Liam Neeson (Batman Begins, Star Wars: Episode 1 "The Phantom Menace" ) and Pierce Brosnan (Bond movies, The Thomas Crown Affair) star in this epic chase and primal battle set in the breathtaking landscape of the West. The... more » civil war has ended but Colonel Morsman Carver (Neeson) is on one final mission: to kill Gideon (Brosnan) no matter what it takes. Launched by a gunshot and propelled by rage, the relentless pursuit takes them both far from the comforts and codes of civilization, into the bloodiest recesses of their own souls. Also starring Academy AwardŽ winner Anjelica Huston and Angie Harmon. It's been five years since the end of the American Civil War. Somewhere deep within the snowy mountains of the American West a lone figure - Gideon (Brosnan) sits in front of a fire, lost in thought. Abruptly, he is pulled out of his reverie by the echo of a Henry rifle and a bullet puffing into the snow inches from his head. Instantly Gideon calculates his one chance of survival. To leave everything he owns and run for the cover. And so begins the thrilling account of Colonel Morsman Carver's (Neeson) terrible revenge - to hunt down and kill Gideon, no matter what it takes. There will be many men dead before these two meet face to face, and only then will Carver fully comprehend the full cost of his undertaking. Launched by a gunshot and propelled by rage, the relentless pursuit will take them both far from the comforts and codes of civilization and into the unforgiving wilderness.« less
For the most part I enjoyed this modern take on the Western. Both Neeson and Brosnan give fantastic and believable performances.
This is a "chase" film with Liam Neeson's character and posse hunting down the Pierce Brosnan character. Great action and scenery help make the film believable and entertaining.
At some point during the film, it starts to feel a bit too "Hollywood", and the ending scene (Angelica Huston) really spoiled it for me. So many other better choices, why did they do what they did?
Oh well, back to the real westerns...
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Finally, another great movie!
S. Holsey | California | 04/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pierce Brosnan, plays a rugged mountain man in which a group of bounty men are after. His character wants only to be left alone but continues to find himself in battle with opposition and with his own past. From start to finish this movie will keep you in suspense as the action will take you from one stunning cinematography mountain and country scene to the next. I will not give away the ending, but must say that it was a "class act" we should all follow."
An engrossing, old-school Western
DanD | 05/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Remember when Westerns held nothing back? When the characters were REAL, when the dangers were REAL, when you were pressed to the edge of your seat waiting for the next harrowing moments? "Seraphim Falls" is a movie in this tradition, featuring brilliant acting, great cinematography, and super writing.
Gideon, a former Union captain, has headed out west, alone. The war is three-years gone; he is a wanderer escaping his brutal past. But he is pursued by Carver, a former Confederate general who has a grudge against Gideon. What follows is a chase, of sorts--one man pursuing another through the wilderness, approaching a conclusion that, although predictable, is still strangely satisfying.
Pierce Brosnan, as Gideon, gives his the performance of his career, even topping his previous high in "The Matador." Liam Neeson is engaging as always; you can't take your eyes off him. A super cast, featuring a supporting role from the ever-rivetting Michael Wincott, as well as excellent cameos from other artists, helps keep this movie grounded. The writing is great--dialogue is sparse and never used simply as filler; the violence is real but never gratuitous--and the cinematography is to die for. There's nothing extraordinary here, which is why the film soars--it takes pride in being a Western, in being a revenge story, and doesn't waste time in trying to be anything more. Sure, there are morals to learn from watching this movie, but director/writer David Von Ancken doesn't force them down your throat; he lets you ponder them at your own leasure, when you are finally able to take your eyes away from the screen. "Seraphim Falls" ranks as one of the most engrossing movies I've seen this year; it's easy to watch and hard to forget. To me, that's what makes a great movie."
Two men-one obsessed with the past the other trying to escap
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 06/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Seraphim Falls" works very well as a western because of the contrasting lead characters--Col. Carver (Neeson)obsessed with revenge trapped in the past and his own pain while Captain Gideon (Pierce Brosnan)wants nothing more than to escape his past. He isolates himself in the wilderness working as a trapper in post-Civil War America almost as if it's his penance for an act in the past. Gideon was instrumental in a horrible tragedy that killed Carver's family. Carver hunts Gideon like he's nothing more than a wily animal. Gideon plays the part proving that even though he has isolated himself from people, he hasn't forgotten or lost the small remains of his soul. Gideon rediscovers the value of life--any life even someone else who hates him while Carver discovers that the need for revenge can eat away our reason for living.
"Seraphim Falls" isn't a perfect film but it is one of the better westerns that has been released in some time (although it can't hold a candle to "Open Range"). Because director/writer David Von Ancken focuses on the demons that drive these men, his film is admirable and entertaining. Both actors working with a great supporting cast do a terrific job of creating their characters with a minimal of dialogue particularly during the first third of the film. While the film falls apart by the conclusion and runs about 15 minutes too long, it's still enjoyable ride through the high country.
The DVD features an interesting and trivia packed commentary track by Pierce Brosnan and writer/director Von Ancken aided by roduction designer Michael Hanan. We get the usual trivia about the difficulties in shooting the film but also bits of history as well that make it informative and fun.
The featurette provides a solid look behind-the-scenes. I was surprised that a film this low key (it barefuly got a theatrical release probably because of Mel Gibson's involvement and his drunken rant. Icon Productions co-produced the film and I don't doubt that it made Sony gun shy about promoting this film in a higher profile fashion). The DVD transfer looks nearly perfect.
"Seraphim Falls" recalls some of the character driven westerns that we saw during the 60's and 70's. Writer/director Von Ancken (who wrote it with Abby Everett Jaques)sketches in these characters worn lives and the deeds that made them weary of living very well. Both Brosnan and Neeson do terrific jobs in their roles making the most of their minimal dialogue creating much of their characters out of their physical actions and reactions as what they say. Like "The Proposition" (another fine Aussie western), "Seraphim Falls" shows us the price of war and following orders on the individual from both sides of the fence.
W. Smith | Sunshine State | 06/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I knew nothing of this film but it looked interesting. I thought that it was not particularly memorable at first but on thinking about it the next day I realized that I was wrong.
The ending - an interpetation SPOILER ALERT! . . . The appearance of Angelica Huston in the middle of the desert really seemed utterly ridiculous until (the next day) I realized that she was the angle of death. She took everything they had (water, horses, life? etc.) and offered them the chance for revenge. The seemingly stupid moment when they get up and walk away (after barly able to walk and Liam shot) really is the death of both. It took a while but it made sense after a day, lol. In any event it was interesting (although a bit monotemous during the middle of the movie due to the largly uninteresting chase. BTW, how could Brosnan (on foot) stay ahead of Neeson on a horse for so long?). I would have given this a 3 star rating if I had not interpeted the ending the next day. In any event, it's interesting to think about and it's beautifully filmed."
Intelligent but accessible
EddieLove | NYC, USA | 06/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Any film with an opening half hour as great as this may inevitably seem like a let down when it draws to a close. Still, this is the best new Western in years. Liam's accent is a little off, but Pierce delivers an outstanding, almost animalistic performance. This should have been a hit."