Jane Got a Gun (2015) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
87 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
Heck of a Western
bsofakind11 March 2016
Heck of a Western, I expected it would be good before I viewed it when I saw Joel Edgerton had a major role in the movie

Edgerton can really bring it as a lead or support role. And he didn't disappoint.

But I was extremely impressed with Portman. She has picked some stinker roles in the past however she proved IMO she is no longer just the pretty face and she has honed her craft to be a very good actor.

Blows my mind that IMDb is only giving this movie a rating of 5.9 I am a big fan of westerns and I don't hand out high ratings with a whim or fancy.

Good to see Ewan McGregor in a small role. I thought he nailed his part, as well.
89 out of 109 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
uneven, but better than the disastrous production might have led to you to believe
Quinoa198412 May 2016
Jane Got a Gun is a good example of what a movie can do for you if you're going in with certain expectations, especially when they're of an exceptional variety. In the case of this, the word 'troubled' is putting it lightly for the production, as numerous stars (Fassbender quit, Jude Law was briefly hired, as was Bradley Cooper, and Edgerton actually had the role of the *villain*, not the sort of co-hero), and the director (Lynn Ramsey) left while in the midst of shooting over problems with the producer and a lack of final cut. It's the kind of production that has 'disaster' as its mark, and that's not a fair way to immediately judge a film, at least not initially. What if this was the next superb western, in a time when there seem to be a good amount considering how few westerns come out nowadays (i.e. The Hateful Eight, Bone Tomahawk, and Slow West all in the past year or so)?

So I went into this with an open mind, to see what is in front of me (via Warrior director Gavin O'Connor) and left with the opinion that simply... it's OK. Sometimes a little more than OK, and mostly thanks to a game cast. The premise is somewhat simple initially, that a woman finds that her husband (Natalie Portman and Noah Emmerich respectively) has been shot and though she's tending to her wounds she realizes from him more men are coming after him, so she goes and hires a man (Joel Edgerton) who she used to know... actually in some intimate ways.

The movie has a flashback structure that is not really too new. Matter of fact, by 2016 this sort of thing has become kind of tired; of course the drama is meant to be this siege that develops at their home: they can't ride away since Emmerich's Bill Hammond is too injured, so they'll have to set up some things to make sure they aren't caught like fish in a barrel when Ewan McGregor and his men come. But the bigger issue is that the movie has just a lot of peaks and valleys as far as compelling scenes; when people do pull guns on one another and there's set-up with that we see (the plan to fortify the outside of Jane's home with liquid explosives and such is clever), it's exciting.

What seemed to not work quite so well are the quieter scenes, where confessions are made and that drama has to be tapped as to who did what to who in relationships and the old wounds being scorched. There is one really tumultuous sequence where Bill discovers Jane inside of what seems to be a brothel (or it just is) and after he kills a bunch of people she starts sobbing. Moments of high drama register but it's the quiet moments that fall a little flat, or they don't register as they should in a movie that depends on their quiet moments for impact. And it's not so much the actors at fault - Portman and Edgerton are formidable, and McGregor makes a fine figure with that mustache (a bit of a chip off the Val Kilmer in Tombstone block), and one of America's underrated character actors, Noah Emmerich, is terrific even as a lot of his performance is post-shooting in a bed - but with the script.

Strange since the screenplay was originally on the "Black-List" (best scripts produced that got submitted, across the world basically), and Edgerton actually did work on the script too (whether this was before the production problems or during I'm sure I don't know). It's hard to know if it was due to the producers not allowing final cut - a big reason why Ramsey left, which might have been wise - but as a Weinstein Company release it seems a little fishy, like there may have been better material that got left out or moments put together that don't quite fit.

And yet for all these odd feelings watching it, overall I would recommend it to fans of Westerns (believe me, I've seen weaker offerings), and the climax is really solid. James Got a Gun has some original moments, and yet wrestles with becoming generic at the same time: bad-asses pulling guns on one another has been done for so long and in such gritty tones. Maybe it's missing... a tiny bit of humor(?) It's a strange movie to peg what doesn't work about it, but it's not all bad. For all the hard times it took to get to being completed, I'm glad it exists in some form.
23 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Serviceable Western Film
ThomasDrufke29 January 2016
After years of a troubled production, Jane Got a Gun finally got to the big screen, albeit in the month for cinema to dump their weak films, January. Although for me, that may have improved my enjoyment of the picture. I went in barely seeing any of the trailers or TV spots (were there any?) and with barely any expectations, so perhaps that improved my likeness of Jane Got a Gun.

