Review Round Up: Hostiles

Christian Bale stars in this new Western film directed by Scott Cooper. But what have critics had to say about it? Here Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews: 

The Observer: **** “Hostiles lives up to its deliberately ambiguous title.”

Daily Express: *** “Sadly, Bale and writer/director Scott Cooper can’t find a way to sell the hate-fuelled Blocker’s all-too-sudden transformation.”

Empire: **** “For all the violence and harshness, this is easily Cooper’s best-looking film, with cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi revelling in the wild vistas that seduced countless Western-shooters before him.”

The Telegraph: *** “Cooper’s film is heavy-going and proud, and for those tuned to its plangent frequencies, it will strike a rich and resonant chord.”

The Times: **** “Is there any big-screen experience more rousing to the soul and satisfying to the mind than a bloody good western?”

Den of Geek: ** “Some spectacular sequences, including a trudge through a monsoon where the slicks of rain and mud positively run from the screen, are a reminder of Cooper’s control as a filmmaker. But as a compelling story, Hostiles seems to wriggle from his grasp.”

The Independent:  **** “If you want to deal with the most primal emotions in the most rugged settings, to combine action and soul-searching, this is still the genre to turn to first.”
Rte.ire: ***** “It’s also, arguably, the most affecting work Bale has ever done in a role specifically written for him.” **** “Cooper’s control of the violence in the film is exceptional, the highlight being an on-horseback attack sequence that is as brutal as it is chaotic.”
The Sun: *** “It’s difficult to overstate how good an actor Christian Bale is, but the film’s intensity and heart rests firmly on his shoulders – he’s at his gruff-whispering best.”
Consequence of Sound: “It’s a sparse film, to be sure, but one authentic to the time in which it takes place, even if that authenticity reads in a significantly different light in our own time.”
Evening Standard: *** “As the film’s less-developed Native American characters steer close to being mournfully dignified, impassive stereotypes, Hostiles ends up unwittingly enforcing the same cultural bias it labours so hard to decry.”
The Metro: **** “Scott Cooper’s western is more about the people who inhabit the story than the story itself. Happily those people are on top form, with Bale in particular subtly reminding you of how great he can be with the right material. For those made of the right stuff, Hostiles will linger long in the memory.”
Hostiles is out in cinemas now. 

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