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73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Set against the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the 1880s Australian outback, The Proposition is a visually stunning tale of loyalty, revenge and the quest for justice in a land without rule. (First Look Pictures Releasing)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 100
    Directed by John Hillcoat, this Aussie feature perfectly re-creates the charbroiled landscapes and cruel psychodrama of the old Sergio Leone westerns, with John Hurt particularly fine as a raging old mountain goat.
  2. In the end, this is a film about retribution and justice within unjust circumstances. Each character has a personal code of honor -- Arthur, Charlie and Capt. Stanley are all given their dignity -- and it's that code that sets the film apart.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    A near-masterpiece of mood and menace, and one that deserves to be seen on the largest screen possible.
  4. A spellbinding Australian Western.
  5. The veteran rock musician Nick Cave wrote the screenplay and John Hillcoat directed, both somewhat in thrall to Sam Peckinpah. The bonds of family are the centerpiece of this highly uneven, hyperviolent film.
  6. The cast of The Proposition is reason enough to see the film.
  7. 42
    The sketchily symbolic characters and flat plot just frame an atmosphere of sticky heat and Biblical reckoning.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. JonathanH.
    Jun 3, 2006
    10
    An excellent film, especially when viewed in a movie house. Visually stunning and a good story too.
  2. BTn
    May 6, 2006
    10
    amazing: great acting, makes Unforgiven look 2D.
  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. DWilly
    May 13, 2006
    8
    This would be a worthwhile film if only for the opportunity it affords Ray Winstone to demonstrate his phenomenal talents; but it also This would be a worthwhile film if only for the opportunity it affords Ray Winstone to demonstrate his phenomenal talents; but it also captures a place and a reality about the savage history we all share in the modern world. The movie is consistently surprising because, like "Unforgiven," it doesn't play to easy stereo types. Expand
  5. Dec 29, 2014
    8
    The Outback, as well as "The Proposition," is just as punishing and unforgiving as the men who roam it -- and it's savagely entertaining. TheThe Outback, as well as "The Proposition," is just as punishing and unforgiving as the men who roam it -- and it's savagely entertaining. The film takes all the familiar ingredients of the Western with an Aussie spin. Unlike your typical Western movies, it's much darker, downbeat, and brutally violent.

    Set in rural Australia in the late nineteenth century, Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) is a criminal living in the outback. He and his two brothers, Arthur (Danny Huston) and Mikey (Richard Wilson), are outlaws wanted for rape and murder. Arthur is a violent and dangerous cold-blooded sociopath, much more so than his siblings, and is wanted by the law. The authorities capture Charlie and Mikey after a bloody shootout, and the brothers are handed over to Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone), a British lawman sent to Australia to help bring order to the colonies. The Captain's proposition to Charlie is to gain a pardon for both of the brothers, by tracking down the elusive Arthur and killing him. Charlie scours the backwaters of Australia, but isn't certain if he can carry out his mission.

    A movie you cannot turn away from; heartless and uncompromising, filled with disregard to innocence and civility. One of the strengths of "The Proposition" is its relentless moral ambiguity. Characters that would be heroic in more conventional Western movies show their darker sides here. It's a tough and uncompromising story, but it's superbly written, features terrific acting on all fronts, and its beautiful cinematography captures this desolate landscape where only the strongest survive.
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  6. GaborA.
    Jun 6, 2006
    7
    Its most saving grace is the fact that it was a western. Being 21 its probably the only good western I've seen in theaters in my Its most saving grace is the fact that it was a western. Being 21 its probably the only good western I've seen in theaters in my lifetime. Its biggest downfall was that it really could have been so much better. Expand
  7. Simon
    May 4, 2008
    1
    One of the most achingly slow and boring films i've sen in a long time, beautifully shot, but cold have been told in 30 mins!

See all 28 User Reviews

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