Parents' Guide to


By James Rocchi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Old-fashioned Western features great performances.

Movie R 2008 114 minutes
Appaloosa Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 15+
I found like it great that the this western took the shootings how where in those days and not making a 6 shot look a submachine. This is how a dual was kept, simple and simple. The plot was simple to follow. For me this one a western movie to see.
age 14+

"Appa-loser" OR "Sour Appaloosa!" (Your Pick)

I hated this film. IUt weas so ungodly boring that I was about to get on a plane, go to Hollywood, got to the director, and say "What is wrong with you?" Boring, stupid, and there's an unwanted flash of nudity. Pass. You can do so much better.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (3):

APPALOOSA has a number of things to recommend it -- Harris is an able director, the ensemble cast is first rate, and the story is based on a novel by best-selling author Robert B. Parker. (Parker is perhaps best known for the Spenser private eye series.) But unlike revisionist modern Westerns such as Unforgiven and The Proposition, Appaloosa is a classic, old-fashioned, straightforward story -- good men and bad men, gunfights and stare-downs, long rides and short bursts of action.

That said, "straightforward" doesn't mean "simple"; there are some superbly acted moments in Appaloosa. As Bragg, Irons starts out as a grizzled lunatic, but as the storyline progresses, he becomes more civilized, more charming ... and more dangerous. Zellweger's newly arrived piano-playing mystery woman is prim and proper, but she's also got a fairly fluid sense of allegiance. Even the easy, gruff interplay between Cole and Hicks is full of shifts and unspoken truths, and Harris and Mortensen settle into playing two lifelong friends as if they were exactly that, while still holding the screen in their individual scenes. Like many classic Westerns, Appaloosa takes a hard look at what's gained -- and what's lost -- as the frontier becomes part of civilization and how the many people who shaped and settled the American West struggled to create a civilized community that had no more use for them. Beautifully shot, full of action, and far richer than it seems to be at first glance, Appaloosa is a welcome reminder of why Westerns matter on the big screen.

Movie Details

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