By Robin E. Simmons


Embark on an adventure of epic scope and sweeping scale through the merciless and hostile terrain of the  ‘old west.’

Five years after the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) travels from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller, sharing news  from distant parts of the globe.

In the plains of central Texas, he crosses paths with a10-year-old girl (a terrific Helena Zengel) taken by the Kiowa people and raised as one of their own.

Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs.  As they travel hundreds of miles into the harsh and unforgiving wilderness, the two face tremendous challenges — both human and natural –as they search for a place they can call home in this emotionally rich and visually stunning film.

Although this film has been described as a cross between PAPER MOON (without the humor) and THE SEARCHERS, it is a much lesser exercise in cinematic storytelling than either of those beloved movies.

What especially stands out is the authenticity of the production design from sets, natural locations, weapons and well–worn, lived-in costumes.  What I missed was the idiosyncratic language of rural Texas circa 1870s.  Unlike TRUE GRIT, Paul Greengrass’s admittedly beautiful film (it was co-written by Greengrass and Luke Davies) employs a more cotemporary use of the English language.

Bonus material includes never-before-seen clips, deletes scenes and a detailed commentary from co-writer/director Greengrass and more.  4K, Blu-ray  Universal.