"Hostiles" is sublime. Hatred dies in mortality and forgiveness in Writer and Director Scott Cooper's "Hostiles". Christian Bale is powerful in his humanity. Rosamund Pike is poignant resilience and loss. Cooper's images and narrative will move and touch your soul.Rosamund Pike as young mother Mrs. Quaid cries in anguish as she digs with her bare hands the graves for her three children murdered by Apache Indians. While silent compassionate Christian Bale as Captain Joe Blocker watches with his men ready to aid the distraught widow. Mrs. Quaid is a woman of God, of <more>
faith. Without her faith what does she have? The scene broke my heart in tears. Bad things can occur under God's watch. Writers Cooper and Donald E. Steward don't shy away for the world's seeming unkindness and unfairness. Cooper balances the ugliness and the beauty of courage and redemption in "Hostiles". Cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi elegantly captures the lightness and darkness. Darkness is in Blocker's merciless vengeance upon those who harmed the people he cares for on the stormy night. Lightness radiates as his party emerges on horseback riding through the sunlit forest. Poetry is in the balance. As the singular Western, "Hostiles" is one of best ever, even compared to Clint Eastwood's iconic "Unforgiven". I think more so. Whereas, "Unforgiven" surrenders to the hollow emptiness, "Hostiles" asks to release hatred. Bale's Blocker is a killer of Indians, a racist, and prejudiced. What if all prejudice can be justified? Blocker realizes that his mortal enemy Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk, played by noble Wes Studi, would have slaughtered as he did, all for the sake of being right. You can take being right to the grave. In the end, being right makes absolutely no difference. That is the eloquence of "Hostiles". "Hostiles" invites to think from your soul. Sitting on the grassy plains Mrs. Quaid asks, "You believe in the Lord, Joseph?" Blocker replies, "Yes. I do. But he's been blind to what 's been going on here for a long time." "Hostiles" inspires having faith knowing that the world is gray and cruel at times. Set in New Mexico in 1892 retiring US Calvary Captain Joe Blocker, played by Bale, is commanded by his Colonel to escort Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk, played by Studi, and his family to his homeland in Montana. Yellow Hawk is now an old man dying of cancer. Blocker is transparent, "I hate him." Blocker's unique gift is killing tribal Indian warriors. He's taken more scalps than Sitting Bull. In their younger days Yellow Hawk and his men heinously murdered Blocker's dearest soldier friends. In kind Blocker brutally killed the Cheyenne. Each believing that he was in the right. For unmarried Joseph doing "his job" is his only purpose. Mortal enemies Blocker and the Chief define each other. Their telling exchanges in Cheyenne have the gravitas of honor and mortality. On the journey, Blocker and his men rescue broken Mrs. Quaid, played by Pike, in the aftermath of the murder of her entire family. Blocker reveals his gentleness as he reaches out his hand, "I'm not going to hurt you." Their journey is treacherous and costly. Alliances alter and reinvent. Find courage and faith in the hopeless. Discover one's redemption and forgiveness. Christian Bale is at his best. He fearlessly explores what it is to be human. Whether he exacts violent revenge upon the villain or cries "You never let me down." to his dear friend Henry, played by Jonathan Majors, he surrenders to humanity in all its shades. He provides beautiful partnership with Rosamund Pike's Mrs. Quaid in her touching sadness and possibility of renewed life. Pike is vulnerable and powerful. Western "Hostiles" has a lot to say for us today. There will always be hatred and prejudice. They are about being right and making others wrong. What Bale's Joseph discovers when he looks for balance: Righteousness and hatred only causes suffering. Maybe we can't love everyone. Maybe one thing we can do is let go of hate. Let hate die. "Hostiles" is my favorite movie of the year.
