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Tim Blake Nelson , whose performance in the title role of this second fiction feature by director Potsy Ponciroli is its most stellar attribute, has the most convincingly exhausted and forlorn hangdog expression in contemporary cinema. And he puts it to undeniably superb use in the early portions of this movie.

He’s heard before he is seen, telling the viewer of his origins: New York born, he spent time Kansas, Arizona and New Mexico; the movie’s setting, 1906, finds him in the territory of Oklahoma, farming. As he works the land, Henry’s son Wyatt, bored with his tasks, complains “I still don’t believe this is the life you wanted ... up at dawn, feeding the stock.” Henry insists to Wyatt (a very good Gavin Lewis ) that “there are worse arrangements.”

His prior narration had hinted that Henry has some familiarity with worse arrangements. Over a shot of the burial ground of his obviously beloved wife, he says of his various ventures over the years that “some were more marginal than others.”

Like William Munny in Clint Eastwood ’s classic “ Unforgiven ,” Henry hasn't outrun his past so much as sent it off stage. It’s not entirely departed from his life, but rather stands ready in the wings.

Soon Henry will have cause to let a man his son doesn’t know take center stage. We’ve seen, in the movie’s tight, menacing opening, Stephen Dorff as Ketchum, with a couple of equally ruthless companions, pump a hapless man of the grasslands for information, then strangle the life out of him. A little later, Henry, who’s got no neighbors except his stalwart, deep-voiced brother-in-law Al (country singer Trace Atkins, who’s terrific with the basso stoicism) comes upon an untended horse, blood on its saddle. A little farther off, there’s a man with a bullet in his shoulder, a revolver, and a bag of money. Henry will bring the man back to the house and look after him. As for the bag of money, he gazes at it for a while before saying “Nope.”

Then he changes his mind and scoops it up.

Well, you know where this might be going, and sure enough, it does. The shot man, Curry, has one story, and when Ketchum and his men show up, they have another. Additionally, Curry ( Scott Haze ), when he’s not passing out from loss of blood, has flashbacks to a time when he and Henry may have met.

Preparing to confront the men posing as law—who are in fact just rank killers—Henry frequently steps on Wyatt’s offers to help with the impending shootout. Wyatt’s pretty handy at target practice, but when it comes to killing a man, Henry tells him, that’s a different line to cross (and here we arrive at "Unforgiven" again). This works Wyatt’s nerves to the extent that he lashes out, calling Henry “a stupid worthless old man.”

This bruises Henry’s feelings. But in Nelson’s deep, still characterization, you see that the hurt means nothing next to his determination to protect his only son.

Eventually—about the time it demonstrates Henry’s expertise as a killer of men, in several well-done action mini-sequences—we learn the details of Henry’s past, and your overall enjoyment of the movie may hinge on whether or not you’re willing to, as they say, go with it. I did a slight eyeroll myself and then settled back into the substantial satisfactions offered by the movie’s climax. And continued my admiration of Nelson, who never puts a foot wrong, pulling off Henry’s transformation from hangdog to deadeye with palpable conviction and credibility.

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Glenn Kenny

Glenn Kenny

Glenn Kenny was the chief film critic of Premiere magazine for almost half of its existence. He has written for a host of other publications and resides in Brooklyn. Read his answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .

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Film credits.

Old Henry movie poster

Old Henry (2021)

Tim Blake Nelson as Henry

Scott Haze as Curry

Gavin Lewis as Wyatt

Stephen Dorff as Ketchum

Trace Adkins as Al

Richard Speight, Jr. as Dugan

  • Potsy Ponciroli

Cinematographer

  • John Matysiak
  • Jamie Kirkpatrick

Original Music Composer

  • Jordan Lehning

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‘old henry’: film review | venice 2021.

Tim Blake Nelson plays an early 20th century farmer who takes in an injured man with a satchel full of cash, inviting trouble in this homage to classic Westerns.

By David Rooney

David Rooney

Chief Film Critic

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OLD HENRY

An atmospheric slice of vintage Americana that shows there’s plenty of life left in seasoned Western archetypes, Old Henry gets much of its mileage from the somewhat unexpected lead casting of Tim Blake Nelson . Playing the eponymous widowed, Scripture-quoting farmer, carving out a hardscrabble existence in the Oklahoma Territory of 1906, Nelson does a complete 180 from the jolly singing, sharpshooting cowboy of the Coen brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs . Or is it? When Henry is put in a tight spot by ruthless men chasing a bag of stolen cash, his unruffled resourcefulness forces even his own petulant son to consider his identity in a new light.

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This lean and tightly controlled production from writer-director Potsy Ponciroli (best known for the Billy Ray Cyrus sitcom Still the King ) plays out for much of its taut buildup and violent climax as a well-crafted exercise in old-fashioned but durable genre tropes. But it evolves into a satisfying reflection on the more complicated, somber realities behind the icons of the Wild West, separated from the embroidery of legend. The film is slated for an Oct. 1 release from Shout! Studios after its out-of-competition premiere in Venice.

Venue : Venice Film Festival (Out of Competition) Release date : Friday, Oct. 1 Cast : Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins, Stephen Dorff, Richard Speight Jr., Max Arciniega, Brad Carter Director-screenwriter : Potsy Ponciroli

Evocatively shot in the grasslands of Waterford, Tennessee, Old Henry opens with violence. A posse of three led by Ketchum ( Stephen Dorff ), who wears a sheriff’s badge but whose sadistic streak suggests he’s no upright man of the law, is in pursuit of two men. One of the fugitives (Brad Carter) is captured and brutally dispatched after being tortured for information. The other — later revealed to go by the name Curry (Scott Haze) — gets away, wounded by a rifle shot.

Accompanied by his “deputy” (Richard Speight Jr.) and a Mexican tracker (Max Arcienega), Ketchum continues the manhunt, but Henry beats them to it. When a horse wanders onto his land with a bloodied saddle, he sets off to investigate, finding Curry close to death by a creek bed, a satchel stuffed with cash lying nearby. Henry’s first instinct is to leave it there and walk away from trouble. But he slings Curry over his horse and takes him back to his lonely homestead, hiding the loot and the wounded man’s pistol in a secret compartment in his closet.

All this has been closely observed by Henry’s teenage son, Wyatt (Gavin Lewis), who chafes at his father’s refusal to let him near a gun. Henry talks up the advantages of unsettled Oklahoma, where if a man can hang on to a piece of land for a year or two, it’s his. But Wyatt is impatient to go hunting and traveling, not be stuck doing farm chores with only his Uncle Al ( Trace Adkins ) for occasional company. As the story’s father-son friction intensifies, Wyatt displays contempt for his crusty, taciturn dad, whom he views as a worthless old man despite all his pithy talk of honesty and truth. But Henry is only trying to shelter his son from the increasingly apparent legacy of his own shadowy past.

Once Curry begins showing signs of recovery, Henry is forced to gauge his trust in the stranger’s version of the events that led him there, which becomes tricky when both the wounded man and Ketchum claim to represent the law. However, Henry’s confidence handling a weapon and his refusal to back down even in the face of a siege in which he’s heavily outnumbered make it clear this diminutive man wasn’t always a humble farmer.

Directing with a sure hand and an obvious love for the classics of the genre, Ponciroli plants clues throughout as to the plot’s major disclosure, all of which acquire clarity in retrospect. Making skillful use of a pensive score by Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist Jordan Lehning, full of mournful strings and notes of quiet foreboding, the director keeps the pace humming while allowing each scene room to breathe. His choreography of both the preliminary violence and the explosive final showdown is detailed and dynamic.

Cinematographer John Matysiak’s widescreen frames capture the extreme isolation of the setting and its vulnerability to intruders, while Max Biscoe’s rustic production design feels fully inhabited and true to the period.

Among the supporting cast, Dorff ably embodies a villainous man with a black heart; Haze keeps his character’s trustworthiness suitably ambiguous; country singer Adkins blends seamlessly into the compact ensemble; and although Lewis reads perhaps a touch too contemporary at times, he conveys the gradual eye-opening discovery of a son quick to judge his father without fully knowing him. But as its title implies, this is Nelson’s film, providing a juicy role for the veteran character actor, who communicates with pathos both the regret and the steely resolve behind every beady-eyed squint.

Full credits

Venue: Venice Film Festival (Out of Competition) Cast: Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins, Stephen Dorff, Richard Speight Jr., Max Arciniega, Brad Carter Distributor: Shout! Studios Production companies: Shout! Studios, Hideout Pictures Director-screenwriter: Potsy Ponciroli Producers: Shannon Houchins, Mike Hagerty Executive producers: Alex Siskin, Garson Foos, Bob Emmer, Jordan Fields, Richard Foos, Trevor O’Neil, Tim Blake Nelson Director of photography: John Matysiak Production designer: Max Biscoe Costume designer: Brianna Quick Editor: Jamie Kirkpatrick Music: Jordan Lehning Casting: Lisa London, Catherine Stroud

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‘Old Henry’ Review: Tim Blake Nelson in His Ultimate Noble-Hick Performance

After years of playing hayseeds, he goes deeper in a Western that's like a minimalist "Unforgiven."

By Owen Gleiberman

Owen Gleiberman

Chief Film Critic

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Old Henry Movie Review

Tim Blake Nelson is a highly skilled and versatile actor (not to mention a terrific director), but for years now there has been one character he owns: the yokel, the snaggletoothed redneck runt, the leering hillbilly bumpkin who never met a big vocabulary word he didn’t like to chew on like tobacco. He has done variations on this role in films from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” to “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” and the thing about it is that each time Nelson goes Full Hick, you don’t feel like he’s acting; you feel like he just is . In truth, he’s acting up a storm, never more so than in “ Old Henry ,” in which he gives what I can only call the “Citizen Kane” of Tim Blake Nelson hayseed varmint performances.

Here’s what elevates this one. Most of the backwoods turns on Nelson’s resume have been unabashedly comic. He knows these characters are funny, and he’s not shy about playing to the peanut gallery. But Henry McCarty, the scowling and taciturn farmer Nelson plays in “Old Henry,” isn’t someone we’re laughing at. He’s got a sneaky gravitas. He’s also not someone to mess with.

