A once vile drunk and murderous outlaw (Clint Eastwood) lives a reformed life on his barren pig ranch, a widower struggling to raise two young children, at the close of the Old West. When a prostitute is disfigured by visiting cattlemen in the town of Big Whiskey, Wyoming a bounty is placed on their heads (against the orders of the no nonsense sheriff (Gene Hackman)) calling the aged, out of practice gunslinger along with his long serving associate (Morgan Freeman) back to his vicious ways. Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven is a stoic, uncompromising meditation on killing that turns the Western on its ear. Crafted from a thoughtful script from David Webb Peoples, it offers painterly scenery, a spectacularly haunting and meaningful finale, and an outstanding cast with tired, worn, and soberly powerful performances from Clint and Freeman, a brilliantly complex and hardened turn from Hackman and fine support from Richard Harris, Frances Fisher, and Jaimz Woolvett.
**** out of ****