd sense, poetic, almost symbolic, violence. However, though a thorough story and excellently executed, it's lack of action, for a western, leaves a minor gap in the movie. Not to say that's a bad thing... Expand
  13. Aug 5, 2012
    9
    Directed by John Hilcoat and written by iconic Australian musician and novelist Nick Cave (the two have previously collaborated, on 1988's "Ghosts... Of The Civil Dead"), The Proposition is a gritty and unflinching modern western set in rural Queensland in the 1880's. The film opens with a furiously chaotic shootout, bullets ripping through the tin shack where bushranger brothers CharlieDirected by John Hilcoat and written by iconic Australian musician and novelist Nick Cave (the two have previously collaborated, on 1988's "Ghosts... Of The Civil Dead"), The Proposition is a gritty and unflinching modern western set in rural Queensland in the 1880's. The film opens with a furiously chaotic shootout, bullets ripping through the tin shack where bushranger brothers Charlie and Mikey Burns are holed up following the rape and murder of a local family. The brothers are swiftly overwhelmed and captured by British expatriate Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone). Stanley is not satisfied with his victory, however, because the real villain remains at large - Athur, the eldest and most dangerous Burns brother is hiding in the ranges with the remainder of his posse. Rather than simply imprison them both, the captain presents Charlie with an ultimatum - track down and slay Arthur within nine days, or Mikey will hang from the gallows on Christmas day. It's a swift and effective introduction, giving us a telling taste of the violence and desperation that fill the rest of the film. Charlie locates his brother with ease, but gathering the courage and willpower to murder family is another matter. Arthur (Danny Huston) is an intellectual psychopath, quoting poetry and philosophising on life while carrying out brutal and heinous crimes. His eccentric personality and unflinching taste for extreme violence have developed for him a near-mythical legend status, and neither the local police nor the aboriginal tribesman are willing to hunt him down. Huston's brilliant performance is as charasmatic as it is unnerving, and is one of the highlights of the film. The bond between Arthur and the other posse members is unbreakable - the very definition of "mateship". As a result, he is fiercely determined to free Mikey and seek revenge on Stanley, and in no way suspects the impending betrayal from his brother.

    Back in town, Captain Stanley faces his own dillemna - businessman Eden Fletcher, who all but owns the local law enforcement, has demand that Mikey receive one hundred lashes a preemptive punishment for his crimes. Stanley knows that the ordeal would surely kill the boy, and in doing so nullify his agreement with Charlie and bring down the wrath of the remaining gang members. It's a harsh and uncomprimising narrative - can Stanley resist the bloodlust of the townsfolk and stay true to his moral code while still managing to bring about justice?

    The performances are exemplary, the entire cast potraying their characters with comfortable ease. The Proposition is filled with a vast array of minor characters, mostly crude and cruel men who are as much a product of the harsh country as they are of their convict backgrounds.

    Cave's script is tight and focused, the dialogue spot-on. The score, also written and performed by Cave with the assistance of violinist Warren Ellis, is unusual but highly effective, filled with murmering whispers and bleak soundscapes. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, perfectly capturing the achingly beautiful landscape with wide, open shots. These elements come together to create a realistic insight into colonial Australia, perhaps the most accurate recreation to date.

    The Proposition has been praised for its cynical but accurate potrayal of white/aboriginal relations in colonial Autralia; the white townsfolk treat the aboriginals in an extremely patronizing and condenscending manner. The racial juxtaposition is perhaps best exemplified by Captain Stanley's property - a fenced-off recreation of traditional (and relatively luxurious) English housing that greatly contrasts with the sorrounding countryside. The colonists are stubborn intruders, attempting to bring "civilization" to the vast land and in doing so destroying a rich and unique culture formed over thousands of years. A refreshing take on the dying western genre, The Proposition is so vigorously paced, so shocking in its violence and so beautifully shot that it demands the viewer's full attention. I can't recommend this one enough.
    Expand
  14. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    A well-paced, violent and hard-edged western; it has the classic vengeance storyline, but it´s completely different from the other westerns out there. Very gritty script, brilliant performances, flawless cinematography. Coupled with a heart-rending score, this movie comes as close as they do to perfection.
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    60
    A good film, but it should’ve been a great one.
  2. A fascinating, mythological western.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Kuipers
    80
    Hillcoat and Cave have here found their most fertile ground yet for allegory-rich examinations of life and death in remote, pressure-cooker environments.