When we first see him, we’re cued to underestimate him, because he looks so mangy . Nelson sports a long mustache that slopes into his stubbled cheeks, greasy hair that hangs flat, with a dirty white shirt under his suspenders and, at times, a hat that threatens to swallow his head. He appears not to have bathed in about three weeks. Yet the closer you look, the more you notice, under the foliage, his pale face and eyes of woe, which narrow down to slits of anger. “Old Henry” is set in Oklahoma territory in 1906 (Nelson, in fact, is from Oklahoma), and Henry is a widower who lives with his teenage son, Wyatt (Gavin Lewis), in a shabby comfortable gray farmhouse that sits at the bottom of a sloping field. It’s just the two of them, which Wyatt isn’t happy about. He thinks they’re stranded in the middle of nowhere (which they kind of are), and that his pa is a dutiful dullard (which, at a glance, he seems to be). But Wyatt is underestimating Henry too.

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The film opens with a burst of violence: a man is running away from three killers, and before long they shoot him down — and then Ketchum, the leader, having squeezed all the information he can out of him, strangles him with a rope, mostly for the fun of it. Stephen Dorff , who is such a good actor, plays Ketchum as a stone sociopath with a broad condescending grin. (He, too, likes to chew on big vocabulary words.)

“Old Henry,” written and directed by Potsy Ponciroli, is a slow-burn Western that sets up Henry against this crooked, remorseless trio. It’s all triggered when young Wyatt happens upon a riderless horse with blood on its saddle. Henry, going out to investigate, discovers a satchel full of cash and a man who’s been shot in the chest, Curry (Scott Haze), who he brings back to the farmhouse. The villains want to kill this fellow too. But Henry, though he looks at the cash and first says “ Nope ,” has an instinct to protect him. As he sets about doing that, we start to notice something about him. He’s not scared.

We also notice just how many things Henry knows how to do. He knows how to render a slaughtered hog, how to cover his own tracks, how to subdue a prisoner with half a dozen punches, how to staunch a bullet wound with witch hazel, how to hide himself in a field of wheat, and how to put his son in his place by speaking to him in drawling commands like “Why don’t you cool his fever instead of vaporizing on every thought that comes into your head?” Before long, the outlaws arrive, standing in front of the farmhouse, and Henry comes out to be porch to meet them. Holding a big pistol down at his side, Nelson, with a stern gaze, looks almost cool, like some bantam version of a ’70s outlaw rocker. But does he know what he’s up against?

It would be unfair to give away more of “Old Henry,” which is a rock-solid, off-the-beaten-path Western, one that’s been built as a kind of pedestal for Nelson’s performance. There are twists involving who all these violent men really are. Yet we know in our bones where the movie is going, and it’s a steady enjoyable ride, a touch prosaic at times, one that turns into a kind of minimalist chamber-room version of “Unforgiven,” with a surprisingly touching upshot. What we don’t know, and what the movie starts to drop clues about, is Henry himself. He’s every inch the noble gruff customer we see, but he’s also not quite what he seems. And the way Nelson plays it, with a charismatic gnarled conviction that deepens as the movie goes on, the revelation of who he is comes off as an eye-widening surprise, a joke, and a sly testament to how the landscape of the West might really have operated. “Old Henry” is about violence and redemption, fathers and sons, and the mythology that lives in all our hearts. Mostly, though, it’s about Tim Blake Nelson finding a new power in his backwoods passion.

Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Out of Competition), Sept. 7, 2021. Running time: 99 MIN.

  • Production: A Shout! Factory release of a Hideout Pictures, Shout! Factory production. Producers: Shannon Houchins, Mike Hagerty. Executive producers: Tim Blake Nelson, Bob Emmer, Jordan Fields, Garson Foos, Richard Foos, Trevor O’Neil, Potsy Ponciroli, Alex Sisken.
  • Crew: Director, screenplay: Potsy Ponciroli. Camera: John Matysiak. Editor: Jamie Kirkpatrick. Music: Jordan Lehning.
  • With: Tim Blake Nelson, Gavin Lewis, Scott Haze, Stephen Dorff, Trace Adkins, Richard Speight Jr.

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‘Old Henry’ Review: Can’t Keep Him Down on the Farm

Starring Tim Blake Nelson, the film tips its hat to classic westerns, even if it gets caught in their shadows.

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old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

By Ben Kenigsberg

“Old Henry” makes a solid, honorable go of proving once again that the foursquare western isn’t dead, though in paying homage to its forebears, it inevitably stands in their very long shadows.

While the basic standoff scenario is tautly limited in time and place, it’s hard to imagine Budd Boetticher , who made seven fantastically economical westerns with Randolph Scott, burning nearly 40 minutes bringing the opposing sides together. Tim Blake Nelson plays the title part, a farmer who keeps his past shrouded from his son (Gavin Lewis). When Henry brings home Curry (Scott Haze), a wounded man he finds with a satchel of cash nearby, three other men, led by Ketchum (Stephen Dorff), turn up at the farm to collect him.

Ketchum and Curry both say they represent the law, and a quietly effective scene finds the wily Henry, feeding Curry at night, trying to trip him up with questions. It takes a few scenes before the performances begin to crackle — Nelson, perhaps the actor most suited for westerns, initially comes across as self-conscious, not to mention dwarfed by an exceptionally wide-brimmed hat — but a sense of lived-in characters does take hold.

The writer-director Potsy Ponciroli sometimes gets too ripe in giving the dialogue a stylized twang, and the plot burdens itself with iconography it can’t support. (Even the choice of aspect ratio — rare, ultrawide 2.66:1 — suggests a kind of overreach.) Ponciroli also cheats a bit with perspective. Still, he’s learned a lesson better-illustrated in various classics of Howard Hawks and Clint Eastwood: The deliberate pacing pays off in a satisfyingly volatile climax.

Old Henry Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 39 minutes. In theaters.

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Review: ‘Old Henry’ and star Tim Blake Nelson have a few tricks up their sleeves

Tim Blake Nelson leans against a tree in a scene from the film “Old Henry.”

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The last time most of us saw Tim Blake Nelson in the saddle, he was the warblin’ deadeye from the title of the Coen brothers’ “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” a jovial caricature of the philosophizing cowboy (and the filmmakers’ own reputation for cruelly funny storytelling). But also, because of the actor’s reliability, a figure that still felt rooted in the history of the horse opera.

I have no idea if filmmaker Potsy Ponciroli wrote the coiled, small-scale western “Old Henry” for Nelson’s particular gifts with frontier authenticity — again, he’s the guy in the movie’s name, only this time a full-on lead — but it sure does seem like Ponciroli did. Seeming is a lot of what “Old Henry” is about too: what looks cut and dried but might not be, appears bucolic but isn’t exactly, and what only sounds truthful. Westerns have gotten a lot of mileage out of the disruption of appearances, especially when it comes to the clash between civilization and lawlessness, and “Old Henry” is no different.

Ponciroli wastes no time trying to unsettle us that way, with an opening in which a three-man posse — led by Stephen Dorff in a Stetson and sporting a star on his coat, and featuring a solemn Mexican tracker ( Max Arciniega ) — hunts down a terrified man we take to be a fugitive. Then Dorff’s character, upon catching him, does something we typically don’t expect of those tasked with upholding the law, and our sense of who’s good and who’s bad is put on alert.

Right after, we meet Henry (Nelson), farming with his teenage son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis) and brother-in-law Al (Trace Adkins), who lives nearby. A stern, hard-toiling widower who’s settled in the Oklahoma Territory — it’s 1906, we’re told — Henry not only has a handful tending to his secluded patch of land, but also dealing with a backtalking adolescent who feels trapped and is itching to flee.

What forces father and son to find common ground is a wounded stranger (Scott Haze) with a satchel of money and a story about bad men out to get him. His presence invites trouble, but it also brings out in the reclusive Henry a mysterious knack for homestead security and the gunslinging arts that invites an entirely different set of questions about just who is who in this scenario.

Between the mother’s grave on the property, the portrait of a hard farmer’s life, and the sense that Henry has a past that was tamed by love, it’s pretty obvious Ponciroli has seen (and probably reveres, as we all should) “Unforgiven.” But where Clint Eastwood’s film was a tragic turnabout built on masculine weakness, and that viewed guns as crutches, “Old Henry” is happy to spruce up a sidelined genre’s well-worn trails, presenting the notion of a taciturn man of hidden talents outnumbered but unbowed as the height of movie pleasure. And Nelson, smartly, grasps that shifting from supporting to lead isn’t about letting go the economies of character actor portraiture, but stretching those qualities — he’s great fun to watch transforming Henry’s resolve while staying a concerned father.

The movie’s sense of good and evil isn’t terribly complicated, and for the purposes of a taut homage eager to deliver third-act justice the old-fashioned way, that’s just fine. Ponciroli shows natural flair for holstered and unholstered suspense (if not always story logic), plus he’s got a worthy partner in the muted exteriors and sparsely lit interiors of John Matysiak’s cinematography, and a cast that dutifully plays along with every stare-down and line of colorfully poetic cowboy dialogue.

But for all that’s familiar about “Old Henry,” it does have a trick up its sleeve — one that, blessedly, doesn’t belong to the regrettable movie trend in twists as a reason for being. In this case, it feels earned, narratively and thematically, applying directly to our enjoyment of westerns as the province of mythic storytelling, shadowy histories and gritty realities.

'Old Henry'

Not rated Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes Playing: Starts Oct. 1, Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica

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‘Old Henry’: Outstanding Western gives the versatile Tim Blake Nelson a chance to shine

Playing an isolated farmer who finds a fugitive, the character actor delivers world-weary greatness..

OH_Tim_Blake_Nelson_movie_still.jpeg

There’s more to this scraggly farmer (Tim Blake Nelson) than meets the eye in “Old Henry.”

Shout Studios

What a wonderful thing it is when a versatile and dependable veteran character actor gets a chance to shine in a lead role deep into a career, and such is the case with Tim Blake Nelson in “Old Henry,” a near masterpiece of a Western with Nelson giving arguably the crowning performance of his career as an Oklahoma Territory farmer in the early years of the 20th century who simply wants to live out his days without any intrusion from the outside world — and we all know that’s not going to happen.

With the gorgeous and stark grasslands of Waterford, Tennessee, standing in for 1906 Oklahoma, “Old Henry” opens with a scene worthy of Clint Eastwood Westerns such as “Pale Rider” and “Unforgiven,” as a sadistic sheriff named Ketchum (Stephen Dorff); his deputy, Dugan (Richard Speight Jr.), and his Mexican tracker Stillwell (Max Arciniega) have formed a posse and have captured two fugitives. One of them is tortured for information and then executed, while the other is shot but manages to get away.

