Review Date: December 26, 2000
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Writer: Ted Tally
Producers: B. B. Thornton, Robert Salerno
So what does that leave us with? Well, to be honest, very little. The film was acted quite nicely, with Lucas Black, probably coming out the strongest, but no one else tipping the scale either way. The film also featured some of the most beautiful cinematography of the year, but with a clumsy story impressed underneath it, how much is that really worth? It's really strange too, because I was actually enjoying this picture till about the thirty minute mark, but then it got all jumbled up (I hear that the film was trimmed from its original four hours down to two. That might explain some of its disorder). In the end, the film just didn't "sell" me on any of its main plot points, went on for waaaaay too long (chalk it up to yet another "movie that never ends"), and seemed to get into various side stories (the whole prison scenario felt like another movie altogether and did we really need that whole "judge" sequence in the end?). And if you're only going to see this movie so that you could check out the gorgeous Penelope Cruz, you'd better hold your own horses at the ticker counter, cause this pretty lady barely shows up here, and utters even fewer lines. For more of her, check out WOMAN ON TOP (7/10), which features her all over the place as...said, woman on top. This movie might work for either those who read the book (I wouldn't know cause I haven't read it), enjoy watching Matt Damon grin real pretty or don't mind dazing in and out of consciousness while watching a picturesque epic. For all others, I suggest you tack this one on to the boatload of failed entries at this year's cattle call of Oscar snipers.