One of the best of the year is an interesting story, great music, wonderful acting and best poetic photography, inspiring and sad masterpiece of American West American film antiques. The gorgeous Pale deserves the best actor of the year and a strong representation of Pike deserves the best supporting actress. I'm glad I saw this movie in Last week the festival of music is still spinning in my mind of its beauty. I give this film the full mark 10/10
Echoes of 'The Outlaw Josey Wales', 'Unforgiven', 'Dances With Wolves' and 'The Searchers' - Bale is excellent; one of the year's best films! (by george.schmidt)
HOSTILES 2017 **** Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Rory Cochrane, Jonathan Majors, John Benjamin Hickey, Stephen Lang, Jesse Plemons, Timothee Chalamet, Adam Beach, Xavier Horsechief, Q'orianka Kilcher, Tanaya Beatty, Peter Mullan, Robyn Malcolm, Ryan Bingham, Paul Anderson, Ben Foster, Scott Wilson. Echoes of 'The Outlaw Josey Wales', 'Unforgiven', 'Dances With Wolves' and 'The Searchers' permeate filmmaker Scott Cooper's Civil War era oater about a renowned Army captain Bale in a keenly resolved turn ordered to escort a war enemy - a <more>
Cheyenne chief Studi proving still waters run deep dying of cancer and decreed no longer a prisoner - back home with his family in tow. Along the pioneer trails of the open country they encounter the deeply scarred survivor of an Indian attack Pike also excellent and miles to go in the process. Cooper's economical script and the gorgeously filmed set pieces by cinematographer Masanobu Takayanuagi stand-out as well as the fine ensemble cast. One of the year's best films and a must see.
Post civil war frontier America and Christian Bale aka Captain Joseph Blockeris is ordered by the Army to escort a Cheyenne Chief, who has been granted safe passage back to his homeland in Montana, by the President of the United States, due to his terminal illness. Along the way the party encounter wild and dangerous Comanche "Indians". The movie is intense and I surmise Bale will be nominated for an Academy Award for this turn. Wes Studi, as always, as the ailing Chief, is marvelous, understated and ever so powerful. Rosamund Pike is superb as a deranged widow who is collected up <more>
by Bale's party. Her presence in the story seems like a distraction from the original mission or orders, but it's a movie and we have to have some man/woman tension and whatever then derives from that, of course. The movie sometimes slows down a bit, and lingers, but it always recovers, and overall - see this movie. And the music score is perfect.
Forget the talk of the film being slow, this isn't an action film or an old school shoot 'em up western, anyone looking for that should search elsewhere. Whilst there some great action scenes, where hostiles excels is in setting the tone for an early American world where law and order rest of gun power. The cinematography is exceptional, meanwhile Christian Bale is superb playing a army captain who is seemingly tough and unflinching but shows an undertone of melancholy, Rosamunde Pike pulls of a great performance as a woman thrust into the ugly world of war and anarchy by a brutal <more>
attack on her family home, a scene is exceptional and unapologetically shocking. Overall the film is about the futility of trying to civilise a wild land built on violence, and about the tragedy and the sheer pointlessness of conflict against fellow man.
Christian Bale shines in emotional journey that has a powerful and relevant message. (by FallonTimberlake2016)
Hostiles is a period piece that stars Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike and many others. It centers around an Army captain who hates Native Americans that is asked to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family to the reservation in Montana that they were previously from. The film starts off with a deeply disturbing scene where a family, including children, is massacred by Indians, which sets the tone for a very emotional, disturbing, and even sometimes uplifting journey that questions who the real hostiles are. The real highlight here is, of course, Christian Bale, who can convey a world of emotion <more>
with just one expression. Bale is easily Oscar- worthy and should definitely get at least a nomination. Whenever Bale controls the scene it is riveting.Rosamund Pike also nails it as the lone survivor of the attack described earlier. She exhibits grief better than even the most experienced of actors. Hostiles has a great message that is especially relevant in today's dividing times. The film is about inclusion, and shows that we are all human no matter how evil one may seem. However, this movie is not without its flaws. It's very slow at times, and there are entire scenes that feel like they don't need to be in the film. Luckily, whenever the film starts to slow down, within the next scene or so something happens that makes it more interesting. Hostiles is a heavily emotional experience that will make you think about long after it is done. Despite the heavy subject matter, it has an uplifting message, and pull some great performances from the main actors.I give Hostiles an A-.