Cut to Nelson’s scraggly, scrawny and disheveled widower Henry working the unforgiving land of his farm, barking orders to his teenage son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis), who deeply resents his father for refusing to let him even pick up a gun and can’t wait until he’s reached the age where he can leave the closed-off old man behind and set out to see the world beyond this remote patch. Save for the occasional visit from Henry’s brother-in-law Al (Trace Adkins), we get the feeling there are weeks or even months when no one comes within miles of the farm — but that changes when Henry finds the wounded fugitive in a creek bed, a satchel of cash nearby. Henry takes the man back to the farmhouse, patches up his wound — and ties him to the bed, because even though this man is wearing a badge, something doesn’t sit right.

We learn this man is named Curry (played by Scott Haze), and he claims Ketchum isn’t really a sheriff, he’s a bank robber and he WILL be coming for Curry and for the money, and if he has to kill Henry and Wyatt in the process, he’ll do it without hesitation.

By this point, we’ve come to suspect there’s more to Old Henry than meets the eye. He’s adept at tending to Curry’s wounds, he punches out Curry with fast efficiency at one point, he’s lightning-fast with a gun and he sure isn’t acting like a scared farmer when he’s told there’s a trio of killers headed this way. Writer-director Potsy Ponciroli does a magnificent job of creating a slow build of tension, punctuated by the occasional and stunning moment of violence. (There’s even a measure of dark and grisly humor, e.g., when a body is disposed of and hungry pigs are fed, and those are not disconnected occurrences.)

With beautiful, widescreen cinematography by John Matysiak, impeccable production design and a pitch-perfect score from Jordan Lehning, “Old Henry” is a well-paced and engrossing story — and that’s even before there’s a revelation that’s simply fantastic, and I’ll say no more about that. The ensemble is uniformly excellent, but this is Tim Blake Nelson’s showcase from the moment he appears onscreen, and he delivers world-weary greatness every step of the way.

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Goes at it with gusto ... Tim Blake Nelson (Henry) in Old Henry.

Old Henry review – a rootin’ tootin’ barrel of wild-west cliches

Tim Blake Nelson has a blast as a pig farmer with something to hide, but this low-aiming western is as familiar as refried beans

O ld Henry premieres at the Sala Grande here at Venice, with the sea at its front and the gondolas at its back and it’s hard to imagine a less appropriate setting. Potsy Ponciroli’s film is a rootin’ tootin’ barrel of wild-west cliches, complete with bank robbers, a scared kid and a dastardly villain who wears a black hat. The programmers could at least have played ball and put some saloon doors at the entrance, sawdust on the floor, maybe a spittoon by each seat.

Tim Blake Nelson grabs a rare and deserved title role as Henry, an ornery old pig farmer who may (slight spoiler) be a stone-cold cowboy killer in flight from a past he’d rather not talk about, dagnammit. Even so, Henry’s currently doing fine. He has a meek teenage son, Wyatt (Gavin Lewis) and a mess of hogs out the back. “Don’t it ever bother you sometimes that they eat their own?” asks Wyatt, but this doesn’t worry Henry, who surely saw far worse things occur during the bad old life that he may or may not have lived in the past.

One day, while roaming the grasslands of the Oklahoma territories, Henry runs across a wounded man with a satchel of banknotes, hauls him back to the farm and saves his life, just like that. Probably he should have left well alone, though, because now here comes a posse of genuine thugs, led by the villainous, monologuing Ketchum (Stephen Dorff), who claims he’s a sheriff and ain’t nothing of the sort. Ketchum says that Henry fights pretty good for a farmer and, come to think of it, doesn’t he know him from some place long ago? The hog farmer’s having none of it. “You got the wrong pig by the ear,” he drawls.

It’s good to see Nelson carry a film on his own and he goes at it with gusto, clomping around the homestead sporting a moustache that resembles a draft excluder and a hat-brim so wide he could shelter old ladies beneath it. He looks as though he’s having a blast and his co-stars do, too – and they all pull together to lay on quite a show.

While I’ll confess that most westerns have me at howdy, Old Henry is a determinedly low-aiming affair. It’s the sort of movie that the trade magazines used to refer to as “oaters”, the equivalent of a studio quota quickie, with a script cobbled together from a hundred other pictures and everyone hamming it up as though they’re on a themed holiday. It’s dopey and corny and as familiar as refried beans, and I can’t think why the organisers waved it into this year’s competition. Old Henry, that varmint, must have put a gun to their heads.

  • Venice film festival 2021
  • Venice film festival

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Stephen Dorff, Trace Adkins, Tim Blake Nelson, Richard Speight Jr., Max Arciniega, Scott Haze, and Gavin Lewis in Old Henry (2021)

A farmer takes in an injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse comes for the money, he must decide who to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a gunslinging talent calling his true id... Read all A farmer takes in an injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse comes for the money, he must decide who to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a gunslinging talent calling his true identity into question. A farmer takes in an injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse comes for the money, he must decide who to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a gunslinging talent calling his true identity into question.

  • Potsy Ponciroli
  • Tim Blake Nelson
  • Gavin Lewis
  • 449 User reviews
  • 68 Critic reviews
  • 69 Metascore
  • 3 wins & 1 nomination

Old Henry

  • Cowardly Gunslinger
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Did you know

  • Trivia Among the newspaper clippings is a story about the Lincoln County War. This was a conflict between farmers and ranchers in New Mexico during which landowners hired gunmen (known as "regulators") to serve as enforcers. Billy the Kid was among this group for a time.
  • Goofs When Henry is using the shotgun against the man under the house you hear two empty shotgun shells hit the ground. The sound made is of plastic hulled shotgun shells which didn't come about until 1960. Back then shotgun shells would have either been brass, or most likely, paper.

Al : You have no idea the hell storm you're about to let loose.

  • Connections Referenced in Film Junk Podcast: Episode 837: Scream + Clerk (2022)
  • Soundtracks My Son Written by Eddie Montgomery (as E. Montgomery), N. Gordon Performed by Eddie Montgomery Produced by Noah Gordon and Shannon Houchins Published by Plowin' Ground Music (BMI), ZJS Music Publishing (ASCAP)

User reviews 449

  • Oct 8, 2021
  • How long is Old Henry? Powered by Alexa
  • October 1, 2021 (United States)
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  • Henry Già Cỗi
  • Watertown, Tennessee, USA
  • Hideout Pictures
  • Shout! Factory
  • Shout! Studios
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  • Oct 3, 2021

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  • Runtime 1 hour 39 minutes

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Stephen Dorff, Trace Adkins, Tim Blake Nelson, Richard Speight Jr., Max Arciniega, Scott Haze, and Gavin Lewis in Old Henry (2021)

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old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

Classically built Western explores themes of violence; guns.

Old Henry Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

At the center of the violent, vengeance-fueled sto

Despite his violent past, Henry is a pretty cool c

Almost every character is a White male, with the e

Strong violence, with guns and shooting. Knife/sta

Sporadic use of "f--k," "s--t," "c---sucker," "son

Character is given whiskey to ease his pain during

Parents need to know that Old Henry is a small-scale, classical Western starring Tim Blake Nelson ( The Ballad of Buster Scruggs ) as a farmer/single father whose old gunfighting skills come out of retirement when he saves a wounded stranger. While there's no sex and drinking is limited to a man being…

Positive Messages

At the center of the violent, vengeance-fueled story is a good deed that promotes the idea of helping someone in need. Like many Westerns, this one discusses the nature of violence to some degree; once it's indulged in, it becomes impossible to escape. It's a pessimistic message, but also possibly a helpful one.

Positive Role Models

Despite his violent past, Henry is a pretty cool character; every move he makes is designed to try to protect his son and to do the right thing. He's incredibly skilled and intuitive. Of course, violence is his ultimate (if reluctant) solution, and he becomes a somewhat tragic figure. Though (without giving anything away) his character inspires many to emulate him, in reality this isn't a wise move.

Diverse Representations

Almost every character is a White male, with the exception of a Mexican tracker. And he's portrayed in a way that's common for the Western genre and is drawn from stereotype -- i.e. he's more in touch with nature than his White colleagues and able to read the land. He's also a secondary character who doesn't have much effect on the way the story flows.

Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.

Violence & Scariness

Strong violence, with guns and shooting. Knife/stabbing. Characters are shot (in the head, eye, etc.) and killed. A teen shoots a gun for target practice then in a shootout. Bloody injuries, blood stains/smears, blood spurts. One character stomps on another's wounded leg. Character with rope around neck dragged by horse. People strangled/choked to death and hung with rope. Axe to chest. Digging bullet out of bloody wound. Character hit with rifle butt. Farmer guts a pig. Human corpse fed to pigs. Struggling, fighting, punching. Teen slapped. Adult tied up. Knife shown. House on fire. Threats.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sporadic use of "f--k," "s--t," "c---sucker," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "ass," "goddamn," "damn," "hell," "stupid," "worthless."

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character is given whiskey to ease his pain during bullet extraction.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Old Henry is a small-scale, classical Western starring Tim Blake Nelson ( The Ballad of Buster Scruggs ) as a farmer/single father whose old gunfighting skills come out of retirement when he saves a wounded stranger. While there's no sex and drinking is limited to a man being given whiskey to ease the pain of a bullet extraction, there's some pretty intense violence, with heavy guns and shooting, stabbing/slicing with knives, bloody wounds and blood spurts, characters being shot and killed, fighting, and other shocking/unpleasant scenes. A teen boy shoots a gun. Sporadic language includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," "son of a bitch," "bastard," and more. The movie is well-constructed and well-told and highly recommended to mature Western fans. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

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What's the Story?

In OLD HENRY, it's 1906, and widower Henry ( Tim Blake Nelson ) works a small farm tucked away in the Oklahoma territory with his teen son, Wyatt ( Gavin Lewis ). Occasionally Wyatt's uncle/Henry's brother-in-law, Al ( Trace Adkins ), stops by to help out. Wyatt yearns for something different, maybe some excitement, but Henry is very strict -- and a little paranoid. When a riderless horse appears with blood smeared on its saddle, Henry investigates and finds a man nearby, shot and near-death, with a satchel full of money. Henry reluctantly takes both man and money back home; it's not long before a trio of riders comes looking for the man, who's called Curry ( Scott Haze ). Henry must decide who to trust before the shooting starts.

Is It Any Good?

A well-cast Nelson is at the center of this classically built Western, which uses well-defined spaces to explore themes of violence, risk, and caution, as well as packing a surprising wallop. Old Henry opens with Henry's narration, and it's hard not to recall Nelson in as Buster Scruggs in the opening segment of Joel and Ethan Coen's anthology Western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs , narrating with a cheerful bounce and twinkle and singing songs. But aside from also being a gunfighter, Nelson's character here couldn't be more different. Henry is nervy and paranoid and "ended up" being a farmer, as if he deserved nothing else. His every thought and move is about controlling and protecting, even though his appearance suggests the opposite. He looks small and gaunt, with stringy hair and an unbecoming snaggletooth. (Looks can be deceiving.)

