Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lone Star Movie Review

Lone Star (1996)
Rent Lone Star on Amazon Video
Written by: John Sayles
Directed by: John Sayles
Starring: Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Peña, Matthew McConaughey, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Canada, Joe Morton, Frances McDormand
Rated: R

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

When the skeleton of a former sheriff is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths secrets about his father and others in this Texas border town.

Slick editing and structure reinforce concurrent stories that span two generations, intertwined but fully developed. The writing is impressive. A mystery ties everything together, but this also explores legacies from one generation to the next. The mystery is the spark that reveals the past and forces characters to confront it. Every action comes back around by the end. Every scene has meaning and purpose, and that's rare even in good movies.
Watch it.

Packed with meaningful characters and numerous subplots, that all fuel the main mystery, this is the deconstruction of a town and of a father's legend. It's amazingly written. With so many characters, it's surprisingly focused.
Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) has been living in his father's legacy for decades. It's why he left town, and while he's not out to tarnish his father's name, the fifty year old skeleton he found certainly implicates the former sheriff, Buddy (Matthew McConaughey). We know straight away the body is the Buddy's corrupt predecessor, Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson) The old timers have told the story many times of how Buddy ran him off and took over as sheriff.
We don't see many scenes of the man Buddy either ran off or murdered, but he's the arrogant, power gone to his head, and no one to keep him in check antagonist. Buddy stood up to him and that was the start of the legend.

Everyone in the town was affected by Wade and then Buddy. While Wade liked to exercise his influence and power through bribes and violence, Buddy used his influence for political gain.
All of the characters are shades of gray. Sam wants to uncover what happened, but multiple characters have reasons to keep the past in the past.

The editing shows just how well crafted this is. It's a well made film with a stellar script as the under pinning. The script slowly builds the past until we finally get the full story by the end. I expected a twist and it's well executed, but the answer to the mystery isn't even the biggest twist.
It's a credit to the writing that the biggest twist had been alluded to but was still unexpected.

I had never even heard of this movie, which has to make it under rated. I've seen and know a lot of movies.

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