Hostiles encapsulates the absolute breathtaking beauty of the arboreal desert landscape, along with capturing an equally beautiful, non-physical darkness of conflict and war. Christian Bale’s performance as Joseph Blocker is decorated with moments in which his face conveys more than words ever could. I found myself locked on how real and genuine Bale’s reactions to certain events were.
Multiple times throughout the film, Bale goes from hardened army officer, that you would never expect to shed a tear for anyone, to someone that has clearly formed deep, meaningful emotional bonds to these other characters.
Perhaps what makes the movie seem so real was the beautiful portrayal of the contemporary landscape. There are a multitude of breathtaking shots encapsulating how the light of the sun plays and dances with the ridges of mountains, valleys, and cliff sides of Montana and Colorado. Scenes in a wooded area are often accompanied by a dreary morning sky, creating a beautiful mesh of muted blues and greens that make this film unforgettable.
Director Scott Cooper does not hold back on portraying the brutality of the culture of the time period. To me, film enjoyment and a realistic setting go hand in hand, and for basically every second of Hostiles, you feel like you are a part of this harsh landscape, and are experiencing the pain these characters go through, firsthand.
Verdict - 9.5/10
Andy Seakins is a Geography major at Irvine Valley College. He is an Australian immigrant and loves to travel. Movies have always been near and dear to his heart and his favorite director is Wes Anderson. Andy is a featured writer for Free to Dream.