Writer/director Potsy Ponciroli does an excellent job of placing Henry and the other characters in the movie's landscape. Almost all the action takes place at the farmhouse, with Henry peering at a grassy hill, waiting for intruders to appear over the crest. The moment Henry realizes that they're going to have company, the camera tracks backward, leaving him small and vulnerable in the open. Henry's relationship with Wyatt, who's impetuous and adventurous, and his juxtaposition with Curry (handsome and tricky), provide more drama and friction inside the house. Truth be told, most good Westerns of the last century have already broached all these subjects, and Old Henry really doesn't add anything new, but it's so well made that they're worth experiencing again.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about Old Henry 's violence . How did it make you feel? Was it exciting? Shocking? What did the movie show or not show to achieve this effect? Why is that important?

What is the movie's message? Is there a way to be forgiven for a violent past? Why, or why not?

What's interesting about the Western genre? What does it have to say about who Americans once were and who we are now?

Is Henry a role model ? Why, in his younger days, do you think he inspired people to follow him or emulate him?

Did you notice the movie's lack of diverse representation? Can you think of movies that tell stories of the United States' past but do involve and/or center on characters of color?

Movie Details

  • In theaters : October 1, 2021
  • On DVD or streaming : November 9, 2021
  • Cast : Tim Blake Nelson , Scott Haze , Gavin Lewis
  • Director : Potsy Ponciroli
  • Studio : Shout! Factory
  • Genre : Western
  • Run time : 99 minutes
  • MPAA rating : NR
  • Last updated : June 20, 2023

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Suggest an Update

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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Old Henry’ on VOD, A Boutique Western Full Of Hard Choices And Rich Genre Flair

Where to stream:, ‘yellowstone’ star cole hauser teases potential for a spin-off with co-star kelly reilly, 'outer range's biggest mystery is what kind of show it wants to be, kevin costner says he would consider 'yellowstone' return, stream it or skip it: 'brigands: the quest for gold' on netflix, about italian bandit groups that band together to look for stolen riches.

Starring Tim Blake Nelson, the seasoned character actor of O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs fame who’ll next be seen in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley , Old Henry (VOD) finds its perfect yeoman in Nelson as a man with a hidden past forced into violent circumstances in a grudging bid to protect what’s his. 

OLD HENRY : STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

The Gist: “It can be hard to tell who and what a man is,” drawls Tim Blake Nelson in voiceover as the sweeping grassland of early 1900’s Oklahoma undulates across rolling hills. (Waterford, Tenn. was the stand-in for the setting of Old Henry .) And as Ketchum (Stephen Dorff), a man who purports to be a lawman, shoots a guy before dragging him behind his party’s horses, crushing his windpipe, and hanging him for good measure, it’s clear that around here, morality is as hard to make out as the faces of riders on the horizon. Nelson’s Henry is hard at work on his farmer’s plot alongside restless teenage son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis, Little Fires Everywhere ) and taciturn brother-in-law Al (Trace Adkins) when a horse appears, riderless and with a bloodstained saddle horn. Henry investigates, and discovers an unconscious man bleeding into the dirt from a nasty gunshot wound, his pistol and a satchel full of cash strewn alongside. Henry’s been around long enough to know trouble when he sees it, but still transports man and loot back to the homestead for recuperation and safe-keeping.

The stranger turns out to be Curry (Scott Haze, Minari ), who says that he’s law, and that Ketchum, the man he’s after, is the one who’s lying about it. Henry, wary and on guard, keeps Curry at arm’s length while facing down Ketchum during a tense visit to the farm. All of this circling already smells bad, no matter who’s telling the truth, and Henry can see the violence creeping like a shadow.

When it finally, inevitably arrives, in a standoff that becomes a defense of Henry’s hard-earned homestead, the shootout lays bare the intentions of everybody involved, and brings into focus the shrouded past that Henry had kept locked away from Wyatt and the world. It can be hard to tell who and what a man is. But there’s a means to an end in the clicking of a revolver’s chamber or the crackling report of a .30-6.

What Movies Will It Remind You Of? Westerns: still relevant? Yes, as recent explorations of the form’s dark matter have proven, films like 2014’s The Keeping Room , written by Julia Hart and starring Brit Marling, or the ominous frontier grist and horror overtones of The Wind (2019), available now on Netflix. Hostiles , meanwhile, written and directed by Scott Cooper, was steeped in violence and revisionism, and featured Christian Bale in full brood form.

Performance Worth Watching: Old Henry is Nelson’s film, no doubt. But Stephen Dorff brings a wryness and guarded, threatening air about his character’s own background to the role of Ketchum, the bankrobber with an obsessive nature and extremely dark heart.

Memorable Dialogue: “You really think that’s necessary?” Wyatt asks as his dad ties the wounded stranger to the bed. “It ain’t not necessary,” huffs Henry. There are passages throughout Old Henry that evoke the speech patterns of an earlier America, as well as the spectrum of Westerns and other films set in those times. “Now, why don’t you cool his fever instead of vaporizing on every thought that comes into your head?”

Sex and Skin: Nope.

Our Take: Old Henry reaches into the Western tool box and roots around until it finds the implements it needs. Here is a solitary man, framed against the doorway of his windswept home. Here is a bad man, his hat crooked and riding at the head of a pack of gunmen. Here is a saddle bag full of ill-gotten money, here is a scarred wooden box full of secret history, here is frontier justice in all its stark duality. But for all of these representative elements, there are just as many Western tropes that Old Henry writer-director Potsy Ponciroli willingly discards. There is no hardscrabble town here, with its caking dust and clanking blacksmith and rowdy saloon barroom. There is no damsel in distress. There is only the crisp desolation of the landscape, and the parties putting their stamp on it, whether through sweat and toil or blood and avarice. In this, director of photography John Matysiak’s enveloping exterior wide shots and knack for storytelling inside the intimate setting of Henry’s farmstead are keys, as is the exclusive use of natural light (barring an occasional gas lamp), and an evocative score from Jordan Lehning.

Old Henry is driven, too, by its touches of linguistic anachronism — Ketchum referring to “devilry,” Al muttering about a situation “turning into some kind of fricassee,” and the way folks of the era tended to pronounce “at all” with a hard “T.” Nelson, together with Dorff and Haze and Adkins, lean heartily into all of this, creating big presences. There’s no Old West town needed to bring the rich atmosphere of Old Henry to life.

Our Call: STREAM IT. Led by a singular performance from Tim Blake Nelson, Old Henry looks backward lovingly at the Western form while immersing its story anew in the tenets and tensions that have always fueled the genre.

Will you stream or skip the revelatory Tim Blake Nelson western #OldHenry on VOD? #SIOSI — Decider (@decider) October 8, 2021

Johnny Loftus is an independent writer and editor living at large in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges

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‘Old Henry’ Review: A Tim Blake Nelson-Starring Western That Does Little with the Genre

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Editor’s note: This review was originally published at the 2021 Venice   Film Festival. Shout! Factory releases the film in theaters on Friday, October 1.

In “Old Henry,” Patsy Ponciroli has written and directed a western which contains all the mechanisms for strong storytelling —  but never digs past the superficial realm of old genre tropes.  Tim Blake Nelson , the Henry of the title, is here grizzled and grey and mutton-chopped. He looks every bit the whip-thin farmer who toils in tedious labor and who has probably seen better days. He has a modest ranch in the Oklahoma Territory circa 1906, the year in which the movie begins. He also has a teenage son, Wyatt (Gavin Lewis) who in the long tradition of teenage boys, thinks his father is a bit of a drip and can’t wait to set out on a more exciting life than the one on the farm. Nelson has a strong backlog of work as down-home country types, not least in the Coen brothers’ 2018 western “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” where he plays a Gene Autry-style singing cowboy straight out of a movie fantasy.

Pontrocoli films in generous widescreen and adopts a brown-grey palette appropriate for gloom-filled electricity-free rooms. DP John Matysiak does a nice job of differentiating the spaces external and internal, tightly framing the cramped indoors versus the wide rolling plains beyond, dense with scrub and the possibility of various lurking dangers.

One fateful day, just such danger emerges. Henry stumbles across a wounded young man (Scott Haze) with an unexplained bag of cash and takes him in; the man claims he’s a sheriff who’s been waylaid by bandits after trying to take away their loot. Later the same day, a squinting, black-hatted stranger named Ketchum (Stephen Dorff) turns up, searching for a wanted man he claims he — as the actual sheriff — has injured and must claim. Caught between two parties seemingly hellbent on killing the other, and unsure of who or what to believe, Henry and his son Wyatt pull out their rifles and do the best they can to survive the day, surrounded indoors and outdoors by shifty men.

From there on out, Ponciroli shunts his characters into a sort of chamber piece via stand-off, a talkative venture that yields some strongly-written scenes but little to really nudge “Old Henry” into a film that feels distinctive. It is admittedly well-crafted;  Nelson is ideal as an unassuming older gentleman with a past, and Ponciroli has a particular ear for eloquently salty old-timey dialogue. While describing a wanted man, Ketchum (Dorff) spits, “Some call him handsome, but the most I credit to him is devilry.” Another man later calls Ketchum himself a “long-winded sonofabitch.”

But even the central twist of the film — while entertaining — is not so much dispelling tired stereotypes as it is gussying them up. And its other touchstones — about fathers and sons, wanting better for your kids than what you had, and protecting them from your mistakes — are all pretty face-value lessons at this stage. None of its contents add up to much more than a mild ‘oh!’ from the viewer.

The American West — as history, concept, and cinematic genre — has always the capacity to contain deeper stories about civilization, law and order, racism, masculinity, or the fundamental rot of Manifest Destiny. Ask John Ford (well, if you have a Ouija Board), or Kelly Reichardt, or Cormac McCarthy for that matter. Most of the truly great westerns grapple with such themes, be they old (“High Noon”) or young (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”). The trouble with “Old Henry” is that it doesn’t even try. With such a familiar framework — one that has already been chopped and revised and had neo-and quasi- placed in front of it, you’d have assumed the film would have worked harder at revisionism. Instead, Ponciroli plays it safe, utilising well-worn cliches: the creaky toil of 19th century farm life interrupted by a mysterious stranger; the corrupt lawman; a wife dead by consumption; and  a callow teenager seeking adventure and discovering the peril it entails.

