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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The Assassination of Jesse James

Brad Pitt, right, plays the outlaw Jesse James and Casey Affleck plays Robert Ford in the Western drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.  Photo courtesy Warner Pictures
Brad Pitt, right, plays the outlaw Jesse James and Casey Affleck plays Robert Ford in the Western drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Photo courtesy Warner Pictures

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

Brad Pitt, right, plays the outlaw Jesse James and Casey Affleck plays Robert Ford in the Western drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.  Photo courtesy Warner Pictures
Brad Pitt, right, plays the outlaw Jesse James and Casey Affleck plays Robert Ford in the Western drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Photo courtesy Warner Pictures

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is as lengthy as its title but has enough dramatic weight to pull the audience in and keep them interested.

The remaining James boys rob their last train with some local criminals before hanging up their bandanas.
Charley (The Green Mile’s Sam Rockwell) joins the outfit with his brother, Robert Ford (Ocean’s Eleven’s Casey Affleck), in tow.

After the train robbery, Jesse James (12 Monkey’s Brad Pitt) seems unsatisfied with his life and his immoral colleagues and tries to figure out what they are really up to.

Ford has idolized James since childhood and spends all his energy trying to get as close to the outlaw as possible.

The whole movie is a seesaw. One moment the audience is on Ford’s side, wanting James to get what he deserves.

The next moment, they reevaluate Ford and find ulterior motives and that, in fact, he lives up to his title.

The film looks absolutely gorgeous. The cinematography is something Ansel Adams would do behind a film camera.

The movie sweeps through the Western landscape and captures its raw beauty.

Affleck shows Hollywood that he’s not just Ben Affleck’s baby brother. Affleck does a great job of making Ford less a shiny cut-out and brings facets to his character.

The only problem is sometimes he comes off too whiny for comfort, but he saves his portrayal with just a few little things, like a envious glance or a squirm.

Brad Pitt’s Jesse James is quiet, but a manifestation of menacing power hides behind his piercing baby blues.

James is a man of few words, and Pitt does a mesmerizing job keeping his character interesting. His anti-hero is great.

Rockwell is a noteworthy addition to the cast.

His Charley is dim-witted, but he truly cares for both his brother and James.

He stole the scenes most of the time because he is in between the extremes of Ford and James.

The rest of the cast is a welcomed addition, though Dick Liddil (Lars and the Real Girl’s Paul Schneider) and Wood Hite (North Country’s Jeremy Renner) have a subplot that deviates from the initial story.

The subplot could have been cut from the movie, and no one would have noticed.

But the main flaw is that the movie is too long and slow-moving at times.

It should have ended 20 minutes earlier, even though the reason behind the length is justified.

The duration of the film will most likely scare away the average moviegoers, but for the dedicated few, it is worth the admission.

For the majority, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford would be a great rental, but they may want to skip it in theaters.

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