Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Flicks: Hostiles

Rating ★★★★

What It's About
Captain Joseph Blocker has been tasked with escorting a Cheyenne chief and his family that have been held prisoner back to their home in Montana from New Mexico. Our man Captain Blocker is NOT happy about this task. He despises the native Americans because of the horrors he's seen inflicted on his own people by them. On their way they run into a young mother who's husband and three children were killed by Indians. Unable to abandon her, Captain Blocker takes her with his group. As they travel the treacherous road faced with hostility and prejudice on both sides, Captain Blocker begins looking at things in a different light.

My husband wanted to see this one and I don't mind westerns (or popcorn) so we headed out to see it. Another great pick by my husband. I ended up really loving this one.

This movie is not for the feint of heart. It starts out with this poor mother's family being massacred that sets the tone for Captain Blocker's (played by Christian Bale) loathing for the native American people. It's easy to understand his hatred after you've seen this women's two little girls get shot in front of her as they just saw their father being killed and scalped and are fleeing in terror. Then the mother's little baby she's holding takes a bullet and dies. Yeah, you start feeling a prickle of hate yourself for these "savages".

Of course as you get to know the Cheyenne chief and his family you're reminded people are just people and it's really hate that is the problem, not the color of a person's skin. And once you see the white people's hate and prejudice and what THEY are capable of it's easy to become furious with them and start taking the native American's side.

While, I'm sure the movie was maybe sort of pushing its little agenda it didn't feel like it to me. It did an excellent job of making you see both sides and FEEL both sides.

I cried like a baby at certain parts and was very moved by the change in Christian Bale's characters. The ending was heartbreaking and yet hopeful. I really loved it!

Let's Talk
This movie did an excellent job not taking sides and trying to guilt you into feeling like crap for any prejudices you might have but letting you see and feel both sides. I love when a movie or a book can do that. Often I find these movies too agenda pushing. What movies have you seen that are good and bad at this?

As much as I loved this one I don't necessarily think it needs to be seen in theaters but I'd still recommend it. I think we might be seeing this one in next year's Oscars.


  1. I've never heard of this one, but it sounds really good. I like that it remains objective. I also like Christian Bale :) So, yeah, when this one comes out on Netflix, I'll definitely be searching it out.

    1. I hope you enjoy it. Keep in mind it’s pretty violent.

  2. Oh my gosh. That movie sounds tough to watch!

  3. This sounds really good but I hater it sometimes when especially kids are killed and it makes you so mad that you want the perps to die horribly lol. But I'm sure I'll see it, I like a good western if done right. And sounds like this one looks at both sides, cause let's face it both sides did do horrible things!

    Christian Bale looks great in this from the trailer, and Wes Studi... I remember him from Last of the Mohicans and we was so effective (and scary) in that movie.

    1. It was so hard to watch. And it's right at the beginning too.

  4. I can't watch movies like this anymore. They take you to such a dark and depressing place, and it's hard to get those images and stories out of your head. Things like this stay with you because they're too awful to forget. I'm not saying we should avoid the ugly truths of life, but the world is brutal.

    There is far too much hate, and that hatred leads people to do unforgivable things.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the movie, but I think I'll stick with my superheroes, lol. Fighting evil and saving the world--whoop!

    Do You Dog-ear?

    1. Ha ha! Can't go wrong with super hero movies. This one was very hard to watch but had such a beautiful message it was worth it.

  5. I'm sure I'm too squeamish for this, though I wish I could see it. I love stories like these, too, where it's a shades of gray situation. No agenda pushing.

    Unfortunately, January movies are long forgotten by the time the Oscars roll around, which is why films released in that month are usually crappy. It looks like this studio had the idea that it wouldn't do well, or they didn't want it to do well. If it is good, then maybe the studio doesn't like the message the movie has to offer. Not black and white enough. It happens these days.

    1. Yeah. January movies do get over looked. On the other hand Bale always seems to be trying for another Oscar. ;) Or maybe he’s just too serious. Sad if it gets overlooked though. It was very good.

  6. I want to see this one so bad! I'm glad to hear you really liked it. :)

  7. fandango - At my age, after many decades of watching westerns, still my favorite genre, I think back to the golden age of the western, in which the native American was generally depicted as a bloodthirsty savage, and now comes this film, not the first, but certainly one of the best to humanize him. As always, the landscape is an important backdrop, and it is shown in all its beauty, and solitude. Bale, one of our best actors, inhabits this character believably, in one of his best performances. Others do equally well in presenting an engaging story, with the possible exception of Rosalind Pike, who struggles a bit to resemble a pioneer wife. Having grown up on Darlin' Clementine, The Ox Bow Incident, and Shane, that for me at least still stand at the pinnacle of the genre, I found this film very worthwhile, and watchable. For those looking for a more traditional shootout, I would look elsewhere. If you enjoy a slow paced character study, with intervals of excitement, this one is for you. I liked it quite a lot, Bale especially well.

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