Ponciroli has made a handsomely-appointed film, but audiences will likely want more from this fading old monument of a genre, especially out of a Venice Film Festival which this year boasts as a frontrunner the masterful Jane Campion western “The Power of the Dog.” “Old Henry” is a retread of the same dusty plains and macho bonds we’ve seen too many times before. It tells its slim story competently, but it does so little beyond that that it can’t help but feel mediocre. A mediocre film might be excused somewhat by the merit of some ambition, but the problem with “Old Henry” is that there isn’t enough of that, either.

“Old Henry” premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will be theatrically released by Shout! Studios on October 1.

As new movies open in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, IndieWire will continue to review them whenever possible. We encourage readers to follow the  safety precautions  provided by CDC and health authorities. Additionally, our coverage will provide alternative viewing options whenever they are available.

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Movie Review – Old Henry (2021)

November 25, 2021 by admin

Old Henry , 2021.

Directed by Potsy Ponciroli. Starring Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Dorff, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins, Richard Speight Jr., Max Arciniega, and Brad Carter.

A widowed farmer and his son take in a mysterious, wounded stranger along with a bag full of cash. But no good deed goes unpunished in the old west.

Good Westerns are hard to come by these days. Especially the hard-hitting, uncompromising kind, that leaves you shaken and stirred. So, I was completely caught off guard by the time I concluded watching Old Henry .

This here yarn is about a fella named Henry (Tim Blake Nelson) a widowed farmer and his estranged son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis), living out their days in a small, isolated patch of fertile land from which they scratch out a meager living. Things however, take an unexpected turn when a grievously injured stranger named Curry (Scott Haze) stumbles into their midst with a cash loot. Henry nurses the man back to health but is suspicious of Curry and the story he conjures. Soon enough a posse of unsavory characters headed by their vicious ringleader Ketchum (Stephen Dorff) turns up on their doorstep and all proverbial hell break loose.

Tim Blake Nelson is without a doubt one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors. Bursting into the limelight with his scene stealing turn in O Brother, Where Art Thou? in 2000, the gifted performer has since then turned in memorable performances in both art-house films as well as big-budget affairs. 2018 saw Nelson playing the eponymous Buster Scruggs , the happy-go-lucky cowboy, of the Coen Brother’s anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs . Of the six vignettes featured in the movie, the clear highlight was that of Nelson’s segment and the infectiously comedic character he brought to life. It was in this context that Nelson was approached by Hideout Pictures and Shout! Studios to play the lead in Potsy Ponciroli’s Old Henry . Revisionist Westerns which became popular in the 60s made a major comeback three decades later with Kevin Costner’s sprawling frontier epic Dances with Wolves and Clint Eastwood’s blood-soaked revenge drama Unforgiven . Each subsequent decade hence, has seen their fair share of the like, dealing with similar themes and characters. Old Henry is this year’s submission to that category.

Cut from the same cloth as Unforgiven , Old Henry comes off as a less glamorous version of the former, but that never lessens its overall impact, no sir. Instead, director Potsy Ponciroli doubles down, expertly utilizing his shoe-string budget to create a stunningly minimalist Western that delivers the proverbial goods. At the center of this captivating drama is Tim Blake Nelson, and his performance can best be described as the antithesis of what we saw in Ballad of Buster Scruggs . He is a tough-as-nails mofo you don’t want to mess around with. Even before the ‘holy shit’ twist is revealed, one can tell that Henry is a man haunted by a dark past, bearing a heart heavy with regret. The titular character’s complex, conflicting emotions are brought to life effortlessly by Nelson, who imbues Henry’s everyman persona with a sense of darkness and mystery. Captivating stuff indeed. Although thinly written Stephen Dorff’s Ketchum functions as a suitable nemesis for the film’s protagonist. Dorff is certainly having a ball here, chewing the scenery in glorious fashion in between smirks. Scott Haze too is an engrossing watch as the two-timing stranger Curry and Gavin Lewis is a delight as Henry’s alienated son Wyatt. DOP John Matysiak does some stellar work with the camera, capturing the rugged monochromatic expanses of the old west and the intricate character work exquisitely.

Anchored by a powerhouse performance courtesy of Tim Blake Nelson, Old Henry is a stripped-down, gut-wrenching, no holds barred Western that combines engaging storytelling with gritty action to deliver an unforgettable, emotionally raw drama unlike no other.

Flickering Myth Rating  – Film ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★ ★

Hasitha Fernando is a part-time medical practitioner and full-time cinephile. Follow him on Twitter via @DoctorCinephile for regular updates on the world of entertainment.

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Three men on horseback, one wearing a sheriff’s badge, chase down a man, shooting and eventually hanging him.  They discuss a second man they need to find, but that man’s horse has sauntered up to a farmhouse, blood on its saddle, and the seriously injured Curry (Scott Haze, "Child of God") will be lucky to be found first by the farmer known as “Old Henry.”

Laura's Review: B

If you’d told me the man behind a Country Music Television series starring Billy Ray Cyrus (‘Still the King’) had made a Western, I’d have been mighty dubious, but writer/director Potsy Ponciroli’s feature debut is so good I may have to check out that show!  Starring the Coen Brothers’ go-to hayseed Tim Blake Nelson ("The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"), “Old Henry” is a redemptive tale laced with the romance of the American Western outlaw.

We’re introduced to Henry working his land with his teenaged son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis, TV's 'Little Fires Everywhere'), who chafes against the labor intensive life of a farmer and his dad’s strictness and yearns to find his own path.  ‘Your Pa’s a good man, Wyatt,’ his Uncle Al (Trace Adkins, "The Lincoln Lawyer") tells him, ‘otherwise I wouldn’t have let him marry my sister.’  But Henry’s wife died years ago and the sober widow is wedded to his work.

Everything changes when Henry brings Curry home, tying him to the bedstead for the night before he can fetch the doctor to treat his gunshot wound the next day.  He’ll hide Curry’s satchel full of cash along with his gun, entrusting the man to Wyatt, but Wyatt’s curiosity is too strong.  Wyatt teaches himself how to use that gun against his father’s wishes.  He’ll also find something about Henry’s history the man wanted hidden.

Henry runs across that Sheriff, Ketchum (Stephen Dorff, "Somewhere"), where he found Curry, Ketchum’s tracker mighty impressed by whoever covered his tracks.  Unseen, Henry heads home without a doctor and tends to Curry’s gunshot wound himself.  His dilemma now will be who to believe – the man who claims that Ketchum is a bank robber wearing his badge or the man wearing the star who rides up with his armed men.

It is rewarding to see Blake Nelson given the chance to shine in a lead role tailor made for him.  His unshowy character is like the Navy Seal of homesteaders, his prodigious talents hinting at a mysterious past.  So, too, may his seriousness of purpose, something the actor conveys with a hint of regret, cognizant that his attempt to guide his son is driving him away.  Adkins acts as a good-natured intermediary.

Cinematographer John Matysiak (TV's 'Still the King') uses the pitch of the landscape to accentuate the drama, his interior set ups indicating power.  Everything about the production is impressive, from costume to sets and location, Jordan Lehning's score comprised of strings and propulsive drumbeats.  A third act gunfight is well choreographed, danger coming from unexpected directions.

“Old Henry” holds an ace up its sleeve and it’s a good one.  Poncilori’s Western is well worth catching.

Robin's Review: B+

Henry (Tim Blake Nelson) lost his wife and raises his son, Wyatt (Gavin Lewis), on his remote farm. When a riderless horse shows at on their door, he finds the rider shot and a bag full of cash, he knows that trouble is coming. When bad men, posing as sheriff’s deputies, arrive, they are in for a huge surprise when they find out there is more than meets the eye to “Old Henry.”

Tim Blake Nelson, as the title character, gives one of the best performances of his career as the taciturn farmer who just wants to be left alone to tend to his land and raise his teenage son. When the sheriff’s “posse” arrives, they meet the determined Henry holding a six-gun at his side – and he seems to be very comfortable with the weapon.

This begins a battle of both wits and skill as the bad guys lay siege to the McCarty homestead. Their lack of intelligence on the seemingly harmless sod buster will prove deadly as they try to flush out their quarry. There is much more to this modern look at a previous, rugged time and writer-director Potsy Ponciroli captures the look and feel with the grungy accuracy of a tough life.

I like the way that the western genre has changed and evolved since the early days of film. Back then big productions and mega-stars help bring about the classics like “Stagecoach (1939)” and “They Died with Their Boots On (1941).” Then, in the 1970’s, we had films like Robert Altman’s “McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)” and the “glamorous” westerns gave way to the gritty and realistic views of America’s old west. Happily, “Old Henry” is a part of that pantheon of the modern western.

Shout! Studios releases "Old Henry" in theaters on 10/1/2 and on VOD on 10/8/21.

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Modern classic Spike Lee movie with 96% on Rotten Tomatoes hits Prime Video

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A truly great modern movie just hit Amazon Prime Video in the US, bringing one of Spike Lee's very best films to the service at no extra cost for subscribers (whether you pay for the basic, or the ad-free version ).

BlacKkKlansman is an incendiary, funny and, at times, devastating bit of work. Its reputation is absolutely stellar, too, with a top-drawer 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes from movie critics. There aren't many others that hit so high on the scale.

The movie tells a fable of policing and civil rights, as Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Butting up against prejudice internally, he decides to embark on an ambitious plan to get undercover information about the Ku Klux Klan, by masquerading as a white supremacist.

Despite his supernaturally perfect white phone voice, though, this requires the help of an actual white officer in physical form, which falls to Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver).

This leads to all sorts of tense, ironic, dramatic and sometimes funny situations, but the more BlacKkKlansman goes on, the more serious it becomes. By the end, it's offering up startling moments and some real-world observations that will stay with you for a long time.

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Both Washington and Driver are on top form, too, jumping from comic timing to serious emotion whenever it's needed, and proving again that they both have that leading-man quality, as demonstrated in movies such as Tenet and Ferrari .

BlacKkKlansman was pretty much universally praised on release, too, and attracted six Oscar nominations, winning Best Adapted Screenplay for its writing team deservedly, and it got the same award at the BAFTAs to complete a welcome double.

It was added to Prime Video, which is always trying to position itself as the best streaming service for cinephiles, at the start of May, so now's the perfect time to check it out at no extra cost if you have a Prime membership.

Like most Spike Lee films, the soundtrack in BlacKkKlansman is a real stunner, with multiple superb needle drops and classic tracks, so be sure to watch it with one of the best soundbars we've tested under your TV. It'll enhance your experience massively.

