‘Hostiles’ Paints Bleak Yet Beautiful Impression of 19th-Century Midwest America

Film Offers Evocative Look at Cyclical Consequences of Hatred

Written for the screen and directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Black Mass), Hostiles paints a bleak and brutal — yet beautiful — impression of 19th-century Midwest America. Taking place in 1892, two years after the Wounded Knee Massacre, the story follows Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) and company as they travel under presidential order to escort terminally ill Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and his family back to Montana in order for the chief to pass away on his own land. The story is bolstered by Studi’s (Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans) reserved power and Bale’s (The Prestige, The Dark Knight) brutish passion, as well as compelling performances from Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Pride & Prejudice) and Rory Cochrane (Argo, Dazed and Confused). Hostiles offers an evocative look into the cyclical consequences of hatred, determining that violence only begets more violence and suggesting that through respect and understanding for the plights of others we will discover peace.


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