The film stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, and Ewan McGregor in a production that once had names like Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, and Jude Law attached among others. I actually think the ending cast turned out pretty good as Portman and Edgerton shared unexpectedly great chemistry. I think the problem with the film is that I'm not sure the film had anything new to add to the world of cinema. There isn't anything special about Jane Got a Gun, but it is a well made film by Gavin O'Connor. His last film Warrior, is one of my favorite films of all time, and while it's nowhere near as good as that film, I think I can consider it one of the first surprises of 2016.

O'Connor's choice of using flashbacks to fill in the gaps between the years in which Edgerton and Portman are apart, was a mistake. We get all of the character development we need in a few sit down scenes between the two later on in the film. The ending is also an extremely well handled shootout climax even if McGregor's character is very under developed. Overall, I think this a solid entry in for the western genre and O'Connor's filmography. But I also think that it doesn't feel like a polished project even though it has taken years to get to the big screen. There's plenty to like, including the incredible lead performances, but there's also plenty to shrug your shoulders about. No matter, I definitely enjoyed my experience watching Jane Got a Gun.

+Portman and Edgerton

+Tense finale

+Much better than expectations after a troubled production

-Still doesn't feel finished

-No need for flashbacks

7.2/10
40 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A rare Western jewel
lcastilla8 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I was unpleasantly surprised by the bad reviews that Jane Got a Gun has received in the US by "experts". I'm a fan of Western movies and was delighted by the high quality of this film. The photography alone (superb) makes it worthwhile to watch. The dusty desert environment is awesome, the costumes magnificent and the acting s excellent.The story-line is original and Natalie Portman, as usual, extraordinary.

In my opinion, this film has captured the style of the best Clint Eastwood westerns. Granted it uses the well trodden revenge plot, but it does it cleverly and keeps the spectator in constant suspense.

Those daft commercial critics of the film, probably did not like both the story. But then, as usual, they were resorting to their pseudo sophisticated, near sighted inane criteria. I enjoyed the movie enormously from the beginning to the end. I certainly recommend this film to those Western film addicts like myself.
31 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
She also got a family ...
kosmasp20 May 2016
.. a ranch and a bunch of other stuff (including something attributed to men when they are fearless/a lot of courage). While many have seen or rather predicted the death of the Western "genre" (some might argue it's not a genre itself, just putting this out there), it's still alive and kicking and this movie is testament to that fact.

Natalie Portman is a great actress and she saw something in the character here, that made her want to play the role. It had to do with both the toughness and the vulnerability of her. The script may be predictable (the flashbacks give out bits and peaces, but you can put it together far ahead of the time, so I don't think there are too many surprises, except maybe for the ending), but you can't fault the setups and everything the film does to portray what is going on. Some might feel it's too long and there is definitely not enough action for others, but those who stick with it get a nice story
12 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Them Bishop boys are coming for you? You don't need a gunslinger. You need a goddamn regiment.
Spikeopath19 January 2017
Jane Got a Gun is directed by Gavin O'Connor and collectively written by Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis and Joel Edgerton. It stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, Noah Emmerich, Boyd Holbrook and Rodrigo Santoro. Music is by Marcello De Francisci and Lisa Gerrard and cinematography is by Mandy Walker.

Jane Hammond (Portman) has to turn to her ex lover, Dan Frost (Edgerton), for help when it's revealed that the notorious Bishop gang are heading her way in search of her husband Bill (Emmerich).

It's going to be one of those films more talked about for what it could have been than what it is. Changes in production staff were unbound, from director, writer, photographer and some big name cast changes, it was a production blighted and destined to be on a loser. It hasn't helped that with it being a slow paced character based picture, and a Western at that, the market for a fan base was already running low on potential supporters. So what we left with?

It undoubtedly is one for hard core Western fans only, it's hard to envisage newcomers entering into the genre for the first time, perhaps lured by the casting of Portman, being won over to the point of seeking out other classic Westerns of past and present. Yet it's got a lot going for it, because if you have the want, then it may just take a second viewing to fully absorb and enjoy.

At its core it's a straight Oater of redemption, opportunities waylaid by fate, and of course a good old good versus bad axis. Relying on a flashback structure to set up the character dynamics, it can get a bit disorientating at times, hence the shout out for a second viewing. However, it may not be the perfect way to build the principal characters, but they are worth the investment for there's a big emotional pull there.

Having laid the foundation for the first two thirds of the pic, we shift to good old honest violence, for siege read backs against the wall, and not without invention, in fact there's much resourcefulness on show, with Jane at times very much leading the way. The last third pays off handsomely, even if there's the (arguably) inevitable sugar coated candy to swallow as part of the final deal. Cast are dandy and turning in perfs of note, though it needed more of McGregor's John Bishop, because with what little he gets he does make a villainous mark.

