Movie Review

All the Pretty Horses

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and some sexuality

Reviewed by: David Mathis
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Western Romance Drama
Length:
1 hr. 56 min.
Year of Release:
2000
USA Release:
December 25, 2000
Henry Thomas and Matt Damon in “All the Pretty Horses”
Featuring: Matt Damon, Henry Thomas, Penélope Cruz, Lucas Black, Robert Patrick
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Producer: Mike Nichols
Distributor: Miramax Films

“All the Pretty Horses” is an excellent movie with a western setting which takes a worldview at justice and love.

At the ending of World War II, rough riders Matt Damon and Henry Thomas ride from Texas to Mexico to work with horses. Mexican love interest Penélope Cruz, the daughter of a ranch owner, catches the Damon’s cowboy eyes and an affair quickly escalates. The torrid affair leads a disapproving family to stop it.

The film will serve as a springboard to look at the competing worldviews of the Christian vs. the world. Christians will have much to discuss after the film is over. Of special interest will be the moral decisions which are chosen and the discussions of God and Heaven and Hell.

Objectionable to some Christians will be the premarital affair between Cruz and Damon. However, the story line requires it and the film shows very little nudity. Included are two violent murders, some violence and intense scenes.

This movie is recommended for those 16 and older. Older teens should see this movie with other Christians or parents.


Viewer Comments
A superb movie that has breathtaking vistas of Texas and Mexico. It is not an action flick or love story, but rather a well developed portrayal of the journey two young men embark on in search of the old west. They discover the good, bad and ugly aspects of the it and learn a great deal about friendship, loyalty and Honor in the bargain. The sexual scenes are underplayed but I believe did little to show what a true relationship is really about. Too bad, it was the only weakness of the movie. I loved the final words of the narrator. “I believe that God does watch over us, if he didn’t, I don’t see how we could get through each day.” How true, how true. Is there something that we Christians can learn from this movie? I think so, and the narrators last words are it. The movie shows life as it is and depicts well the difficult decisions we must all make. I recommend this to all mature viewers. My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Lawrence, age 50
This movie was definitely not what I expected. It had been portrayed to me as an action-romance, but there was very little romance. It is a very slow-moving story, and a couple of times I didn’t quite understand what they were trying to get across. The language was not that great and there are a couple of sexual scenes. I would not recommend it to any friends. My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—April, age 24
Movie Critics
…In their journey, John Grady and Lacey hold several discussions about God, heaven, and hell…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…Neither dull nor exciting…
—Todd McCarthy, Variety
…an often-lethargic journey through the stark and beautiful countryside of Mexico…
—Bennett Wright, Simple Reviews
Positive
…up to the last minute I was thinking “this movie has 60 seconds to develop a plot…”. it never happened. The entire movie was like a pretty picture, nice to look at, but doesn’t entertain you for too long of a time. Acting was fair, the so called plot was pointless, and it just really wasn’t worth it. My Ratings: [Average / 1½]
—L., age 16