‘You think people was meaner then than they are now? the deputy said. The old man was looking out at the flooded town. No, he said. I don’t. I think people are the same from the day God first made one…’
Everything about this movie looks terrible on paper. The storyline. The trailer. Even the poster (see above). I watched it for two reasons. One because I saw Billy Bob Thornton’s directorial début Sling Blade and I loved it. The other reason is Matt Damon (I’m a big fan). All the Pretty Horses is not as awful as it looks but it definitely isn’t great either. The first forty minutes are pretty enjoyable, particularly the scenes featuring Lucas Black as a young outlaw they pick up on the way. Then Penélope Cruz appears and it all goes to shit. The problem with this film is nobody with an interest in romantic drama is going to sit through forty minutes of pure Western before the romance starts and everyone else will be put off by the romance side of it. It is the worst of both worlds. Apparently Miramax cut about an hour out of Thornton’s final cut. This could have saved the movie. Alas a directors cut is yet to see the light of day so we may never know.