It looks terrific, Walker's photography bringing to mind the genre work of Roger Deakins, with the New Mexico locations blistering in their beauty, and while the sound mix for dialogue exchanges is a little poor, the musical score is thumping in its tonal appreciations. It's tricky to recommend with confidence even to Western fans, especially in a year when "Jane" had to compete with the more rambunctious Magificent Seven reboot, but give it a chance if you liked something like Slow West, and you may just be pleasantly surprised. 7/10
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Jane Got a Gun and kind of missed the shot
paul_3-960-89677424 January 2016
I was among the lucky people to have seen the movie premier in Paris tonight. Going in I was mildly excited for the film, wondering how much of an effect the tumultuous development had on the final product.

Jane Got a Gun is interesting for sure but it's slooow. The first two acts are desperately trying to built tension with a slow dead like pace, and long silences, that only puts the audience to sleep. I actually dozed off a few times. It's a shame because I think there's something special about it.

The story is good with a few minor surprises and solid acting. Even in the long silences the actors were engaged and conveyed the adequate emotions. Joel Edgerton and Natalie Portman have some great moments, their performances are riddles by subtleties that make for powerful scenes, ruined by shots a couple of seconds too long. The movie picks up though, it come as a breath of fresh air, after slogging our way through the first two acts.

So after all of the cast and recast of actors and directors what suffered? My guess the editing because some scenes could have been cut short while maintaining the message. Jane Got a Gun could probably be one of those movies that will become a cult classic.

By @ericgarcy
38 out of 70 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Pleasant surprise
dmasursky4 February 2016
I went into this movie with no expectations, and was pleasantly surprised. It's being called "slow," which I suppose it is, by Thor and Iron Man standards, but not in a way that bothered me - I wasn't expecting an action-packed story, because, well, I don't mind if a movie has dialog. I thought the pacing was great, and I loved the way the audience slowly finds out what happened, through flashbacks from several different points of view. I didn't mind that Jane wasn't a super hero, just a determined woman, who was strong because life demanded it of her. It felt very realistic. It's not a perfect movie, but it's worth seeing for great performances and gorgeous scenery (filmed on location in New Mexico). I think this movie will do well on video or streaming, if it finds the right audience (that is, people like me) - I'm certainly telling my friends about it.
19 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
With fragmented narrative and awkwardly shot moments, Jane might have the gun but not the spark.
quincytheodore8 March 2016
At the skin "Jane Got a Gun" might look like a gunslinger action flick, but this is more of a drama set in the Wild West with some action undertone for the backdrop. The visual often displays the scenes with overly dark contrast or extreme close up which is annoyingly jarring at times. Also, having high caliber actor and actress such as Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman doesn't elevate the movie beyond average frontier drama.

Jane (Natalie Portman) is searching for a bouncer to protect her and her wounded husband from a gang of outlaws. The one guy volunteering is her ex-lover, so you can see there's a lot of love triangle plot at play here. Its source material doesn't really offer anything more, there might be a couple of intense sequences, action and twist towards the end, but they are far from remarkable and the journey to reach there is dry.

To its credit, the storytelling attempts two different timelines. The movie will shift from the current events to the ones from the past, it's a particularly nifty effort to highlight the encounter with specific characters and their relationship with the leads. However, the screenplay feels disjointed at times since there's barely any difference between past and present, and the drama from both eras are equally stagnant.

Visual is mostly decent, although it too often shoots the characters' face far too closely, even simple conversation or motion is done needlessly in this manner. There's not adequate cinematography to showcase the gritty frontier atmosphere,, although a few scenery shots are commendable. Action is surprisingly soft, only occurring briefly and sporadically, it's passable but by no means outstanding.

"Jane Got a Gun" is not as exciting as it sounds to be, it's a casual drama that simply happens in Wild West.
26 out of 52 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
"Jane Got a Gun" - and an excellent western!
dave-mcclain2 February 2016
Natalie Portman in a western? (I mean, isn't she the girl who won an Oscar for "Black Swan" and played Queen Amidala in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy?) What about Joel Edgerton (from "The Warrior", "Exodus: Gods and Kings" and "The Gift")? Or Ewan McGregor, who was also in "Star Wars" Episodes 1-3 as well as unusual movies like "Moulin Rouge!", "The Men Who Stare at Goats" and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"? Then there's Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro, who famously played Persian King Xerxes in the "300" movies. I'd answer all those objections with another question: Why not? After all, stretching is important for actors. When they play against type, we often get surprisingly enjoyable performances from our favorite thespians – and these gutsy actors sometimes find entirely new niches for themselves.

