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Silver City
Silver City
Actors: Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Maria Bello, Billy Zane, Daryl Hannah
Director: John Sayles
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2005     2hr 8min

Grammatically challenged, user friendly gubernatorial candidate Dicky Pilager has just launched a rosy campaign for the citizens of the New West. But things take an unexpected turn when the taping of an environmental polit...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Maria Bello, Billy Zane, Daryl Hannah
Director: John Sayles
Creators: Haskell Wexler, John Sayles, Maggie Renzi, Robert Lansing Parker, Sam Tedesco, Suzanne Ceresko
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/11/2005
Original Release Date: 09/17/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 09/17/2004
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 8min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 15
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: French

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Member Movie Reviews

Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO
Reviewed on 7/30/2016...
What a fun movie! Especially timely right about now in this hectic election year (2016) and with so many similarities with what's going on today! Wealthy land owner (Kristofferson) owns nearly every one and everything in Colorado according to this lively tale and Chris Cooper (as Dicky Pilager - a fitting name) seems to be the unusual honest man who tries to do things right but his staff, including Richard Dreyfuss, work against his honesty and integrity.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Low budget but good
Timothy P. Scanlon | Hyattsville, MDUSA | 08/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This film grew on me.

I first saw it after it was advertised in "The Nation." It had just enough laughs--and mystery--to keep me interested.

Others have gone over the plot. Chris Cooper plays quite a good dimwit--actually no less articulate than the dimwit who now occupies the formidable house on Pennsylvania Avenue.

I disagree with those critics who say Richard Dreyfus's character, the dimwit's campaign manager, is not slimy enough. I thought he did a good job as a Rove-like snake, of no integrity whatsoever. In fact, in the "making of" bonus feature, Dreyfus says what I've been saying since I was a teenager (and I'm almost Dreyfus's age!): People essentially don't care [about much of what's going on] until they're affected by it. And then it's too late. Thanks for confirming my assertion of the last nearly 40 years, Richard!

Frankly, at first I thought Michael Murphy was too young to play Dicky Pilager's dad, but, when I saw it a few more times, he did all right.

I had a slight problem with the sherrif, Skaggs I think the character was called. He was apparently the one responsible for the lead character, Danny O'Brien, played by Danny Huston, getting fired in the first place. But by the end, the guy bordered on being Danny's political advisor. There was nothing Danny could do, so, the sherrif advised him, he'll have to reconcile himself to what's happened.

But I can live with that as the consequence of a lower-budget story.

Overall, I'm glad I have it. Sayles says in one of the special features that we are a story-telling species. That's obvious, from oral tradition of religious scripture to tales told by vikings which became epics. Those stories are important. I'll use this story it at the "salons" some friends plan to have. It's a great caricature of what we face with the neocons running the show so far. And until we realize that, things'll keep getting worse."
Possibly the best movie of '04
Michael Brumitt | Indianapolis, IN United States | 07/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Silver City is another excellent movie from a director who has been focusing on an important topic for a while now: America. Not many people are willing to really explore and examine this topic for what it is because of its sordidness and complexities, and this movie deals with quite a few of those complexities: inarticulate politicans ready to bow down to corporate business and forget about everything else, immigration problems, environmental concerns, capitalism versus democracy, intelligence versus greed, you name it. Silver City offers excellent performances, great characters, and one meaningful scene after another, as well as a lot of Cowboy Junkies songs. Perhaps what makes this movie somewhat difficult for certain people is this: It makes you think."
An effective, but muddled satire on politics
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"John Sayles is always an interesting director who provides sharp and mature insights into contemporary society. Silver City - although convoluted and long - is definitely no exception. With a kind of left of center feel, Silver City makes a kind of quasi-political, and socially conscious statement about the multiple ways in which the rich and powerful stick it to the poor and exploited, which is probably true, except that this film gets so caught up in underdeveloped subplots, and is so side tracked by failed romances that it's hard to take any of it seriously. Environmental issues, worker exploitation, press compromise and dirty politics are all played out, but with so much going on, the film, at times, tends to get too didactic and too bogged down with its own self importance.

The story combines a murder mystery with a ruthlessly managed Colorado gubernatorial contest in what is obviously a hilarious parody of George W. Bush's oratorical limitations. A waterlogged corpse of an illegal immigrant is snared on environmental candidate Dickie Pilager's fishing line while he is shooting a campaign commercial. Pilager (a terrific Chris Cooper) - a simpleton and clueless son of a wealthy senator - is ordered off the shoot, while the local police investigate what appears to be a murder.

Pilager's first run for office is absolutely embarrassing. He's an ineffectual candidate who is parlaying a cow-manure empire into a campaign to become the governor of Colorado. He fluffs his lines, gives half-baked explanations on issues, and is generally so dumb and pliable that the local robber barons; a group of bent property developers - the state's real pillagers - back him to the hilt. A millionaire businessman (Kris Kristofferson) also hopes that having Pillager in office will buy him enough influence and access to do what he wants with the Colorado wilderness.

The film would probably have been more involving if it centered on Pilager but it takes an unpredictable turn, focusing instead on Danny O'Brien (Danny Huston) a disgraced investigative reporter turned private detective. Danny is hired by Dickie's vituperative campaign manager, Chuck Raven (a Karl Rove-like Richard Dreyfuss) to lean on three possible enemies if Dickie who may have put the body in the water. With such a huge cast of characters - most notably Danny's ex girlfriend Nora Allardyce (Maria Bello), a crusading journalist and Daryl Hannah as Pilager's disgraced sister - viewers may find there's just too many characters to follow.

With so much material and multiple plot lines, including Danny's attempts regain the social conscience that caused his downfall in the first place; the film feels more like a longer draft version of an original story that was never completely eliminated. Silver City does have moments of funny political satire, and when it stays focused it is an absolutely riotous look at the contemporary political process, but the ending is so oblique, unfocused and ambivalent that many viewers will be left with the feeling that they've missed something. Mike Leonard September 04.