Parents' Guide to

The Ballad of Lefty Brown

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sidekick takes spotlight in excellent but violent Western.

Movie R 2017 111 minutes
The Ballad of Lefty Brown Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Lefty Brown

Good movie with a western mindset if you like horses and gun fights this movies for you.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Writer/director Jared Moshe clearly loves and appreciates the Western genre, and here he's created one that's not only classical, skillful, and unpretentious but a fresh angle on an old story. Moshe finds surprising nuance by giving the spotlight to the traditional "sidekick" character, especially given the casting of the reliable character actor Pullman in a rare leading role. He gives a truly great performance, emphasizing slowness and a certain kind of prairie wisdom, completely disappearing inside his role. His Lefty Brown doesn't quite know how to handle things in civilization -- he even fights with a fence post in one scene -- and he isn't very good with rules, but he's perfectly at home while out on the range.

Moshe, shooting on real film stock, captures a lot of beautiful outdoor imagery in The Ballad of Lefty Brown, often framing characters against gorgeous overcast skies, with light beaming through at odd angles. He understands how to use landscape, trees, rocks, and even tall weeds for dramatic effect; he also understands all the rhythms of the great Westerns. As a result, his storytelling is rock solid, and the movie stays gripping and moving throughout. In the traditional (now smaller) hero role, Fonda brings a touch of grizzled grace, and Baker is wonderful as his feisty wife.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: December 15, 2017
  • On DVD or streaming: February 13, 2018
  • Cast: Bill Pullman , Peter Fonda , Kathy Baker
  • Director: Jared Moshe
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Western
  • Run time: 111 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: violence and some language
  • Last updated: December 10, 2022

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