Snubbed for all the awards, Hostiles is a movie reminiscent of the westerns of the past.
In 1892, the Civil War has been over for years and the fighting with the Native Americans is coming to a close. Most have been captured and moved to reservations. A decorated Army captain, Joe Blocker (played by Christian Bale), who earned his reputation as an Indian fighter, is forced to escort a dying Cheyenne Chief and his family from New Mexico to Montana so that Yellow Hawk (played by Wes Studi) may die and be buried among his ancestors.
With his handpicked team, Joe must face his toughest assignment- protecting a man he’d rather kill than save. He faces death at every turn. Joe must also come to grips with his anger toward the Chief and his part in the destruction of the Native people.
With sweeping vistas, the cinematography is beautiful. Director Scott Cooper filmed on location across the West and only filmed at the same place twice so as to showcase the beauty of the Wild West. Using real native people in the roles of the Native Americans also gives a realistic feel to the fictionalized story.
Based on an unfinished manuscript by Donald E. Stewart (Hunt for Red October), Scott Cooper wrote a story which feels relevant today at a time when many different sides are fighting, each thinking they are correct. Hostiles shows that both sides of the Native conflict were at fault and only through acceptance and friendship can we repair the damage done by the fighting.
Hostiles has an amazing cast with Rosamund Pike as Rosalie Quaid, a woman who overcomes harsh obstacles which would send many people into a sobbing fetal position. Rory Cochrane plays Master Sgt. Thomas Metz, one of Joe’s soldiers and closest friend. He’s killed for so long he’s lost his ability to be happy and longs for death. His character serves as a barometer for what happens to humanity when you end so many lives.
Come prepared though with some extra tissues. This movie pulls on the heartstrings and will have you thinking about battles and forgiveness.
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