Slow burn movie with great acting and good character arcs ... (by j_e_bryant)
This movie won't be for everyone. It's dark, fairly "slow" paced, and at times brutal. But at it's core, this movie is about forgiveness -- and for me, it rang true and was emotionally impactful. Christian Bale is in top form here, and his performance as well as the rest of the cast is great. It's beautifully shot and the score is haunting and harrowing. Well directed and worth watching -- just don't expect this to be a fast paced thrilling Western. It's not heavy on plot -- it's more thematic.
Unhappy Campers (by GManfred)
Capt. Joe Blocker Christian Bale is ordered to escort Chief Yellow Hawk back to his home territory in Montana. The Chief is a military prisoner and is dying, and has been pardoned by the Government. Capt. Blocker is a veteran Indian fighter, and accepts his role under duress. Along the way he and his party are involved in some hardships and skirmishes and encounter Mrs. Quaid Rosamund Pike , whose family has been massacred by renegade Indians. The film is a little long and a little talky in spots, but Director Scott Foster, who also wrote the screenplay, hits all the right notes in this <more>
tale of the soul-searing job of instilling justice to the frontier, which alternates between the brutal and the futile. Christian Bale, who never gives a bad performance, is the stoic Capt. Blocker, a man at the end of his moral tether. But the acting award in this picture goes to Rosamund Pike, who gives an outstanding performance as the sole survivor of her family. What human feeling she has left she tries to impart to Capt. Blocker, who is in desperate need of same. "The Hostiles" is worth your time and gives an unvarnished look at one of the more unattractive facets of frontier life. ******** 8 of 10
About finding rays of hope in sickening darkness (by kluseba)
Hostiles is a quite interesting western that convinces with stunning landscapes, intriguing characters and strong acting performances. The movie has a quite slow pace, so don't expect a vivid American or Italian western from the fifties and sixties. This movie is a drama above all, situated in a historically intriguing period between the American Civil War and the emergency of the Industrial Revolution.The story revolves around Captain Joseph Blocker, who has lost many friends and brothers in arms in battles against Apaches and who openly despises them. He tracks them down pitilessly and <more>
tells himself that he is doing his duty while people around him start becoming depressed and disillusioned. One day, a colonel gives him a final order before his retirement,direct from the President. Joseph Blocker must escort a dying Cheyenne Chief, his personal arch enemy, as well as his family back to their tribal lands as a sign of reconciliation with the First Nations. The captain, who has always obeyed orders, is about to refuse but is menaced and forced to cooperate. He gathers a few faithful brothers in arms and must also cooperate with some inexperienced rookies around him to go on this dangerous trip. On the way from New Mexico to Montana, the unusual group faces numerous challenges as they face difficult weather conditions, a hostile Comanche party and racist landowners among others. They are joined by numerous other intriguing characters such as a mentally unstable woman who has lost her entire family to the Apaches and a former brother in arms of the captain who is about to be hanged. However, their biggest challenge is to fight their inner demons and overcome their differences in order to survive in hostile territory.The movie finds the right balance between violent sequences that focus on the witnesses' reactions rather than graphic elements and clever dialogues between the diversified cast of characters. The most fascinating character is Captain Joseph Blocker, who seems to be a pitiless racist at first sight but who turns out to be a man with a strong moral compass who goes through a coming-of-age on this fateful journey and ends up not only forgiving the Indians for killing his partners but even empathizing and sympathizing with them, ending up defending them beyond duty. His positive development exemplifies the difficult relationship between European settlers and America's First Nations and is ultimately a sign of forgiveness, hope and peace. This positive moral contrasts the quite sinsiter mood of the film with an elevated body count and sensitive topics such as depression, revenge and suicide as many characters shatter under the burden of the challenging order.Hostiles is a film that needs some patience and time to unfold but ends up being particularly rewarding thanks to the strong moral behind the sinister mask. Christian Bale, one of the world's greatest actors, even delivers the best performance of his career as tough anti-hero with just as many flaws as strengths. Above all, Hostiles is a film that is profoundly human, in all its sickening darkness interrupted by some rays of light. The perfect ending exemplifies this mixture perfectly. Western and drama fans should experience this film at the cinema and fans of Christian Bale just can't get around this movie either. Hollywood should produce more westerns and less superhero movies.