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Challengers makes us even more excited for upcoming movie with 83% on rotten tomatoes.

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Did Zendaya & Her Co-Stars Really Play Tennis For Challengers?

Challengers ending explained: who won the final match, lord of the rings animated movie first look images: massive armies assemble outside 2 iconic middle-earth locations.

  • Mike Faist's performance in Challengers sets the stage for his upcoming movie, The Bikeriders, which has received positive reviews from critics since its festival premiere in August 2023.
  • The Bikeriders follows a fictional Chicago motorcycle gang and releases in theaters in June 2024.
  • Mike Faist has been rising to fame since his breakout role as Riff in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story in 2021.

Mike Faist's riveting performance in the critically acclaimed Challengers makes his upcoming movie that's already received positive reviews all the more exciting. Directed by Luca Guadagnino, Challengers tells the story of three pro-tennis players, Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), Art Donaldson (Mike Faist), and Patrick Zweig (Josh O'Connor) , depicting how their careers evolve and their lives intertwine at different points in time. Throughout the nonlinear narrative, the love triangle between Tashi, Art, and Patrick in Challengers continuously raises the stakes and creates just as much drama on the court as off.

Since releasing in theaters on April 26, Challengers has been killing it at the box office. It earned $15 million its opening weekend and has already grossed $54.5 million worldwide at the time of writing (via Box Office Mojo ). In addition to its commercial success, Challengers is a huge hit with critics, many of whom have praised the outstanding performances by the main cast of Challengers , including Mike Faist. With its 89% critics score, Challengers continues Faist's unbroken "Fresh" streak on Rotten Tomatoes after his last movie, which will have its theatrical premiere later this year.

Zendaya, Josh O'Connor, and Mike Faist hit the racket a ton in the sports drama Challengers, but are the stars actually playing tennis in the movie?

Mike Faist Is Part Of The Bikeriders' Cast After Challengers

Faist plays a fictionalized version of photographer danny lyon in the bikeriders, the bikeriders.

Now that Challengers has arrived, Mike Faist's next film coming to theaters is Jeff Nichols' The Bikerider s . Set in 1960s Chicago, The Bikeriders follows a fictional motorcycle club called the Vandals MC as they evolve from the found family dynamic they started with to a violent gang over the course of a decade. The Bikeriders is inspired by photographer Danny Lyon's 1968 photobook of the same name about the real-life Chicago-based Outlaws MC. Faist plays a fictionalized version of Lyon in The Bikeriders , which also stars Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Jodie Comer, and more.

The Bikeriders was acquired by Universal's Focus Features and will finally release in theaters on June 21, 2024, less than two months after Challengers.

Since premiering at the 50th Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2023, The Bikeriders has maintained an 83% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes , aggregated from 36 reviews. Critics praised the " charismatic cast " of The Bikeriders and the " gritty authenticity " of Nichols' writing and direction. The Bikeriders was slated for a theatrical release on December 1, 2023, but was removed from Disney's release schedule during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. After getting dropped by Disney's 20th Century Studios, The Bikeriders was acquired by Universal's Focus Features and will finally release in theaters on June 21, 2024, less than two months after Challengers.

Challengers sees the ups and downs of intense relationships within the tennis world. We break down the film's biggest ending developments and more.

The Bikeriders Can Continue Mike Faist's Spectacular Rise

Faist's breakout film role was playing riff in steven spielberg's west side story in 2021.

After the success of Challengers , The Bikeriders will continue Faist's rise to fame that kicked off three years ago with his breakout film role. In 2021, Faist played Jet leader Riff in Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of the classic 1957 stage musical, West Side Story . Prior to getting cast, Faist first caught the legendary director's attention during his run as Connor Murphy in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, which earned him his first Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.

Along with his Tony nomination, Faist and the cast of Dear Evan Hansen won the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album and the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program for their ensemble performance of "You Will Be Found" on The Today Show.

Faist's rendition of Riff was often highlighted as one of the standout performances in West Side Story (2021).

Although it fell short at the box office, grossing a disappointing $76 million on a $100 million budget (via The Numbers ), Spielberg's adaptation of West Side Story was highly-rated across the board , as reflected by its 92% critics score and 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes . Along with Ariana DeBose, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita, Faist's rendition of Riff was often highlighted as one of the standout performances in West Side Story (2021).

After West Side Story, Faist played real-life GQ journalist and "pinball wizard" Roger Sharpe in the 2022 biopic Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game. Though it flew somewhat under the radar due to its limited theatrical release and subsequent streaming release on Hulu, Pinball 's 19 reviews still left it "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes with a 95% critics score. Now coming off the heels of Challengers , Faist's star is about to soar even higher with The Bikeriders .

Sources: Box Office Mojo , Rotten Tomatoes , Rotten Tomatoes , The Numbers

Challengers

Challengers is a romantic sports comedy film by director Luca Guadagnino. The film stars Zendaya as a retired Tennis legend who, while trying to coach her husband and lead him to victory in an upcoming Tennis match, discovers his coming opponent is her ex-lover.

Challengers (2024)

9 new to Prime Video movies with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

Prime Video is getting a tidal wave of must-watch movies this month

Amazon Prime Video logo on a phone being held by someone

I write about the new movies arriving on the best streaming services every single month, and I’ve rarely seen a slate as impressive as Prime Video in May 2024. 

It’s hard to know where to start when highlighting the best new Prime Video movies this month. There are so many must-watch flicks to talk about I could create multiple lists. Arguably the biggest new addition is “American Fiction” , a 2023 drama starring Jeffrey Wright that was a major player during awards season and took home an Oscar. 

“American Fiction” is just the tip of the iceberg. There are loads more options across practically every genre. Plus, all of the picks on this list scored 90% or higher on the review site Rotten Tomatoes, indicating that professional critics really liked these movies. 

So, let’s dive into the best new to Prime Video movies to watch this month...

'American Fiction' (2023) 

“American Fiction” is an awards-caliber satirical comedy that takes aim at the rampant exploitation of Black stories in our society. Based on the 2001 novel “Erasure” by American novelist Percival Everett, Jeffrey Wright plays Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, a writer living in L.A. who is deeply frustrated with the commercial success of so-called “Black” books that are filled with stereotypes. To assuage his irritation, he writes a novel mocking the literary tropes used in these novels, and much to his surprise — and annoyance — it becomes an instant bestseller. 

But Monk’s newfound success, and praise from his peers, don’t bring him happiness. Instead, he feels only more discontent. While grappling with the monster book he created, he’s also attempting to look after his mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, handle a family tragedy and steer his troubled brother , Cliff (Sterling K. Brown) onto the right path. “American Fiction” is a masterful blend of comedy and drama with some of the best performances of the whole year.

Rotten Tomatoes score:  93% Stream it on  Prime Video from May 14

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'BlacKkKlansman' (2018)

“BlacKkKlansman” is such an outrageous movie that you might assume it’s a work of fiction, but this Spike Lee joint is actually based on a true story. It sees Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first Black officer in the Colorado Springs Police Department, undertake a dangerous undercover mission within the Ku Klux Klan. Aided by a co-worker, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Diver), to act as a surrogate when Stallworth is required to show his face, he eventually rises to the rank of branch leader within the infamous hate group. 

While the movie is set in the 1970s, “BlacKkKlansman” has plenty to say about modern-day America, and the haunting ending includes footage from the 2017 riots in Charlottesville, Virginia making Lee’s point extremely clear. Remarkably, despite its serious subject matter and vitally important themes, the movie remains very funny throughout. The performances from Washington and Driver are also stellar.

Rotten Tomatoes score:  96% Stream it on  Prime Video from May 14

'Call Me By Your Name' (2018) 

Luca Guadagnino’s “Challengers” has given “Dune Part Two” a run for its money as my favorite movie of 2024 so far, but the movie that put the Italian director on the map was 2018’s “Call Me by Your Name.” This tender romantic drama is set in picturesque Northern Italy and sees a 17-year-old named Elio (Timothée Chalamet) begin a passionate affair over a blissful summer with his father’s graduate student assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). 

The heat of their romance burns bright through the sticky summer season, but as the autumn beckons, their relationship may prove to be just a fleeting moment in time, one to savor but impossible to keep hold of forever. Nominated for a slew of Oscar awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Chalamet, the film took hold Best Adapted Screenplay in the end. Labeled a “power portrait of first love” in Rotten Tomatoes’ critical census, “Call Me By Your Name” will have you shedding melancholy tears, and put you off eating peaches (don’t ask…)

Rotten Tomatoes score:  94% Stream it on  Prime Video now

'Creed' (2015)

A franchise rarely delivers its knockout punch seven moves in, but that’s exactly what happened in the case of "Creed." This is a new spin on the "Rocky" series but exists within the same canon and features Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role as the underdog champ. "Creed" is a riveting sports drama that quickens the pulse and is so absorbing that you’ll probably be leaping from your sofa seat in excitement during the movie’s well-crafted final bout. 

Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis "Donnie" Johnson, the illegitimate youngest son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, and all he wants is his shot at proving that he’s worthy of the Creed name. In steps Rocky Balboa, also a previous world champion, to train Donnie, and the duo’s bond rapidly develops both inside and outside the ring. Rocky and this next generation of Creed learn to rely on each other as the latter prepares for his shot at glory.

Rotten Tomatoes score:  95% Stream it on  Prime Video from May 16

'Pearl' (2022)

The middle chapter of Ti West’s X trilogy that is set to conclude with “MaXXine” later this summer, “Pearl” is technically a prequel to 2022’s “X” but it can be enjoyed by newcomers as well (although, I strongly recommend you watch both movies, as they’re equally excellent). Mia Goth plays the eponymous Pearl, a young woman living on her parent’s Texas ranch in 1918. Her husband is serving in World War I, but Pearl isn’t dreaming of his return, instead, she’s obsessed with a fantasy of becoming a Hollywood movie star. 

When Pearl gets the chance to audition for a touring dance troupe, she believes it could be her shot at stardom, but her ultra-conservative ma and pa (Tandi Wright and Matthew Sunderland) aren’t so keen to support their daughter’s acting ambitions. Pearl decides that she’ll need to take matters into her own hands to achieve her dream. This unnerving psychological horror movie works in large part because of the remarkable leading performance from Mia Goth, with one scene, in particular, a real showcase of her undeniable skills.

