Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Ballad of Lefty Brown

The Ballad of Lefty Brown
Bill Pullman, Peter Fonda, Kathy Baker, and Jim Caviezel

Rated: R for violence and some language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: January 5, 2018 Released by: A24 Films

For over three decades Bill Pullman has had an interesting career on the silver screen from Ruthless People to the recent LBJ (in between probably best known as Pres. Thomas J. Whitmore from Independence Day). Now, as an eponymous crony in The Ballad of Lefty Brown he's ironically thrust into a heroic light in an agreeably raw, if leisurely oater from Jared Moshe.

Late 19th Century Montana is the setting after it's become the 41st State where a maladroit, obstinate Lefty is retained to run the ranch of Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda of Ghost Rider and Ulee's Gold) after being elected Montana's senator and onto D.C. Eddie's decision of his longtime friend and ranch hand taking over doesn't sit well with Mrs. Johnson (Kathy Baker from Saving Mr. Banks and Cold Mountain). Not to mention the other ranchers who look at him with much disdain.

The tale pivots well enough off of Eddie's murder where a trusted man of forty years is fixed on justice as the others on the homestead are pretty disoriented. That leaves Lefty as the unjustifiable bull's-eye and he'll go through an initiation in a sincere fashion from the fairly dexterous hand of Moshe.

The hook that works in what may seem like a typical retribution is the coldly determined tenacity a hirsute Pullman enables to an unlikely, along-in-years cracker-barrel adventurer. The production exhibits the allure of Montana's arid, sun-dappled environs against a story that doesn't really waver that much. Sufficient buttressing is provided by Jim Caviezel (Escape Plan, Frequency) as an unctuous elected head-of-state and Tommy Flanagan (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) as a liquor-quaffing U.S. Marshall.

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