Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and sidekick Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) are the new marshal and deputy facing down a posse of bad guys in Appaloosa, New Mexico, circa 1882, in Harris’ latest directorial effort. Appaloosa has the shifting boundaries of friendship and love on its mind, but this isn’t a movie likely to raise comparisons to the tortured revisionism of Unforgiven —and that’s surely fine by Harris, who keeps the shootouts coming and avoids close-ups of shifting eyes and nervous trigger fingers before the sudden violence. It probably wouldn’t have killed the director to belabor the tension a little more.

Categories: Movies