[Movie Review] The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford


Act your wage.
Political Access
27 Dec 2001
This film isn't showing nationwide, yet, so you may or may not be able to see it depending on where you live. If it is showing in your area and you're considering seeing it, then it's a good idea to know what you're getting yourself into.

The Assassination of Jesse James... is a 2 1/2+ hour character study that possibly has the slowest pacing of any film I've ever seen. I read one critic's review that compared it to watching a book on tape -- that's actually not far from exaggeration, but it's not necessarily a negative thing either.

In my estimation, pretty much everything about this film is perfect -- the cinematography, the score, the locations and period dress, the dialogue and the acting are all superb. Casey Affleck puts his brother to shame in their profession and I wouldn't be surprised to see an Oscar nomination for him. Actually, I'll probably be surprised if he doesn't receive a nomination.

For the most part, you are well-aware of how things turn out in the end, but it's the slow and steady building towards the climax that is amazing to watch. The "it's too slow" criticism will undoubtedly be repeated by many viewers, but this is not a mainstream film or even a mainstream Western -- so as I said, know what you're getting yourself into.

Kubrick's 2001 and Leone's Once Upon a Time in America are a couple of comparable films in terms of pacing, and they are widely accepted as masterpieces. I think The Assassination of Jesse James... will one day be given the same consideration.

5/5 OSNN Stars


OSNN Addict
7 Jan 2004
James gang robbed a bank in Van Buren, KY, that my Aunt worked at. Remember her telling that the few people that were there at the time of the robbery weren't to badly scared. They handed over the money with no violence happening.

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