Butcher’s Crossing: critically acclaimed Nicolas Cage western gets a trailer & release date

Butcher’s Crossing, a western starring Nicolas Cage that premiered at TIFF in 2022, is finally getting released.

Last Updated on September 27, 2023

While TIFF 2023 is in the books, a selection from TIFF’s 2022 edition is finally coming out over a year after its debut. Butcher’s Crossing, starring Nicolas Cage as a buffalo hunter in the old west, played to good reviews (including my own), with many noting that it was much artier fare for Cage, being an adaptation of the classic novel by John Edward Williams. In the movie, a young man (Fred Hechinger) bankrolls a buffalo hunting expedition with two older guides, including the mysterious Miller (Cage), which soon becomes a journey into madness.

Directed by Gabe Polsky and co-starring Sound of Metal’s Paul Raci, Tokyo Vice’s Rachel Keller and Xander Berkley, Butcher’s Crossing takes a dark, sombre look at the buffalo trade, which brought the animal to near extinction levels, starving the indigenous population, who relied on buffalo for food.

Butcher’s Crossing is a more austere, slower-paced western than expected given the trailer, which makes it look more like Unforgiven or Tombstone. The movie is a lot more like Meek’s Cutoff or Days of Heaven, although it may have been re-edited following its TIFF debut. At any rate, I thought it was a very solid movie, with a terrific performance by Cage, who looks great with his shaved head here. After years of making VOD movies, Cage seems to be on a roll, with Dream Scenario playing to raves at this year’s TIFF, and putting him back in the Oscar race for the first time in years. As a hardcore fan, it’s always nice to see Cage get proper credit, and Butcher’s Crossing is a very decent little film.

butcher's crossing poster

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.