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Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

1973
Western
2h 2m
An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons--his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid. (imdb)
Your probable score
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Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

1973
Western
2h 2m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 63% from 747 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(747)
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Rated 10 Feb 2008
90
85th
In a way the characters of this movie are complete Western stereotypes -- swagger, machismo and all. In another way they're representative of human nature in general. A lot of this film is about the conventions of the Western film genre and why those conventions are silly at best. Also, Bob Dylan! I'm not sure what the point of his character in the movie was, but hey, Bob Dylan! Also, much of the soundtrack supplied by, hey, Bob Dylan!
Rated 20 Feb 2008
89
92nd
A wonderful Peckinpah film. It's full of violence yet none of it is overblown, it's very staightforward and matter of fact, as if there's no other possible end for these characters. The really nice cinematography and soundtack set the mood for a meditative look into Peckinpah's view of human nature.
Rated 28 Apr 2008
80
76th
James Coburn (in the role as Pat Garret) hunt down Kris Kristoffersen (as Billy the Kid) in a film that ask for contemplation and careful consideration for it's characters and how they act. Peckinpah depict the shoot-outs in an elegant manner, but show the violence as pitially destruvtive. One of Peckpah's most melancholic and heartfelt films.
Rated 13 Sep 2008
4
55th
There's some great stuff here, the main cast [Kristofferson, Dylan, and especially Coburn], a somber tone, and some welcome Dylan tunes but neither version seems put together that well. I'm not sure if the script is the problem or too many ideas were left on the cutting room floor, there are just waaaaaaaaay too many untimely deaths. I'm left with mixed opinions here.
Rated 26 Feb 2010
98
97th
A profound meditation on the vanishing free spirits of the American Frontier. An elegy punctuated by gunfire. An eccentric, iconoclastic vision, and one of our best American films.
Rated 09 Jan 2024
60
35th
Made me realize that during Dylan's golden run between 62-76 (although this timeline can be debated), this is the album I have listened to the least. Although, now that I have said that and I am looking at his discography, I didn't realize "Dylan" is considered an album. I apologize, Criticker reader. As for this film, I liked it. This film feels like the type of film that if I rewatched, I may end up loving.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
96th
None of the various cuts of this film are perfect, but I still love this movie. It's a great story of characters who know there is no tomorrow for them.
Rated 24 Nov 2009
78
59th
Ok, I know it's a common movie convention to have the characters drink as much as they want and never get drunk. But this movie is the grossest exaggeration of that I've ever seen. In one scene, Pat Garrett puts back a quart and a half of whiskey in one sitting, and he acts no differently as a result.
Rated 14 Jun 2009
54
10th
My big problem here is that it's all quite artificial. The dialogue sounds written, the sets look like sets, the costumes look like costumes, Dylan looks stoned out of his gourd, and the blood is bright red. I found it impossible to get immersed, but I wasn't that interested anyway. Pretty typical stuff about the death of the old West, blah blah blah. I liked James Coburn's performance, but Kristofferson was far too smug. The Dylan songs are mostly good, although sometimes inappropriate.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
88th
The 2005 cut is on par with the best stuff Peckinpah ever did! Unfortunately he shoots himself in the foot with the 1988 edition, the final version he personally oversaw. Either way it's a film well worth your time and thought.
Rated 17 Jul 2011
5
69th
You'll find few bigger fans of Peckinpah than me, but this is admittedly not very involving. The film drags and its characters are completely uninteresting and one-dimensional bores. It's essentially a poor man's McCabe & Mrs. Miller, or even The Wild Bunch - a film about the death of the old West and the men who would rather die with it than move on without it. Watch those instead. Also, Bob Dylan sucks. His songs are boring, his poetry is terrible and now we know he can't act worth shit.
Rated 10 Mar 2018
89
94th
With the loosest of narratives, Peckinpah's notoriously troubled western is a series of vignettes with some serious faces. The amount of character actors that show up is staggering, each with his own unwritten backstory plastered on his weathered face. As per usual, the director paints a bleak tapestry that is lived in and sad. A wonderful ride.
