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Blackthorn (18)


In Bolivia, Butch Cassidy (now calling himself James Blackthorne) pines for one last sight of home, an adventure that aligns him with a young robber and makes the duo a target for gangs and lawmen alike.

The critical consensus

What Mateo Gil has produced is an interesting, often beautiful and sometimes brave film, but, as is so often the case with grand passions, his love affair with the genre has left him blind to his film’s imperfections.

***(*)(*)Neil McEwan, TV Bomb, 08/04/2012

Sam Shepard illuminated the old West - or at least the South American parts - with creaky charisma. He unleashes a growly old timer to rival Rooster Cogburn or Will Munny.

****(*)Ian Nathan, Empire Online, 10/04/2012

Lonesome Dove with a dash of My Name is Nobody and a side of Ride the High Country, but Shepard, Noriega and the exotic Bolivian locations mark Blackthorn out as a notable entry.

***(*)(*)Adam Lee Davies, Little White Lies, 12/04/2012

Blackthorn is a handsomely mounted film, with many an awesome vista and rolling plain, but compared to the quicksilver brilliance of its predecessors, it comes off as irredeemably minor.

**(*)(*)(*)Andrew Pulver, The Guardian, 12/04/2012

Stephen Rea’s Pinkerton detective Mackinley is the one character you want to see more of in a leisurely, elegiac production that needed a sharper focus.

***(*)(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 13/04/2012

While the film is full of silences, and it takes a while for things to get going, Blackthorn is never a bore, with the camera drinking in some stunning landscapes and Noriega being an amusingly irascible companion.

David Edwards, Daily Record, 13/04/2012

A well-made, if ultimately pointless Western.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday, 15/04/2012

Shepard has also been lying low – this is his first lead in years – and you hope he’ll get back in saddle again soon because he’s great here as the grizzled, ironic, exasperated desperado.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 17/04/2012

[Shepard's] grizzled, stoic turn pays tribute to Newman’s take on the character and makes the film more compelling than it’s predictable plotting deserves.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 19/04/2012

Sam Shephard revels in the chance to play the ultimate stranger in town.

***(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 19/04/2012

Blackthorn (18)

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

Edinburgh Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Friday April 20, 2012, until Thursday April 26, 2012. More info:

Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow from Tuesday April 24, 2012, until Saturday April 28, 2012. More info:

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