Rotten Tomatoes score:  93% Stream it on  Prime Video from May 16

'Schindler's List' (1994)

Among Steven Spielberg’s most celebrated movies of all time — which is really saying something when we’re talking about a director with as many masterpieces as Spielberg — “Schindler’s List” is a harrowing and haunting historical epic that focuses on the heroic work of Oskar Schindler during World War II. The tycoon worked tirelessly to save more than a thousand innocent Jewish people from a terrible fate at the hands of the German forces, and to this day his efforts stand as a testament to the power for good in all of us. 

Liam Neeson plays the titular role and does an excellent job bringing both sides of Schindler to life. The businessman starts as a vain and greedy industrialist but as the horrors of the Holocaust come to light, he becomes an inspirational figure. Along with help from his wife, Emilie Schindler (Caroline Goodall), he was able to keep hundreds of refugees safe from the SS forces. Neeson isn’t the only actor who shines; Ralph Fiennes is fearsome as German officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley is excellent as Schindler's accountant, Itzhak Stern.

Rotten Tomatoes score:  98% Stream it on  Prime Video now

'Whiplash' (2014)

Netflix’s loss is Prime Video’s gain as “Whiplash” left the big red streaming service last month and has now made its current home on Amazon’s platform. This electrifying movie turns 10 this year but remains as pulsating and memorizing as ever. This intense drama centers on Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), an ambitious young jazz drummer at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory. Drafted into the school’s top Studio Band, Andrew thinks he’s on the fast track to fulfilling his musical potential but soon finds himself locked into a battle with the band’s cruel instructor, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).

Fletcher is alarmingly determined to push his students to their limits and isn’t afraid to deploy psychological, and even physical, abuse to extract the best from his pupils. As Andrew becomes increasingly obsessed with earning Fletcher’s seemingly unobtainable approval, he crosses dangerous lines into obsessive territory. Directed by Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash” is more exhilarating than many action movies, and it’s all set within the surprisingly claustrophobic confines of a music academy. It’s a masterpiece of modern cinema. Rotten Tomatoes score:  94% Stream it on  Prime Video now

'Airplane!' (1980)

Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) speaks to Ted Striker (Robert Hays) as he steers the plane next to an inflatable pilot in Airplane!

"Airplane!" is one of those classic comedies that aside from a few cringe-worthy moments (like the seriously questionable "jive" scenes) still holds up today. This disaster film parody draws inspiration from the "Airport" series and "Zero Hour!," a '50s box office dud that "Airplane!" lifts its story beats, central characters and even some bits of dialogue from wholesale. It also pokes fun at leading blockbusters at the time ("Airplane!" hit theaters in 1980) like " Jaws " and "Saturday Night Fever."

The film proved to be a turning point for Leslie Nielsen's career, catapulting him from a dramatic actor into a comedy icon overnight. His character of Dr. Rumack stole the show for his impeccable deadpan delivery and straight-man persona as the chaos onboard grows ever more absurd. He went on to star in "The Naked Gun" franchise as Lt. Frank Drebin, a no-nonsense cop forever getting caught up in ridiculous situations. Just whatever you do, don't call him Shirley. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97% Stream it on Prime Video now

'12 Angry Men' (1957)

12 Angry Men

It's rare to see a film get a 100% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes — a unanimous first-ballot hall of famer in baseball may be the only feat rarer. But if any film was going to have universal acclaim, Sidney Lumet's "12 Angry Men" would be on the shortlist. 

Starring Henry Fonda, this film is often considered the best courtroom drama of all time. The movie centers around the jury deliberation for a case involving an 18-year-old boy accused of killing his abusive father. Many of the jury, in addition to Fonda stars Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E. G. Marshall, and Jack Warden, wish to return a guilty verdict but cannot if there is a reasonable doubt. Don't miss this Best Picture nominee while it's available to watch for free.

Rotten Tomatoes score:  100%  Stream it on  Prime Video  now

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Rory Mellon

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team. 

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old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

10 Superhero Movies Audiences Loved But Critics Hated, According to Rotten Tomatoes

The critic-fan divide is strong with these ones!

Within the last several decades, Hollywood has put an increased emphasis on adapting comic book properties as major blockbuster films. The term “superhero fatigue” has become more common recently as a result of some major box office disasters; however, there are more than a few successes that indicate that the genre isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Critics and audiences are often aligned in their tastes, with films like Joker and Black Panther grossing over $1 billion and earning Academy Award nominations for Best Picture. However, some superhero movies that critics detested have received better reactions from audiences.

Defining the “critic and audience” divide can be difficult, as critics are inherently movie fans to begin with. However, hardcore comic book fans may judge an adaptation differently based on their preordained knowledge of the source material, while a critic who judges a film purely on its merits may go into a screening with different expectations. Rotten Tomatoes has several examples of superhero movies that critics found terrible, but audiences enjoyed , proving that things are never black and white.

10 ‘Blade’ (1998)

Critic score 59%, audience score 78%.

Blade is one of the most influential comic book movies of all time. Released over a decade after the notorious failure of Howard the Duck , the film proved that Marvel movies had the potential to be blockbuster successes. Blade failed to earn a “fresh” rating from critics but still sits well with a 78% approval rating from audiences, who clearly were enthusiastic about the film and Wesley Snipes' performance.

In hindsight, Blade may not have appealed to critics who were interested in seeing a subversive take on the vampire movie genre and may not have done enough to distinguish itself from other action films starring Snipes. However, comic book fans were excited about seeing one of their characters lifted perfectly from the page . In an era where superhero movies were less common, Blade ’s existence was a novelty.

Rent on Amazon

9 ‘Blade II’ (2002)

Critic score 57%, audience score 68%.

Blade II conjured similar reactions from critics as its predecessor and narrowly avoided the “fresh” label. Although the audience reaction was somewhat cooler, fans still gave Blade II a positive rating of 68%. Blade II is arguably a less focused film compared to its predecessor and doesn’t contain as much of the expansive worldbuilding. Nonetheless, the presence of Ron Perlman and an eclectic cast of supporting characters may have been enough to satisfy hardcore Marvel fans.

It was unlikely that critics unimpressed with the first Blade would have been any more positive about its sequel, and Blade II may seem like a disappointment in the career of director Guillermo del Toro . The acclaim that del Toro received for his previous horror films Mimic and The Devil’s Backbone may have saddled Blade II with sizable expectations that were difficult to live up to .

*Availability in US

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8 ‘Constantine’ (2005)

Critic score 46%, audience score 72%.

Although Deadpool and Logan broke ground by proving that R-rated comic book movies could be commercial successes, Constantine was released in an era where dark and violent superhero movies were far less common. Critics were unimpressed with the moody atmosphere and downbeat performance by Keanu Reeves , but Constantine earned positive marks from audiences and drew a strong cult following .

The film’s strong visual continuity with the source material may have drawn the praise of comic book fans, as it seemed unlikely that the film would ever see the light of day. Despite opening itself up to potential sequels with a post-credit stinger , Constantine was a financial disappointment that failed to kickstart a new franchise for Warner Bros. and DC. Nonetheless, it did establish Francis Lawrence as a filmmaker to watch; his subsequent work in The Hunger Games franchise was well-received among audiences and critics alike.

Constantine

7 ‘man of steel’ (2013), critic score 56%, audience score 75%.

It’s hard to think of another comic book movie that has been as divisive as Man of Steel . Zack Snyder ’s bold reimagining of the Superman mythology took a dark, violent take on Clark Kent ( Henry Cavill ) and featured a significant level of urban destruction. The disturbing nature of the action may have rubbed critics the wrong way, as Man of Steel only narrowly avoided getting labeled “fresh.”

While audiences were generally more receptive, the controversial decision to show Superman killing General Zod ( Michael Shannon ) remains polarizing. Snyder is a filmmaker who rarely fails to provoke debate; critics have generally been unimpressed by his flatly written characters and shallow themes, but he has a loyal fanbase that appreciates the stylized art style and kinetic action scenes. Snyder’s subsequent DC films were as divisive as Man of Steel , leading to a full reboot that will begin next year with a brand new take on Superman.

Man of Steel

6 ‘venom’ (2018), critic score 30%, audience score 80%.

The notion of a spinoff of the Spider-Man franchise that didn’t actually feature the webslinger seemed like a disastrous idea, particularly after the negative reception to Topher Grace ’s version of Eddie Brock in Spider-Man 3 . However, Venom was a surprising audience crowd-pleaser and an unexpected box-office smash .

Audience enthusiasm was high enough that Tom Hardy returned for the sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage , and is set to reprise his role for a third entry in the series slated for release this fall. Alas, critics may have been confused by the tone of Venom , as the film turns into more of a “buddy comedy” than a traditional superhero movie. While the clash of influences may have made the film impenetrable to some, audiences were clearly entertained by the wild slapstick comedy that the Venom franchise has epitomized.

5 ‘Eternals’ (2021)

Critic score 47%, audience score 77%.

Although the MCU was once thought to be “untouchable,” Eternals became the first Marvel film to receive a “rotten” rating from critics . However, audiences were far more receptive to Chloé Zhao ’s epic adaptation, with some arguing that Eternals is a misunderstood gem . It’s easy to see why critics had such high expectations; Zhao was coming off the success of Nomadland , and many were expecting her to make one of the best films in the franchise’s history.

Despite the more positive reactions from audiences, Eternals has not had a significant impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe . Development of a sequel has seemingly stalled, and the new threat introduced in the film’s post-credit scene has yet to be addressed by the MCU. However, the film’s release amidst the COVID-19 pandemic may have led to some short-sighted decisions on the part of Marvel Studios.

4 ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ (2023)

Critic score 46%, audience score 82%.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was considered a shocking disappointment in comparison to its predecessors. While both Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp had been well-received by critics and audiences alike, Qunatumania was a box office disappointment that earned nasty reviews from critics. Nonetheless, audiences were still enamored with Paul Rudd ’s comedic take on Scott Lang, as the film received an impressive audience approval rating of 82%.

Critics seemed to be put off by Quantumania 's clumsy, confused tone as the film tried, and failed, to take the series in a slightly darker direction. The frequent allusions to other installments in the “Multiverse saga” may have made it even more difficult for non-Marvel aficionados to bridge an emotional connection with the material. Quantumania also suffered from crushing expectations, as it was the introduction of the MCU's next Big Bad; sadly, it couldn't rise to the challenge.

Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania

Watch on Disney+

3 ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ (2021)

Critic score 57%, audience score 84%.

Like its predecessor, Venom: Let There Be Carnage proved divisive due to its sharply comedic tone. Audiences appreciated the absurdist elements of Andy Serkis ’ film, which reflected Venom's robust comic book history . However, critics were more negative in their reception of the film’s glaring pacing issues, strange setups for future films, and underwhelming villains.