Rated 17 Sep 2023
80
59th
Strangely somber. Its understated, lived-in quality brings to mind McCabe, with Peckinpah’s signature exploration of brutality. The “Heaven’s Door” scene is unforgettably beautiful. A surprisingly slight Western, given its director and its initial structural decision.
Rated 30 Mar 2023
85
84th
A sublimely existential Coburn performance is the perfect accent for Peckinpah's characteristically brutal, heart-wrenching spurts of violence and cruelty.
Rated 26 May 2019
50
22nd
2005 kurgusu.
Rated 15 Feb 2019
75
51st
I'm not so big into Westerns of this era, but this wasn't so bad. The acting is overall very good, there's some damn fine moments in the script, the Bob Dylan songs make it all better, the set design and cinematography are something to be commended, but they punctuate the languidness of what is otherwise an intriguing story of fate. The blood looks fake as shit, though.
Rated 10 Sep 2013
60
29th
Really really great movie, but they kind of messed up on the ending, which is the best part of the irl story. Still, if you like westerns you should watch this.
Rated 23 Nov 2013
90
80th
Watched the 2005 cut. This is a rather strange film in all respects, but its strangest aspect is also arguably its greatest: the involvement of Bob Dylan, whose music lends the film an appropriately melancholic tone (think McCabe and Mrs. Miller) and whose performance is extremely and lovably bizarre. There's a scene in this movie where his character is simply reading different food labels in the background of the action, and it is glorious.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
74
58th
# 525
Rated 02 Apr 2021
80
50th
worthwhile for the music
Rated 08 May 2024
80
78th
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" is an atypical Western focused on character development amidst historical changes. The film portrays its characters with depth and humanity, highlighting their ambiguities within a transforming US context. The soundtrack is effective, though sometimes mismatched with the scenes. Some aspects, such as violence against animals and women, detract from the experience. Overall, the film is a poetic work that accurately depicts its historical era
Rated 21 Aug 2016
60
38th
Picked up a 2 disc edition of this with 2 versions. I watched the 1988 Turner Preview Version with a running time of 122 min. The action kicks off as Garrett becomes the lawman responsible for bringing Billy to justice. Coburn and Kristofferson were great but Bob Dylan? #1001Movies
Rated 12 Nov 2014
93
99th
Peckinpah'sm preview edit is a brutal elegiac masterpiece & my favourite western. The theatrical studio cut is a travesty. Manages to take the cliche theme about the death of the old west & humanize it perfectly. Bob Dylan's character actually works on some weird meta level as a catalyst between the historical & mythological layers of the story. Coburn is simply brilliant, embodying all the melancholy & violent contradictions that elevate Peckinpah's uniquely wretched brand of macho romanticism.
Rated 25 Jun 2018
65
60th
It's difficult to rate because Peckinpah never delivered a definitive cut, but as it stands it's an interesting, although not completely successful, western in its existing forms that approaches greatness but doesn't get there. Coburn was ideally cast as Garrett and he plays him with a hard nosed determination that rings true, but Kristofferson was a questionable choice for Billy, and the pace is sluggish. Dylan's folk music also doesn't work as well as Cohen's did in McCabe either.
Rated 31 Jan 2009
70
78th
Works best as a series of heartfelt vignettes rather than a cohesive story. You can kind of tell this movie was made by a drunk bastard. I've seen it three or four times and I'm still not quite sure what's happening most of the time. The 2005 version adds a nice scene or two but clearly alters Peckinpah's original vision. The theatrical cut is superior.
Rated 24 Nov 2018
60
15th
There's a lot of good stuff here, but it didn't completely work for me. The brutality and bitterness of the Billy The Kid story, and the old west, come through strongly, the performances are generally good, but the film is joyless, even a little lifeless.
Rated 31 Aug 2008
100
87th
The 1988 cut.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
75
50th
496
Rated 25 Sep 2022
70
77th
Two years after Robert Altman hooked up with Leonard Cohen for a “northern”, Sam Peckinpah employs Dylan for his own downbeat, atmospheric, “modern” western. Results are mixed: these filmmakers just can’t achieve the level of characterisation, or freedom from generic convention, of McCABE & MRS. MILLER, but it still succeeds in generating a feeling of tragic inevitability in a fading world marked by a fatalistic obsession with individualism to the point of sheer recklessness. "Special Edition".
