When a ferocious band of cannibalistic marauders invade a small Western village, killing a stable boy and kidnapping a nefarious prisoner, the town doctor, and a deputy, the stoic sheriff (Kurt Russell), his faithful absentminded assistant (Richard Jenkins), a boastful stranger (Matthew Fox), and the practitioner’s resolute husband (Patrick Wilson) embark on an arduous rescue mission through the unforgiving, unforged terrain and into the savages’ den. S. Craig Zahler’s unsung Western is well conceived and expertly filmed, impressively changing its leisurely pace to one of intensity and horror. I only took issue with the extreme violence of the finale. Though not without effect, it feels out of place and borrowed from a lesser movie. The cast is immensely appealing.
*** ½ out of ****