The Long Riders
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The hook in Walter Hill's mythic retelling of the James-Younger outlaw legend is in the casting; the James, Younger, Miller, and Ford Brothers are played by a string of acting brothers, the Keachs, the Carradines, the Quaids and the Guests. The film begins as outlaws are robbing a bank. After the robbery, Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) finds himself kicked out of the gang for needlessly killing a man during the robbery. Jesse James (James Keach) hands over Ed's share of the money and tells him to leave, a feeling held mutually by Ed's brother Clell (Randy Quaid). After the killing the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Hill is very much in the American grain, the inheritor of the Ford-Hawks-Walsh tradition of artful, understated action film making."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"A beautiful, laconic and unsentimental film."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Hill's lean, mean approach never had a more appealing texture than it does here..."
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"One of the more idiosyncratic James gang westerns but not necessarily one of the better ones."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A superb, nitty-gritty retelling of the story of the James-Younger gang."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Walter Hill's first outright failure."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The Long Riders isn't quite sure which way it wants to ride, but the action scenes and cinematography make up for any misdirection."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"A Western Nirvana"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Sacrificing investigations into the mentality behind America's most feared band of outlaws, Hill plumps for an evocation of time and place. He does a magnificent job."
‑ , Film4
"Walter Hill's first Western is atmospheric and remarkably authentic by casting real-life thespian brothers as real-life outlaw brothers."
‑ Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily
"What's ultimately missing is a definable point of view which would tie together the myriad events on display and fill in the blanks which Hill has imposed on the action by sapping it of emotional or historical meaning."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"On revisiting it for the first time in twenty years, I was dismayed to see how far The Long Riders had fallen."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"The casting problems aside, this is a fairly solid, but not particularly extraordinary film."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"It is an action film, an engaging one, and covers old ground with a contemporary style which never feels out of place."
‑ Douglas Pratt, DVDLaser
"The Long Riders is well-done film about the legendary Jesse James."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for The Long Riders on Rotten Tomatoes