Rated 21 Jun 2011
79
20th
more outlaw cussin', liquor swilling, dusty vistas, bloody shootouts, ladies of the night and iterations of knocking on heaven's door then all the shot glasses in your local cantina. all that being said, this is still a rather blah peckinpah.
Rated 27 Apr 2015
78
72nd
Not much of a plot and the film meanders for a bit. Bob Dylan?
Rated 20 Feb 2020
80
64th
I wish I liked it more. It's meandering and on focused. There isn't urgency driving the scenes and just sort of unfold; instead, they act as vignettes of character explorations. As well, I found the inclusion of Bob Dylan and the score distracting and detrimental. It's not all bad. Pat Garret and Billy the Kid are well written, complex, and their relationship drives the movie. It kept me watching through the boring parts.
Rated 29 Mar 2018
65
35th
The so-called revisionist western is usually just grimmer and grimier, especially in the 70's. That's lazy revisionism in my book. This film is no exception, but fortunately doesn't just leave it there. I found it a decent, well-acted character story. And Dylan's folksy soundtrack works here, unlike, say, Cohen's in McCabe & Mrs Miller.
Rated 30 Mar 2014
82
43rd
sad, well shot, better than the wild bunch
Rated 13 Nov 2021
21
14th
Boring. Apparently there's a better cut, but who has time to find such things for a film that's mostly bad!
Rated 17 Nov 2022
2
21st
Rated 13 Sep 2019
50
42nd
The opposite of Shane
Rated 27 May 2023
60
35th
I wouldn't call myself a connoisseur of Westerns; even so, this one seems to paint the "anti-Western" motif with all of the same colors. End of an era, blurry moralism, all that. For a film with so many "characters" (even with the very good cameos), you'd think more than one of them would stand out, but all I'll remember of this is the lopsided amount of screen time given to the character that probably talks the least.
Rated 24 Sep 2010
80
86th
Beans! Succatash! Beets! Spinach!
Rated 02 Mar 2007
60
62nd
Good film.
Rated 22 Mar 2015
80
83rd
A somewhat romanticized telling of the story of Billy the Kid and reveals too little of his backstory. It mostly follows Pat Garrett while tracking him down and ends abruptly after killing him. Several nice topless scenes. A few memorable western moments, but some of the details were a bit unconvincing. It does however capture some of the old west attitude and was mostly entertaining to watch. Great characters. All of the performances were very good, as was the production quality. A solid movie.
Rated 27 Nov 2008
87
96th
Very Nice
Rated 17 Jul 2008
80
79th
"Keep the change!"
Rated 15 Jan 2010
74
48th
530
Rated 14 Aug 2020
65
17th
Rating based on the studio cut of the picture, which is apparently catastrophically altered from the preview cut.
Rated 18 Jun 2022
75
57th
Good anti-western with an excellent performance from James Coburn. Kristofferson is okay as Billy the Kidd but seems a bit miscast, maybe because he was close to 40 and seems too old for the role. The Coburn performance, with a mix of intensity and underlying self-loathing as he sells out to the new realities of civilization coming to the West. Bob Dylan's score works great but his acting role doesn't really add a whole lot.
Rated 18 Mar 2012
84
14th
not bad!
Rated 07 Nov 2020
84
75th
This is a melancholy meditation on the death of freedom in the American west. I'll never be comfortable with Peckinpah's combination of violence and nudity as his anti-heroes mistreat women, but everything else here works exceedingly well. James Coburn is on fire in this film.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
71
42nd
#576
Rated 05 Nov 2010
90
84th
The first thirty minutes of this film are perfect. A few melodramatic moments and overuse of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" (which is probably the worst Dylan song anyway) slightly mar the middle third, but the ending brings it right back up again. I'll be adding this to my collection shortly.
Rated 11 Aug 2014
80
50th
At least as it is intact in the '05 "special edition" release, this is one of Peckinpah's most deeply felt films, not in the agonizing or disturbing veins of Straw Dogs or The Getaway, but somber and bittersweet. It exists on one dejected, wistful note, and that is its intention, as it saunters forlornly to its inevitable conclusion as one of the great tragic true tales of the Old West, the story of two outlaw friends who become enemies as one becomes a lawman.

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