Parents' Guide to

Broken Trail

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Lauded miniseries doesn't glamorize the old West.

Movie NR 2006 184 minutes
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Director Walter Hill takes the Western milieu seriously, seldom sugar-coating or sentimentalizing the bitterness of life on the trail. Instead of a pretty boy, the role of Tom Ritter went to Church, who looks like he was carved from a block of knotty pine.

Broken Trail sheds light on the little-regarded presence of early Chinese immigrants in the American West. The elder Ritter's equanimity toward all races and genders seems a little more like something from the modern era. In lengthy dialogue interludes in the second half of this saga, Prentice explains how his unlucky-in-love personal life has deepened his character (he doesn't understand any women). Kids hoping for more action might get a little restless during these introspective moments.

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