Actors like Robert De Niro and Leslie Nielsen, known mainly for "tough guy" roles, each decided to start doing some comedy. That gave us the "Meet the Parents" and "Analyze This" movies (from De Niro) and "Airplane!" and the "Naked Gun" movies (from Nielsen). And does anyone remember when Bruce Willis was mostly doing romantic comedy? "Bruce Willis in an action movie?!?" people said in 1988 – until they saw "Die Hard". There you go. Now, let us consider the very reasonable possibility that Portman, Edgerton, McGregor, Santoro, et al, can bring us an entertaining western in "Jane Got a Gun" (R, 1:38).

Portman plays Jane Hammond, a wife and mother living in a small house in Middle-of-nowhere, New Mexico in 1871, six years after the Civil War ended. When her husband, Bill (Emmerich), shows up at home with five bullets in his back, Jane springs into action. The Bishop Boys gang, led by John Bishop (McGregor), and including violent men with names like Fitchum (Santoro), have an old grudge against Bill. He may have gotten away for the moment, but they intend to find him and finish him off. After patching up her husband as well as she could, Jane rides to the house of Dan Frost (Edgerton), trying to enlist his help in defending her home and her family. Dan turns her down cold, but soon reconsiders.

Dan and Jane had been engaged before the war. Dan went off to join the Union Army… and wasn't heard from for three years. By the time he and Jane were reunited, Jane had married Bill and had his baby. There's no love lost between Dan and Bill, but Dan can't bear the thought of leaving Jane to the mercy of the Bishop Boys, a decidedly unmerciful group. As the big confrontation with John Bishop and company draws ever closer, flashbacks progressively tell us more about the past interactions among these four characters – including some well-kept secrets that, once revealed, will change everything.

"Jane Got a Gun" is a very well-told, very human story. Its setting of the Old West may suggest plenty of gun fights and action, but what we get is much more. There are a number of exciting scenes that are very well staged and executed, but the script is even more appealing than the film's action sequences. The story is interesting and told very effectively, with some nicely quotable dialog along the way. The interactions between the characters make for a complicated and intriguing dynamic, helped along by great performances from the talented and experienced cast. Add to the mix terrific cinematography and a great song called "Perdition", which plays as the credits roll, and you have several wonderful cinematic elements and an outstanding cast which come together to make a very entertaining motion picture. "A"
24 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A decent little Western. Portman and Edgerton, in any case, make it worthwhile.
zetes2 February 2016
A nice, solid, little Western starring Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton. The two were engaged before Edgerton had to go off to war, but she took off west after not having heard from him in three years. She ended up in New Mexico married to a former outlaw (Noah Emmerich) who saved her from a white slaver (Ewan McGregor? That doesn't seem right; I definitely didn't recognize him if he was the villain, and the character name on IMDb seems wrong, too). Most of that history is told in flashbacks throughout the picture. The main bulk of the story has Emmerich wounded by McGregor and his men. Portman has to defend him, and she rounds up Edgerton, who settled in the area after he found out what happened to his former fiancée, to help her protect them. The story's simple, but Portman and Edgerton carry the film nicely. They have a believable sense of history between them. It's not an action-packed film, but it delivers well when it gets to the climax. There are some weaknesses in the details of the film, especially in the flashbacks, which often seem skeletal in their scripting (Joel Edgerton co-wrote the screenplay with two others). Not great, but good.
16 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
"That girl you rode so far to see, I ain't her anymore."
classicsoncall2 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Every couple hundred movie reviews or so, I wind up catching a film that compels me to rant a bit about the hypocrisy involved in making them. With Hollywood generally lined up with the media and academia on the liberal side of the spectrum, any pretense of 'common sense gun control' goes right out the window with a treatment like this. You can't argue against violence in movies and then have Natalie Portman shoot a guy in the head or pump a fifth bullet into a thug to finish him off after the first four pretty much crippled him for life.

Well now that I've got that out of my system I can continue. As a Western fan, I didn't find this to be too bad of a flick. It takes the revenge theme and applies the gunslinger role to a female protagonist, an idea that isn't too common for the genre. The flashback technique utilized a couple of times was effective for establishing Jane Hammond's (Portman) back story, and how she wound up in the position of asking her former fiancé to involve himself in a rescue effort.

