Open Range

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Open Range Movie Poster Image
Some killing, shooting violence in old-fashioned Western.
  • R
  • 2003
  • 138 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.


Very intense shoot-outs, characters killed. A tense shoot-out scene.


Reference to whores, some passionate kisses.


A few strong words.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and cigars, chewing tobacco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Open Range has intense shoot-out violence, and characters are killed, but most of the violence isn't particularly bloody or over the top. There's some strong language, including a brief reference to a whore. Characters drink and smoke.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysarge123 May 25, 2015
Parent of a 2-year-old Written bygerbowski November 26, 2012

Good western with some excellent characters

This film may be a little slow for younger viewers, but all in all it is a good western with a classic western ending. Those who are fans of the genre will pro... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bydt10 April 9, 2008

this movie rockes

this was the best movie since Black hawk downb!!!!!!!!!!!

What's the story?

In OPEN RANGE, Boss (Robert Duvall) and Charley (Kevin Costner) are decent men who have worked together for ten years, driving cattle across the prairie. Also working for Boss are Mose (Abraham Benrubi) and Button (Diego Luna), a teenager he took in as a young orphan. They come to an area they have been through before, but something has changed. A man named Baxter (Michael Gambon) now owns the land and most of the town, and he does not want cattle grazing on his land. The law is no help -- Baxter owns the whole town, including the sheriff. The nearest federal marshall is too far away to arrive in time to make a difference. Boss, Charley, and Baxter will have to sort it out themselves. When Baxter's men come after Mose and Button, Boss and Charley have to respond, not for their cattle or their fortunes, but because they cannot allow anyone to bully them. Townfolk are drawn into the conflict, including stable manager (Michael Jeter) and a doctor with a strong, brave sister (Annette Benning). Ultimately, there is a terrible conflict, but one that has been honestly earned by the characters and the story-tellers. The same can be said of the ultimate resolution.

Is it any good?

Open Range is an old-fashioned western that takes its time, but by the end of the movie the cattle, the characters, and the audience are all where they need to be. One thing this movie does well is showing us the way individuals struggle with the past and try to set a course for the future in a land where new physical and social structures are being created by people who came out west to get away from both. Stories set in the old west fascinate us because they take a group of people with no access to established civilization and give them a conflict to resolve.

Costner the director does well by his actors, particularly Duvall, and the shoot-out is tense and kinetic. The dialogue feels authentically old without being stilted. Today's audiences may get squirmy in the slow early stretches, but those who are patient will be rewarded with a respectful saga that pays tribute to America's past as a foundation for its future.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how conflicts get resolved in an isolated setting like this one.

Movie details

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