"A Guilty Conscience Lasts a Lifetime"
What You Need To Know:
BLACKTHORN features an award-worthy performance by Sam Shepard and a charismatic turn by Eduardo Noriega. It’s a beautifully shot western with an evocative score, solid action, and thoughtful dialogue. The title character eventually takes a moral stance. He shows regret for some of his past actions. There are also references to facing God’s judgment. However, BLACKTHORN contains plenty of strong foul language and intense scenes of violence, so extreme caution is advised.
(RoRo, B, C, LLL, VV, S, N, AA, M) Strong Romantic worldview tempered by moral elements such as lead character has regrets over his past crimes and broken relationships and finally takes a moral stand about an accomplice’s crimes, plus minor Christian content as a song in the movie features lyrics about facing God’s judgment; about 40 profanities and obscenities includes about 15 “f” words, 3 GDs, and a few “s”, “h,” “SOB”, “d” and “a” words; sporadic violence throughout the movie, mostly cowboys shooting each other and mostly from far to middling distance, revenge-seeking woman points a shotgun point blank at another woman and shoots her cold-blooded at close range, horse chases, friend cauterizes protagonist’s wound with a lit match, man stabbed, fighting, wrestling, man shoots fatally wounded best friend at his request, man shoots villain in knee so he can’t escape the law; implied fornication as shirtless man lies in bed with woman and dialogue about protagonist sharing a woman with his best friend and that either might have fathered her son; upper male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; no smoking; and, stealing, villain lies, man has regrets about some past sins but not others, protagonist evades law, and protagonist hates bankers.
BLACKTHORN is a stunning surprise, an intelligent and emotional Western that comes from Magnolia Pictures, which means it will be available in theaters and on TV On Demand services at the same time.
The movie stars veteran actor and playwrights Sam Shepard in the role of a lifetime as former famed robber Butch Cassidy, posing under the alias James Blackthorn in 1920s Bolivia. Blackthorn learns that the woman he shared with the Sundance Kid has died, leaving the son to whom he’s been writing for years. This inspires him to leave his hideout to return to the United States and connect with the son. The movie shows his heartfelt letters to the son, which are filled with philosophies on living about the importance of friendship and not wasting time in life, and trying to make amends for past wrongs.
While traveling alone, he encounters Eduardo, a younger Latino outlaw who has just robbed a train after studying Butch Cassidy’s famed techniques. The two first meet after Eduardo shoots at Blackthorn, and Blackthorn shoots in return. During the shootout, Blackthorn kills Eduardo’s horse, forcing him to stay close to Blackthorn. Blackthorn learns Eduardo has stolen $50,000 from what he describes as his rich employers.
Blackthorn decides to keep riding with his new sidekick, Eduardo, because he thinks he’s found one last chance to score as a robber. The further they ride together, however, the more little details don’t add up. This leads to a stunning series of consequences and betrayals between the men.
As the story rolls forward, Blackthorn is seen having several flashbacks to the criminal glory days of his youth. These scenes work as a strong parallel with the modern day as he builds a new friendship for the first time in 20 years with the younger criminal. As the Mexican Army and a Pinkerton agent get closer, Blackthorn and Eduardo reveal their true characters in a series of intense doublecrosses.
BLACKTHORN features an award-worthy performance by Sam Shepard and a terrifically charismatic turn by Eduardo Noriega as the new sidekick with a dark secret. BLACKTHORN works wonders, not just because of the quality acting but also in mixing moments of solid action with mesmerizing, thoughtful moments of natural beauty in the outdoor settings and the thoughtful conversations between its leads.
This is a beautifully shot movie that frequently frames its vibrant imagery as if they were paintings. The music score also shows lots of artistic craft. Overall, BLACKTHORN is one of the year’s best-made movies and can be seen in select cities theatrically but is available through most cable TV systems via On Demand.
The title character, Butch Cassidy, eventually takes a moral stance. He shows regret for some of his past actions. There are also references to facing God’s judgment. However, BLACKTHORN contains plenty of strong foul language and intense scenes of violence, so extreme caution is advised.