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Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Hero (2017)

An aging ex-cowboy film star (Sam Elliott) is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In the time he has left, he attempts to put things right and go out a hero. Directed by Brett Haley who previously directed Elliott in I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS. Elliott gives a career best performance here and it's thrilling to see him in a lead role again. But if Elliott is a diamond, I wish he had a better setting than the generic cluster he's given here. Elliott's performance alone justifies the film and makes it worth seeing but you can't get around the fact that Haley and Marc Basch's screenplay is comprised of bits and pieces cobbled together from movies we've seen before. For example, when Laura Prepon (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK) as Elliott's much younger squeeze quotes a poet early in the film, when she gives him a gift at the end of the film, you just know it's going to be a book of poetry from the quoted author before he even opens the package. In addition to Prepon, who's also excellent, the cast includes Nick Offerman, Krysten Ritter and Katharine Ross, who while it's great to see on the big screen again, is sorely wasted. 

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