At just over 90 minutes, Venom: Let There Be Carnage may not have had enough narrative momentum to justify the hype that it earned from the marketing materials. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is perhaps best appreciated as a guilty pleasure, lacking the self-seriousness that had crept into many other Marvel and DC comic book adaptations. The film doesn’t take itself seriously, but critics may have expected a more well-fleshed-out narrative from a filmmaker of Serkis’ talent.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

2 ‘wonder woman 1984’ (2020), critic score 58%, audience score 73%.

Patty Jenkins ’ first Wonder Woman film was a surprise smash hit that both proved the viability of female-led superhero movies and served as the savior of the DC Extended Universe. While the darker earlier entries in the franchise earned serious backlash, Jenkins and Gal Gadot won the favor of comic book fans and newcomers alike. However, Wonder Woman 1984 polarized critics due to its sillier tone and lack of action.

A udiences seemed to enjoy the campy throwback to the action films of the 1980s, but critics did not feel that it was as emotionally resonant or exciting as its predecessor. Wonder Woman 1984 's controversial plot twists and confused narrative didn't help , which some felt turned the film into a work of body horror . The method by which Chris Pine ’s Steve Trevor returns to the franchise was underwhelming at best and problematic at worst, even if audiences enjoyed revisiting the character.

Wonder Woman 1984

1 ‘glass’ (2019), critic score 37%, audience score 67%.

Many fans of M. Night Shyamalan thought that Glass was a film they would never get to see. The long-anticipated sequel united the characters from Shyamalan’s classic superhero drama Unbreakable with James McAvoy ’s anti-hero from the surprise hit Split . While the union of the two styles was rewarding to fans, critics were highly skeptical about Shyamalan’s twist ending .

Although surprising conclusions are Shyamalan’s staple, Glass ’ final act proved to be disappointing for critics wishing for something more profound . Both Unbreakable and Split were marketed as original properties, but Glass was still burdened with significant expectations from Shyamalan’s fans. The more critical reception may have been a result of the pressure to pay off the time that critics had already invested in the universe. Shyamalan’s films have generally been divisive, so it's entirely possible that Glass will grow in estimation in subsequent years.

NEXT: Every Guy Ritchie Movie, Ranked by Rewatchability

IMAGES

  1. Old Henry: Trailer 1

    old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

  2. Old Henry

    old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

  3. Old Henry movie review & film summary (2021)

    old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

  4. Old Henry

    old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

  5. Old Henry

    old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

  6. Old Henry ~ I Review Westerns

    old henry movie review rotten tomatoes

VIDEO

  1. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Netflix Movie Review

  2. Old Henry (2021) Movie Trailer

  3. Rotten Tomatoes Score Revealed for Henry Cavill's New Action Film

  4. Warning How Rotten Tomatoes Scores Appear In Google Has Changed

  5. Behind the Scenes: Old Henry on INSP (Featurette)

  6. Rotten Tomatoes Score Revealed for Henry Cavill's The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

COMMENTS

  1. Old Henry

    95% 74 Reviews Tomatometer 92% 500+ Ratings Audience Score Old Henry is an action-Western about a widowed farmer and his son who warily take in a mysterious, injured man with a satchel of cash ...

  2. Old Henry movie review & film summary (2021)

    And he puts it to undeniably superb use in the early portions of this movie. He's heard before he is seen, telling the viewer of his origins: New York born, he spent time Kansas, Arizona and New Mexico; the movie's setting, 1906, finds him in the territory of Oklahoma, farming. As he works the land, Henry's son Wyatt, bored with his tasks ...

  3. Old Henry

    Old Henry is a 2021 American western action drama film written and directed by Potsy Ponciroli.It stars Tim Blake Nelson as the titular character, a farmer who must protect his son from outlaws, with Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins, and Stephen Dorff in supporting roles. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2021, and was theatrically released in the ...

  4. 'Old Henry': Film Review

    September 7, 2021 1:00pm. Tim Blake Nelson in 'Old Henry' Courtesy of ShoutFactory. An atmospheric slice of vintage Americana that shows there's plenty of life left in seasoned Western ...

  5. 'Old Henry' Review: Tim Blake Nelson's Ultimate Noble-Hick ...

    Crew: Director, screenplay: Potsy Ponciroli. Camera: John Matysiak. Editor: Jamie Kirkpatrick. Music: Jordan Lehning. With: Tim Blake Nelson, Gavin Lewis, Scott Haze, Stephen Dorff, Trace Adkins ...

  6. 'Old Henry' Review: Can't Keep Him Down on the Farm

    Tim Blake Nelson plays the title part, a farmer who keeps his past shrouded from his son (Gavin Lewis). When Henry brings home Curry (Scott Haze), a wounded man he finds with a satchel of cash ...

  7. 'Old Henry' review: Tim Blake Nelson well-suited for western

    Review: 'Old Henry' and star Tim Blake Nelson have a few tricks up their sleeves. Tim Blake Nelson in the 2021 western thriller "Old Henry.". (Shout! Studios) By Robert Abele. Sept. 30 ...

  8. 'Old Henry' review: Outstanding Western gives Tim Blake Nelson a chance

    'Old Henry': Outstanding Western gives the versatile Tim Blake Nelson a chance to shine Playing an isolated farmer who finds a fugitive, the character actor delivers world-weary greatness.

  9. Old Henry review

    Movies. This article is more than 2 years old. Review. Old Henry review - a rootin' tootin' barrel of wild-west cliches. This article is more than 2 years old.

  10. Old Henry (2021)

    It's a game of Clue featuring rifles, holsters, and horses. Cinematographer John Matysiak does a nice job with a wide-range of shots: outdoors, in the cabin, the big shootout, and even a doorway shot as a tribute to John Ford. The two twists are what really made this click for me. And one of them is quite a whopper.

  11. Old Henry: Trailer 1

    All Old Henry Videos. Old Henry: Trailer 1 2:29 Added: August 27, 2021.

  12. Old Henry (2021)

    Old Henry: Directed by Potsy Ponciroli. With Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins. A farmer takes in an injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse comes for the money, he must decide who to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a gunslinging talent calling his true identity into question.

  13. Old Henry Movie Review

    At the center of the violent, vengeance-fueled sto. Positive Role Models. Despite his violent past, Henry is a pretty cool c. Diverse Representations Flagged for concern. Almost every character is a White male, with the e. Violence & Scariness. Strong violence, with guns and shooting. Knife/sta.

  14. Movie Review

    Movie Review - Old Henry (2021) August 15, 2022 by Robert Kojder. Old Henry, 2021. Written and Directed by Potsy Ponciroli. Starring Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Stephen Dorff ...

  15. 'Old Henry' Streaming Movie Review: Stream It or Skip It?

    When it finally, inevitably arrives, in a standoff that becomes a defense of Henry's hard-earned homestead, the shootout lays bare the intentions of everybody involved, and brings into focus the ...

  16. 'Old Henry' Review: A Western That Does Little with the Genre

    Editor's note: This review was originally published at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. Shout! Factory releases the film in theaters on Friday, October 1. In "Old Henry," Patsy Ponciroli has ...

  17. Old Henry

    Old Henry is an action western about a widowed farmer and his son who warily take in a mysterious, injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse of men claiming to be the law come for the money, the farmer must decide who to trust. Defending a siege of his homestead, the farmer reveals a talent for gun-slinging that surprises everyone calling his true identity into question.

  18. Movie Review

    Old Henry, 2021. Directed by Potsy Ponciroli. Starring Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Dorff, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins, Richard Speight Jr., Max Arciniega, and Brad Carter. SYNOPSIS: A ...

  19. Old Henry

    Studios releases "Old Henry" in theaters on 10/1/2 and on VOD on 10/8/21. REELING IS A PROUD MEMBER OF… Laura and Robin's reviews are also featured on Rotten Tomatoes , the Movie Review Query Engine , and the IMDB .

  20. Review: Old Henry is a Lean Western with Familiar Tropes

    Western [2018] - A Quietly Powerful Tale of Cross-Cultural Connection and Male Ego. John Maclean's lean Western Slow West offered a revisionist take on the standard themes, whereas Craig Zahler's Bone Tomahawk turned out to be a bloody satisfying genre exercise. With Old Henry, Ponciroli doesn't attempt to modernize the genre which isn ...

  21. Modern classic Spike Lee movie with 96% on Rotten Tomatoes hits ...

    Its reputation is absolutely stellar, too, with a top-drawer 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes from movie critics. There aren't many others that hit so high on the scale. The movie tells a fable of ...

  22. New Henry Cavill Movie's Rotten Tomatoes Record Is Good For His James

    When it comes to critics' scores on Rotten Tomatoes, many Henry Cavill movies and shows have performed better than Zack Snyder's Justice League.For instance, while the Justice League extended cut has a critics' score of 71%, Mission: Impossible - Fallout boasts a rating of 97%.The Witcher's season 2 also has an almost perfect 95% score, and Enola Holmes is no less impressive with its 91% rating.

  23. 15 Best Netflix Miniseries, Ranked According to Rotten Tomatoes

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%. The underrated Sarah Gadon stars in one of the best short series on Netflix, the Canadian miniseries Alias Grace, opposite an ensemble including Edward Holcroft ...

  24. Anne Hathaway's Rom-Com With 83% Rotten Tomatoes Score Becomes

    Directed by Michael Showalter, The Idea of You stars Hathaway as Solène, a 40-year-old single mother who finds herself in a surprising romance with Hayes (Nicholas Galitzine), a lead singer in a world-renowned boy band. The film hit Prime Video earlier this month and earned a strong 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. New streaming data from Reelgood now ...

  25. Challengers Makes Us Even More Excited For Upcoming Movie With 83% On

    Since premiering at the 50th Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2023, The Bikeriders has maintained an 83% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, aggregated from 36 reviews. Critics praised the "charismatic cast" of The Bikeriders and the "gritty authenticity" of Nichols' writing and direction.The Bikeriders was slated for a theatrical release on December 1, 2023, but was removed from Disney's ...

  26. 9 new to Prime Video movies with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

    Directed by Damien Chazelle, "Whiplash" is more exhilarating than many action movies, and it's all set within the surprisingly claustrophobic confines of a music academy. It's a ...

  27. 10 Superhero Movies Audiences Loved But Critics Hated ...

    Critic score 57%, Audience score 68%. Image via New Line Cinema. Blade II conjured similar reactions from critics as its predecessor and narrowly avoided the "fresh" label. Although the ...