All The Pretty Horses

Subscribe to Matt Damon alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Monday 25th December 2000

Box Office USA: $14.7M

Budget: $57M

Distributed by: Miramax

Production compaines: Miramax Films, Columbia Pictures

Reviews 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 32%
Fresh: 32 Rotten: 67

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: Matt Damon as John Grady Cole, Henry Thomas as Lacey Rawlins, Penélope Cruz as Alejandra, Sam Shepard as J.C. Franklin, Robert Patrick as Cole, Lucas Black as Jimmy Blevins

All The Pretty Horses Movie Review

All the Pretty Horses reminds me of a bad comedian telling a joke. He begins with an awful set-up and takes forever introducing the characters. If you're lucky, he stumbles into the narrative within five minutes. By the time he's arrived at the punch line, you don't care. You've forgotten the setup altogether.

Billy Bob Thornton's latest film, which examines a Texas cowboy trying to find his dreams in 1949 Mexico, is a tale I might have been interested in. But like that lousy comedian, Thornton's delivery positively stinks. And, what's worse, I couldn't find the punch line anywhere.

Matt Damon stars as the intrepid cowboy who gets a chance to work at a spacious Mexican ranch. However, his trip gets rough when he starts sleeping with his boss' daughter (Penélope Cruz, Woman on Top) and gets arrested for associating with a murderous teen (Lucas Black, Crazy in Alabama).

What I'm offering you is the condensed version of the plot. The movie is really broken into four sections: The trip on horseback to Mexico, love and work on the range, prison hardships, and personal redemption. All four have potential. All four disappoint.

The problem is that Thornton focuses his attention in the wrong places. He offers shot after shot of nature's goodies: Wild horses, intimidating canyons, and spacious plains. Everything takes a back seat to aesthetics (five minutes of Damon and buddy Henry Thomas taming horses!), a maneuver that grows exceedingly tedious as the movie trudges to its merciful end.

By stressing style over substance, Thornton also diverts much-needed attention away from his characters. Cruz and Damon's romance becomes nothing more than a hushed montage of scenes featuring secret lovers, and Thomas and Damon's friendship can't survive the sparse dialogue they share.

Even when there's a peak in the action, which isn't often, Thornton doesn't capitalize on it. I thought the movie would take off when Thomas and Damon go to prison, or when Damon and Cruz reunite. But Thornton's love of slow motion photography and threatening, lengthy conversations shatters any such hopes.

The actors, and there are some good ones here, appear at a total loss for what to do. The weightiness of Thornton's approach means there's no character that can make the material meaningful, especially Damon's. In fact, Damon shouldn't be in this movie. It's easy to see why the girls love him. He's got milky skin and teeth that are so white they border on florescent. He's cute. Adorable. And though Damon has been good in other movies, his presence here bothered me. He's more of a Backstreet Boy than a cowboy.

If there's any upside to All the Pretty Horses it's that Penélope Cruz is absolutely sparkling. You can see why any cowpoke would fall in love with her, and why Hollywood is touting her as someone to watch.

But that doesn't mean you should invest eight bucks on the movie. Just remember who's telling the story.

All the pretty boys, er, horses.


Subscribe to Matt Damon alerts


All The Pretty Horses Rating

" Grim "


More Matt Damon

Lana Del Rey - I Can Fly (Official Audio) Video

The official audio track for Lana Del Rey's 'I Can Fly' has been released. The track is due to play over the end credits of...

Lana Del Rey - Big Eyes (Official Audio) Video

Lana Del Rey has released the official audio for her song, ‘Big Eyes’ – the title track for Tim Burton’s upcoming film, ‘Big Eyes’. On...

TV On The Radio - Lazerray Video

TV On The Radio released their fifth studio album 'Seeds' in November 2014 - their first release on Harvest Records - and now the band...

First Aid Kit - Walk Unafraid Video

First Aid Kit cover R.E.M.'s 'Walk Unafraid' for the soundtrack to Reese Witherspoon's forthcoming wilderness drama 'Wild', in which she portrays a real life author...


Pusha T - Lunch Money Video

Ahead of the release of his second studio album 'King Push' on December 23rd 2014, a collaboration with Adidas, Pusha T unveils a video for...

She And Him - Teach Me Tonight [Audio] Video

'Teach Me Tonight' is a cover of the song popularly sung by The DeCastro Sisters, which appears on She and Him's fifth studio album 'Classics';...

Gwen Stefani - Baby Don't Lie (Dave Matthias Remix) [Audio] Video

The Dave Matthias remix of Gwen Stefani's new single 'Baby Don't Lie' has now been unveiled ahead of her third studio album. It is her...

She And Him - Would You Like To Take a Walk? [Audio] Video

She and Him cover 'Would You Like To Take A Walk?' from the Broadway musical 'Sweet and Low' on their latest album 'Classics', which they...