Old Henry (2021)

Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins,
An action western about a farmer who takes in an injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse comes for the money, he must decide who to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a gunslinging talent calling his true identity into que
  • 7.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2021-10-10 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Potsy Ponciroli, Director:
  • Michael Hagerty, Shannon Houchins, Producer:

Trailer:

8 / 10

a twisty western

Greetings again from the darkness. When asked to explain the appeal, many fans of Western movies note how the clear division of good and bad, and right and wrong, allows for easy identification of those to root for, or even admire. Writer-director Potsy Ponciroli muddies the water with this one, blurring the lines between good guys and bad guys, and keeping us guessing until the end.

The film opens in the Oklahoma territory in 1906, a mere seventeen years after the Land Rush of 1889. The farmer we meet, Henry McCarty (a perfectly chosen name) may or may not have been a 'sooner', but he admits to his son that the idea of free land is what drove him to settle here, on the plot next to his deceased wife's brother Al (Trace Adkins). Tim Blake Nelson is superb in the role, and plays Henry as a man with deep, and likely dark secrets. The land is challenging to work and he expends energy farming as well as protecting his son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis), a typical whiny teenager with little regard for adult struggles. Wyatt is anxious to escape the structure and limitations of life with dad.

Breaking a long string of days where nothing much happens for Henry and Wyatt, an injured man with a satchel full of cash is discovered on their land. Henry patches up the gunshot wound, and puts the unconscious man in bed, albeit with ropes binding him to the frame - one of the glimpses of Henry cluing us to waters that run much deeper than we'd typically expect for a farmer in the middle of nowhere. When the man awakens, he claims to be Sheriff Curry (Scott Haze) and that the three men chasing him are the bad guys. The dilemma for Henry is heightened in that he's not an inherently trusting fellow, and the Sheriff badge is actually on one the vest of those three men, Ketchum (a fun turn from Stephen Dorff).

The verbal exchanges between Henry and Ketchum are oratory poetry, and it makes for a juicy and tension-packed chain of events. We are left to deduce which of the men - Henry, Curry, and Ketchum - are who they say they are. It's a game of Clue featuring rifles, holsters, and horses. Cinematographer John Matysiak does a nice job with a wide-range of shots: outdoors, in the cabin, the big shootout, and even a doorway shot as a tribute to John Ford.

The two twists are what really made this click for me. And one of them is quite a whopper. The suspense generated by the situation is certainly enhanced by the fancy verbal sparring, including a terrific line from Henry when asked about his background: "Many vocations, some more marginal than others." But it really comes down to us as viewers, along with Henry, attempting to discern the good guys from the bad, and constantly asking ourselves ... who do we trust? Mysteries are fun, especially when a good old-fashioned shootout is included, and the film's big reveal turns out to be etched in western lore.

Coming to theaters on October 1, 2021.

7 / 10

good REVEAL!

Irony abounds. Six decades ago you could not turn on the TV or go to a theatre without bumping into a western. Today they are few and far between. (Except for the fact that Clint Eastwood is still starring in them, which is just plain odd). So when this little gem shows up, with the guts to bet the farm (literally) on a tight script and a BIG REVEAL, you really have to take off your hat and salute it.

9 / 10

gritty...

Is mildly speakin, but i welcome surprises as this, and the kind of wild westerns like this, with a script written on 2 pieces of paper is pretty delicate and full pot on the michelin guide for the people who likes to devour the meal in silence.

Tim blake nelson makes this movie, he deserve some kind of award for his acting as b the k in ''old henry''. Its so concentrated and and tucked in on a small set, and small cast, so to make a cryin out loud spectacular movie like this is impressing.

There are shoot outs and a kind of stalemate that never stops, therefore its intense and a little bit lucky lukish swirling on the hinges. So if you think youve seen it all what happened out there in the wild west, then heres your ultimate chance to fulfill it all. Original and twisted it is, therefore a recommend from the grumpy old man.

8 / 10

A Big Surprise

I went into this one without even bothering to read the reviews and it blew me away.

Extremely well done, the acting from all involved was top notch, especially Tim Blake Nelson, who really showed he is a quality actor.

There is nothing over the top involved the story is just a story with the "good guys" coming out on top against the odds. Except who really knows who the good guys are.

Definitely a movie that could be watched more than once. It loses 2 stars for me due to the flashbacks, those were not really required and made the movie a bit confusing.

8/10 and highly recommended.

9 / 10

Instant Classic Western

What great acting Tim Blake Nelson , wow .

Stephen Dorff's bad guy is perfect .

This is such a great movie loved every minute of it .

If you like westerns watch this !