Don't Come Knocking Review

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Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) has seen better days. Once a big Western movie star, he now drowns his disgust.


Burned-out Western star Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) — think Kevin Costner’s career with Robert Downey Jr.’s problems — rides off the set of his latest film and winds up in Butte, Montana, where he once fathered two kids he has only now found out about: an angry singer (Gabriel Mann) and a serene flower-child (Sarah Polley). Screenwriter Shepard’s first project with Wim Wenders since Paris, Texas suffers a tad from comparisons with Broken Flowers (Jessica Lange is even in both), and it’s often hard to get past the hero’s self-pitying assholism. But there’s worthier stuff here than in Wenders’ recent work: a striking tour of the modern West accompanied by T-Bone Burnett’s music, Fairuza Balk as a quixotic hanger-on, and yet another achingly lovely performance from the undervalued Polley.

Superb supporting performances from Polley and Baulk go some way to making up for our hero's lesser qualities.