I'll say one thing about Dan Frost's (Joel Edgarton) survival instinct, he sure did get creative with the kerosene filled Mason jars sporting those nails and shards of glass. When that thing blew, Wow!, it nicely illustrated Frost's go-to-war premise - "Only point of a battle Jane, is to end it in your favor".

I don't know that I find it credible that everything tied out satisfactorily for Jane when all was said and done, except for husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) buying the farm of course. I had my fingers crossed for daughter Kate when Jane found out she was still alive back at the brothel. That scrubbing laundry wound up her fate was a whole lot better than fending off scumbags like Fitchum.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Jane got a gun was great
clock_me8 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was like watching appaloosa is was slow right up to the last 17 minutes and even thou it didn't have that much action it was OK because it was telling a story about her life using flash backs on and off if you had any other actress play Jane i don't know if it would have been better kinda like will smith in Iam legend. the story is nice I found my self glued to the to the TV not wanting to move to make sure i wasn't missing anything, I also had to make sure the volume was high enough so i could here since some of the movie it was kind of quiet, and Ewan Mcgregor played his character we'll, for some this movie might not be for them since most people look a westerns ti have lots of action but if you want a nice drama with a good story then this movie is for you To me i think this deserves more then just a 6/10 but that me
12 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
a bit muddled, cold violence
SnoopyStyle24 August 2016
It's the New Mexico Territory in 1871. Jane (Natalie Portman) is hounded by the Bishop boys after her husband Bill "Ham" Hammond (Noah Emmerich) got severely injured by them. She gets help from her former love Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton). She thought that he was killed during the civil war and she married Ham afterwards where they got entangled with the Bishop boys. It's a tale of lost, tragedy, and revenge.

The first half is a muddle of unexplained situations, and confused flashbacks. The story finally gets some exposition in the second half. There is a compelling tragedy but it needs to be told better and earlier. The final act has good cold violence although it sometimes isn't as cold as it needs to be. There is definitely a good potential of a dark, stark western but it's too fuzzy.

First, this may have started with the wrong character. It should follow Dan Frost as he searches for his love Jane. The audience can learn about the situation along with Dan. Also the ending is too happy for the tone of the movie. This is a dark revenge story and I would probably kill off Dan midway through. That way would allow Jane to get her killing on for the last act.
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Are Westerns Making A Comeback? Warning: Spoilers
The official trailer for THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN has been released. Last year saw THE HATEFUL EIGHT nominated for several awards. THE REVENANT won for best picture at the Academy Awards. Are we seeing a resurgence in the classic genre known as westerns? Perhaps we are. And this week another released this year makes its way to DVD, JANE GOT A GUN.

Said to be loosely inspired by the 1971 film HANNIE CAULDER (and if it is trust me lose is the main term to consider here) the movie tells the story of Jane Hammond, a woman on the old frontier whose husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) returns home wounded and in need of help, letting her know that John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) and his gang are on their way. Unable to so much as stand to help or to leave, Jane takes their daughter to a nearby friend and seeks out assistance from Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton).

As the movie unfolds we learn the past history of these main characters. Jane was engaged to Dan before he left to join the Civil War. When he never returned she headed west. Bill came to her rescue there and in the process garnered the ire of Bishop. The eventual confrontation between all parties involved is inevitable and makes for the majority of the last third of the movie. And before anyone accuses me of revealing too much let me say that all of this comes out in the trailer.

Like most great westerns the plot here is pretty matter of fact and doesn't contain a lot of ins and outs like most movies being made. It's a simple story with facets weaved into it that fill out the 98 minutes seen on screen. For me that's not a negative aspect but a plus. Far too often movies these days seem determined to fill a full 2 hours with unnecessary items that muddle the plot or add nothing to the story but fulfill the director's need to make as long a movie as possible. The end result is almost always a long movie that drags often. By using a tired and true formula for a western the film makers here have made something both interesting and entertaining.

One thing to note is that the movie seems like it's offering a strong female lead in the title role. The trailer for the movie even makes it seem that way. In fact rather than that we're presented with co-leads in our story, Jane and Dan. Some will take issue with that. Their problem will come from a 21st century perspective. Women have more rights today than in the past and that's rightfully so. But back in the old west that wasn't the case. And while Jane presents a strong female lead that she would be able to accomplish what happens in this film on her own wouldn't have been possible.

Not only that, the love triangle presented between the characters of Jane, Dan and Bill that is touched on at first and then slowly revealed via flashbacks makes for an interesting story. It adds the depth needed to flesh out an entire film while still never overplaying that and making the movie far too long. It also makes you care more deeply for each person involved in the story and hate the character of Bishop more than you did at the beginning of the film. This format causes the movie to move along at a slower pace than expected in a western but I never felt it hindered anything.

