Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Leonard Nimoy Dies
Beloved Star Trek actor was 83
Exclusive: Charlie Cox Talks Marvel’s Daredevil
Plus a new poster for the Netflix superhero show
Avengers: Age Of Ultron Character Posters Fly In
Update: Nick Fury's online, and he's brought Black Widow and Thor
Exclusive New While We're Young Poster
And a new trailer for Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts' midlife-com
First Look At Eddie Redmayne As The Danish Girl
First look at Tom Hooper's new period drama
Harrison Ford Confirmed For Blade Runner 2
Denis Villeneuve is in talks to direct
Jack Huston Eyed As The New Crow
He could flap in to replace Luke Evans
First Trailer For The Lady In The Van
Alan Bennett has a visitor
Sam Mendes Talks Spectre
Skyfall's director on why he returned to the Bond franchise
Red Sonja Prepares For Action Again
Christopher Cosmos hired to write new screenplay
Rosamund Pike Joins The Deep Blue Good-By
Starring with Christian Bale
Blake Lively And Jason Clarke Say All I See Is You
Marc Forster's new psychological drama
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
09 November 2014
Tommy Lee Jones Boards Mechanic: Resurrection
Jessica Alba also on for the Jason Statham sequel
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
The Homesman (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Emperor (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Lincoln (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Hope Springs (2012)
Empire Star Rating
Men In Black 3 (2012)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2014: First Look At Tommy Lee Jones's The Homesman
The Cannes Guru on the Hilary Swank Western

19 May 2014  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit



Tommy Lee Jones rode into town nearly ten years ago with The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada, a terrific neo-Western that marked the hangdog, sardonic actor as a director to watch. By contrast, The Homesman is much more traditional Western fare, and while it features another strong performance from Jones, his follow-up isn’t quite in the same league. Though heavy female presence brings to mind Clint Eastwood’s more thematically progressive westerns of the '70s – The Beguiled, Two Mules For Sister Sara – Jones’s film falls frustratingly short of the (admittedly high) bar set by his debut.

As a comparison, Robert Duvall’s Get Low is a good benchmark in terms of sentiment and tone, since Jones – famous for his self-professed lack of a sense of humour – is in much lighter mood here. There’s also a slight misdirect, since the film opens not on his claim-jumper George Briggs but on Hilary Swank’s bolshy spinster Mary Bee Cuddy. A determined but desperately lonely woman, Mary has a passion for fairness and a sensitive moral compass. This comes into play when three local women are declared insane: Biddy steps forward to transport them to a shelter in Iowa, making a journey that will take some five weeks to complete.

Mary encounters George with a rope around his neck, having been left to hang by a band of vigilantes. She frees him on the understanding that he will accompany her, and at this point the film promises to become a True Grit-style woman-on-a-mission story. Somehow, though, this never really materialises, despite good chemistry between the two leads.

A major twist at the 90-minute changes the whole film irrevocably, and while it’s a bold decision to stick (presumably) with Glendon Swarthout’s source novel, for the viewer it’s rather too much to absorb, as is Marco Beltrami’s overbearing score. Of its kind, though, The Homesman is polished and thoughtful, just a little bit lacking in emotional punch.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Walking Dead's Glen Mazzara Is Planning Omen TV Spin-Off
Damien is heading to small screens
New Trailer And Poster For Buzzed-About Thriller Cold In July
Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard and Don Johnson face off


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

The Oscars: Who Won What?
The winners, the losers, the dresses, the suits...

The Empire Podcast Oscars 2015 Special
The team's take on the 87th Academy Awards

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Robert Downey Jr. On Age Of Ultron
Tomorrow: Mark Ruffalo talks Bruce Banner...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)