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Blackthorn

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R
2011

Blackthorn is a 2011 Western movie directed by Mateo Gil and starring Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega, and Stephen Rea. The storyline follows the famed outlaw Butch Cassidy, now living under the alias of James Blackthorn, who is living in Bolivia in the late 1920s. He has been living peacefully for years, and has even found love in the form of a local woman, Yana (Magaly Solier). However, he still longs to return to the United States, and decides to journey back to the land of his youth.

The film opens with an aged and grizzled James Blackthorn (Sam Shepard) leading a quiet life as a rancher in the Bolivian countryside. He has been hiding from the law for over two decades, after supposedly perishing in a gunfight with Bolivian soldiers. His loneliness is interrupted by the arrival of Eduardo Apodaca (Eduardo Noriega), a Spanish engineer who has been hired to build a bridge. Apodaca recognizes Blackthorn as the infamous Butch Cassidy, and begs him to join him on his journey to the U.S.

Blackthorn at first refuses, wanting to stay hidden and live out his days in peace. However, after discovering that his estranged son has recently died, he changes his mind and decides to go back to the U.S. to see his son's gravesite. Together, Blackthorn and Apodaca set out on horseback across the harsh Bolivian landscape, facing many dangers along the way.

As they travel, Blackthorn frequently has flashbacks to his past life as Butch Cassidy, and we see snippets of the gunfights, bank heists, and train robberies of his youth. But the focus of the film is on Blackthorn's current journey, and the obstacles he faces along the way. The two travelers are pursued by a grouchy Pinkerton detective named Mackinley (Stephen Rea), who is determined to capture Butch Cassidy once and for all. They also encounter a group of rebels who are trying to overthrow the Bolivian government, and are plunged into the middle of a violent conflict.

Throughout the journey, Blackthorn and Apodaca develop a close friendship, and Blackthorn begins to soften towards the idea of a life back in the United States. However, Mackinley and his posse are always lurking in the background, ready to throw a wrench into their plans.

Despite its slow pace, the movie manages to be engaging and thought-provoking. Sam Shepard's grizzled performance as Blackthorn is one of the highlights of the film, and he imbues the character with a weariness and regret that is palpable. Noriega and Rea both deliver solid supporting performances as Apodaca and Mackinley, respectively. The Bolivian landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful, and the film's exploration of the idea of redemption and a second chance at life is poignant.

In conclusion, Blackthorn is a slow-paced but satisfying Western that offers a fresh take on the legend of Butch Cassidy. The film's gorgeous landscapes, restrained pacing, and strong performances make it a standout in the genre. Fans of Shepard, Noriega, or Westerns in general will find much to enjoy in this film.

Blackthorn is a Adventure, Action, Western movie released in 2011. It has a runtime of 98 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.5. It also holds a MetaScore of 61.

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6.5/10
61/100
Director
Mateo Gil
Stars
Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega , Stephen Rea
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