The movie didn't do that well at the box office and was plagued by difficulties getting made. The original male leads intended for the movie backed out and were replaced. The same held true for the original director. Ratings have been unkind to the movie as well. Not knowing that going in and looking into it as I began to write this I reflected back on the movie itself.

It's good. It's not good as in being as memorable as say STAGECOACH good but it is a good movie. The story holds your interest from start to finish. The black hats and white hats are pretty much easy to determine which is refreshing in a world where good guys are often as terrible as those they pursue these days. The acting by all involved is completely believable and that says something. For me a strong performance is one where I lose sight of the fact I'm watching someone acting and see just the character instead. That's in abundance here. And knowing now that director Gavin O'Connor was brought in after the project began shows he deserves a tip of the hat.

Fans of the western genre will be happy to see it making a comeback. I for one have wondered why it hasn't happened already. Maybe audiences are too jaded and too invested in superhero films these days (which I love as well). There should always be room for different genres. Here's hoping movies like this continue to be made. For an entertaining evening this is one western worth watching.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A 1871 Western, better than I thought it would be.
TxMike30 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
We watched this at home on DVD from our public library. The DVD is a rental version with no extras at all, just the movie.

I was curious about it for the actors, especially Portman. When she was a young girl she was Marty in "Beautiful Girls", Emmerich was a married man in that movie, cautioning his friend Willie about not trying to romance Marty. Here he plays her husband. My what a few years can do!

It was 1871 in New Mexico, no radio or TV, not even electricity, so they had to entertain themselves at nightfall. The movie opens with Jane Hammond (Portman) telling a story to her young daughter about the upside down tree, where bad people could go in and become good people. The next day she is baking bread when her husband Bill (Emmerich) rides up and falls off his horse. She manages to get him inside and attends to his several wounds, pulling bullets and cauterizing with gun powder when she could reach them. Bill is in bad shape.

The story is not revealed in a smooth narrative style, instead you have to pay attention and clues are revealed very gradually, some in the several flashbacks. Bill is considered an outlaw for having killed 4 men in a gang, but we eventually find out he did so in rescuing Jane from a forced life in prostitution. But now the gang leader John Bishop (McGregor) and his men are out to track down and kill Bill.

Bill and Jane live on a remote plot of land with only one entrance/exit and are sure Bishop will hunt them down. Bishop is the more notorious outlaw, he has a $5000 bounty on his head, dead or alive. With Bill unable to be moved Jane seeks out the help of an old friend, father of her daughter, once thought to be dead, Dan Frost (Edgerton). She pays him, he is still hurt from what he thought was her abandonment of him, but sets out to do what he can to fight off the Bishop gang.

There really isn't anything in particular new here that hasn't been in the Western movies over the years. Edgerton was one of the writers, Portman one of the producers, it is a movie they wanted to make and overall it is an interesting 90 minutes. With his prosthetic dentures, dark wavy hair, and mustache, McGregor is all but unrecognizable. His character reminds me of a young Tom Selleck.

SPOILERS: There's actually a lot going on for a 90-minute movie. The daughter we see at the beginning is Jane's second daughter, with Bill. She thinks her first daughter by Dan was killed by one of Bishop's men. During the big fight at night Dan and Jane, helped by explosives he rigged, managed to kill off all Bishop's men, and when Bishop himself comes in the house he is held at gunpoint until he told that her first daughter, now maybe 12 or 13, is alive at at the brothel. Jane shoots him multiple times, they gather all the bodies, bring them to town to collect the thousands in rewards. She is reunited with her daughter, working as a washerwoman at the brothel. Bill dies so Jane, Dan, and the two girls head west in their covered wagon to begin a new life, headed for the Pacific Ocean shores.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Great movie
Marcus_Flavius15 May 2016
I'm not sure how the majority of you rated this under 6. This was a great movie! The best Western I've seen in a long time. Far better than than the new True Grit in my opinion. The ending was very good as well for a multitude of reasons. I didn't even know that the leader of the bad guys was Ewan McGregor until I came on here to rate this movie. Great plot and excellent acting all around. Natilie Portman still looking gorgeous as well! I can't really write much else without ruining the movie so you should just check it out for yourself, if you're either a fan of westerns or just a Natalie Portman fan. So what are you waiting for, go check it out from Red Box or buy it.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
One of the best westerns of the past decade
mike-mbreslin3 May 2016
I really liked this movie, it surprised me quite a bit. I thought it would be an imposition of modern prejudices projected back to 1871, but it was quite a traditional tale, although told in a non-linear way through flashbacks. The flashbacks were done extremely well, giving the movie much of its value; if it had been told straight-forwardly I don't think it would have had nearly as much impact.

