Cert 18 149mins Stars 3

There’s a powerful operatic air to this brutal western for which you may need a strong stomach to digest it’s gut ripping action.

When a new preacher arrives in town promising pain for sinners, he begins a campaign of terror against a local family.

Guy Pearce has a hoarse voice and a nasty facial scar as he pursues Dakota Fanning’s young wife and her children. As the story moves back and forth in time, biblical themes of revenge and punishment are explored.

Religion is used to justify treating women as slaves. They are bought, sold, beaten, raped, mutilated and hanged.

And there’s strong political commentary in the script as women are often gagged to deny them a voice with which to protest.

As this bleak and chilly epic sweeps across the harsh yet beautiful landscape, the ripe and bloody melodrama is ramped up with thunder and lightning.

Plus the relentless brutality and considerable length make for a demanding watch.




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