While I have never really liked Natalie Portman very much, she does a fantastic job in this movie, even her slight southern/western accent is very well-done. Rather than a feminist version of a gun-slinger, as the title implies, her Jane seems to be quite a normal woman of her times, competent yet still feminine (she wears period dresses). Joel Edgerton is good, as is Noah Emmerich, but the most amazing actor has to be Ewan McGreggor. I did not know he was in this movie until I saw the credits, although I knew there was something very familiar about him. Wow what a great actor!

All in all one of the best westerns made in the last ten years at least.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
What's the point?
ginocox-206-3369685 April 2016
"Jane Got a Gun" has no apparent or cohesive theme, but attempts to compensate with rousing orchestral music which seems intended to convey to the audience how they ought to feel at this point in the movie if the plot and dialogue were up to the task of engendering such emotional responses.

The acting is actually good, although the dialogue is a bit hackneyed and saturated with exposition. The cinematography would be pretty good if they had spent a small portion of their $25MM budget on some form of rigid support system (like a tripod). The jiggly-cam shots are not the worst by a long shot, but are distracting. The pyrotechnics in one scene are very well done. Lighting and mise en scène are good. Makeup effects are good.

Some elements don't make much sense. At one point they need jars and empty out a dozen Mason jars of green beans and such. The film takes place in 1871. People didn't discard their Mason jars. They cleaned and sterilized them and reused them. There should have been a lot of empty jars around waiting to be filled with whatever crop would be harvested. A building is shot up to the extent the walls resemble a colander, but there aren't splinters all over the floor and nothing much inside seems to have been hit. Wanted criminals with hefty rewards on their heads live openly and run businesses.

But the big problem is in the lack of a theme or moral. Ordinarily, one might expect an ordinary person to be confronted with an ordeal that tests their mettle and forces them to grow somehow in order to overcome otherwise insurmountable obstacles. Here, the characters don't grow or acquire new skills. They endure hardships that tear their world apart, but survive. Consequently, everything falls into place and they have a much brighter future because they survived, not because they prevailed by becoming stronger. The good guys confront insurmountable odds, but through a clever device manage to even the odds early on. Rather than confronting escalating challenges, they confront diminishing challenges. Jane prevails by becoming as brutal as her adversary, but immediately returns to her peaceful existence as if she had never sunk to such depths.
17 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Very boring
Gordon-1114 March 2016
This complicated the story of a woman who has to seek help from her ex fiancé, when her husband is shot by a violent local gang. Her complicated events and interpersonal relationships over the past seven years is slowly revealed.

Maybe I'm not a fan of Westerns. Even though "Jane Got A Gun" sounds interesting, I find it very boring. Even the first fifteen minutes of it seem like an eternity, and unfortunately the film does not get any better. The story is slow, and it's not helped by the characters are always talking in accents that is hard to understand. Even though the lighting is really well done, I cannot get into the film at all.
14 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Please no more "Got a gun but can't shoot" titles!
A_Real_Hip_Dude11 February 2016
Because Blockbuster video had a section titled "Westerns" people seem to have come to the expectation that anything taking place during the 1800's has to follow a certain formula, centering around gunfights. But really, "Western" is more a category for it's time placement, which can fall into different genres. Jane Got A Gun is first and foremost a Drama-Suspense-quasi-romance; it's a story that could be told, in the large view, anywhere or anytime. But then there are the particular details of this story that make it unique to the west and help to dictate the decisions that have brought the characters to where they are in life.

The good-guy vs bad-guy line of this movie is somewhat standard, but the characters who are caught up in it have a uniqueness to them that makes the story worth seeing. Of course, with sub-par acting it would not be so easy to take, but each of the main characters plays their roles very effectively; especially Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton.

Some have complained that the movie is not feminist enough, but you can't end the movie with Portman being elected the first female president in 1880. No matter how cool that might seem for some, it would take the movie from a well-grounded, realistic western to the realm of fantasy. This is a much more pragmatic feminism that doesn't get caught up in anachronistic wish fulfillment (think of Mattie Ross from True Grit).

Lastly, I'll say that the movie (and director Gavin McConnor) does a great job of giving just the right amount of insight to each of the characters to give us the proper level of connection to each. There are ways in which we could have become too overly sympathetic, or conversely, too jaded to certain characters, making it difficult to reconcile the ending, but as it was it all wrapped up efficiently and effectively.

Definitely recommend this movie, but keep in mind it is a slow-build, character driven, western story. Not a bang-bang shoot 'em up.
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Nothing new
jallen563912 April 2016
I had high hopes for this film because the lead is a woman. But I was so very disappointed. This western story has been done to death and putting a woman as the hero did not help. I saw nothing that I have not seen before. I was not impressed by Portman, with her oh so fake and over done southern accent. The first two flash backs were well placed, but the rest were not needed. The chemistry between the two was a flop.I now understand why I did not see much about this film before I watched it. For this lover of westerns it was a big let down. This film added nothing to the western genre. The 'big names' associated with this film did not help, they are better actors than this. Don't pay to see it wait until you can watch it for free.
14 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
A dull and unimaginative western
eddie_baggins23 June 2016
In 2011 director Gavin O'Connor delivered a very special film in the form of the on face value generic sporting themed family drama Warrior, a film that despite low end box office takings has since gone onto become a well-liked and respected tale featuring memorable turns by its three leads Nick Nolte, Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton.

Warrior was a film with heart, relatable characters and a cinematic energy that burst out from the screen, it is in many ways then a completely opposite film to O'Connor's troubled remake Jane Got a Gun, a film completed in 2013 but only emerging this year to little to no fanfare.

Taking over the reins at quite literally the last minute from the film's original director Lynne Ramsey (who perhaps realised there was no saving this sinking ship), O'Connor's take on the classic tale of farm girl Jane taking it to the gang out to kill her husband and ruin her life is so devoid of purpose and life that its mightily hard to even envisage what this film was aiming for and from the lacklustre start through to its long gestating yet disappointing fire fight finale, Jane Got a Gun struggles to make any form of impact on the viewer and bares all the hallmarks of a film that's behind the scenes actions impacted badly on its final product.

O'Conner has for some time now with films like the aforementioned Warrior and others like Miracle and Pride and Glory has shown himself to be a fine director of both action and actors but Jane Got a Gun fails in both these elements. O'Connor try's hard to liven the film up with sporadic yet bloodthirsty violence but it's all played out in such a generic nature that it matters little while the films competent cast all fail to make a dent with Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton delivering some downright average performances as Jane and Dan respectively while the seemingly fake tanned Ewan McGregor stumbles his way along as the films big bad John Bishop.

Devoid of any spirit, Jane Got a Gun is tiresome and impact free remake. It's hard to know who exactly is to blame for the end result here but all involved should've known better and have all done much better in the past and its likely all who were apart of this box office misfire (the film didn't even appear at Australian cinemas) are likely to erase this from their memories quicker than a you could draw a pistol.

1 hot air balloon out of 5
8 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Among the three major Westerns released this winter . . .
oscaralbert1 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
. . . JANE GOT A GUN ranks second, a tad under THE HATEFUL EIGHT, but several hands above THE REVENANT. True, the musical score of JANE cannot touch Ennio Morricone's themes for EIGHT. But, at less than 98 minutes, JANE is more like an early John Wayne Western (before he got bloated), and NOT like a flick whose characters seem suspended between day-dreaming and wakefulness, since its director knows that at least half the audience is asleep. (In other words, you can throw out your Burning Yule Log DVD's once THE REVENANT comes out on Blu-Ray, as it will send you to La-La Land much quicker!) The BLACK SWAN herself, Natalie Portman, shows as JANE that she'd rather ACT than to attach herself to another Billion-Dollar STAR WARS project. As the title character JANE, Ms. Portman outdoes anything Sharon Stone accomplished in THE QUICK AND THE DEAD. JANE's a perfect illustration of the West's #1 Women's Survival Tip from the 1800s and Today: Always--ALWAYS--have a spare Baby Daddy up your sleeve!!
8 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Best Natalie Portman's performance of her career
agutmann-860553 February 2016
A Gem hidden in the pile of films

Prior seeing the film, I didn't even think that this movie would make me think about the "Quick and the Dead". Then I saw "Jane With A Gun" last night, and I thought this film might be Natalie Portman's best performance of her career. I no longer see her being awkward, teenage- like, out-of-place in film, using strange body language, etc. She comes across as a full grown confident woman as the storyline said she should be. I recommend it. The plot was great and not like typical predictable films. It will take you places. (This is one movie that you don't read the spoilers or plot before you going, Just going in without knowing what it is about except "gun" + "wild wild west". And you won't be disappointed.) You'll leaving the theater wondering if you like Natalie Portman's "Jane with a Gun" more or as well as Sharon Stone's "Quick and the Dead". See it and enjoy.
9 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed