Forsaken Poster

Forsaken (2015)

Action | Western   
IMDB Rayting:   6.3/10
Country: Canada | France
Language: English

In 1872, an embittered gunslinger named John Henry Clayton attempts to make amends with his estranged father Reverend Samuel Clayton while their community is besieged by ruthless land grabbers.

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A_Different_Drummer 21 February 2016

In the IMDb Guidelines for Top Reviewers, Rule 19 says that, when in doubt, be honest.

So I will.

I have no idea how most members do their ratings these days. But I do know that often the ratings make no sense. This is one example. This is a stellar western, borrowing the "retired gunslinger" theme from the 40s and 50s, the type of western that Glen Ford used to do best.

The script is solid, the acting ditto. I mean, Brian Cox and Demi Moore in supporting roles. Wow. The elder Sutherland as always gets a little trapped in his one-dimensional character but the part was written for a character actor not a lead. The younger Sutherland effortlessly spans the full spectrum of emotions and holds the attention of the viewer like glue. And Wincott makes for one of the most articulate western villains in the history of the genre.

The cinematography is stunning.

Again, looking at the low IMDb rating, you would think there are so many quality westerns being made these days that viewers are overpowered by choice. Nope, that's not true. Is it? If I were grading on a Bell curve, this would be a 9. As it stands it gets a solid 8. Recommended.

subxerogravity 23 February 2016

It's a slow drive that ends with a sudden violent car crash, like a good western should.

Kiefer Sutherland plays a soldier who waited far too long after the war to put down his guns, but something tragic hits him hard, and he tries to change his ways, with the help of his father, played by Sutherland's real life father, Donald Sutherland who plays a small town preacher who disapproved of the life his son once lead, and is threaten to get back into when a banker tries to buy out the town by any means necessary.

It's a very typical western story made timeless by it's focus on being character driven. I don't know if this is the first time Kiefer and Donald have done a movie together, but it must have help with the relationship between their characters.

But my favorite interaction was between Kiefer's John Henry and Michael Wincott's Dave Turner, who plays a rival gunslinger hired to influence town people off their land. The mutual respect these men showed for each other despite being on different sides of the coin was masterful, something I never seen done so well in a western.

Brian Cox was also in the movie playing the banker that hired Dave Turner. His role as James McCurdy is what tells us that this timeless Western was made in 2015, because he's all about taking people's homes who don't want to leave, and his level of cold heartiness is done brilliantly, reflected this day and era.

Though I'm sure she was trying to due some respectable acting in this film, Demi More is still some impressive eye candy.

The story is nothing out of the ordinary, but it's strengthen by a great set of actors doing their thing, lead by father and son team Sutherland. Good western.

cms-271-482756 22 February 2016

I grew up in the era when the western was king. I really love a great classic western and Forsaken brought me back using classic tropes that many seemed to see as clichés but I welcomed as old friends. The cinematography is gorgeous, the acting is stellar, especially the Sutherlands, Demi Moore and Michael Wincott. At it's heart this movie is a beautiful father and son story, more drama than action flick which is also something I appreciate. As one who has not particularly been drawn to the revisionist western of today, ( zombies? aliens? incredible disgusting violence and nastiness? ) Forsaken was a breath of fresh air.

albereinstein 22 February 2016

Although this movie was done before by different actors, the whole drifter son who returns back in town, where ornery blokes are driving the town people out by using unsavory tactic to take possession of their property and land. Keifer returns to his father's home Donald, filled with a guilt of his past, only to realize that there are those who sometimes will not allow to forget it. I gotta say, the Sutherlands did a decent job on screen as a father and son duo, in which neither out stood the other in neither script or performance. Cox, WIncott and Moore, were also great co stars. In this film again, that has been done before. What moved me was the scene in the church were Keifer breakdowns and confesses his guilt to his father, who walks in on him talking to God, in whom Keifer never really believed in. That part had me little teary eyed. And of course end the retribution is handed down to those who have terrorized the towns people, and we all fill good at the end of the film. Cliché? yes. But a good cliché none the less, that stands the test of time and to see a father son duo do it so well, then I say we need more cliché films to enjoy.

darrenmurray84 24 February 2016

There has been a number of westerns being released recently, from the excellent Bone Tomahawk, The Hateful Eight & the Revenant to the decent Diablo.

The Forsaken doesn't compare with the greats, but is still an excellent old style Western. The problem with this, is that it will be judged for being to old fashioned. If not for the swearing by the great Brian Cox, this is a Western that could have been made in the 60's with Glenn Ford or Randolph Scott.

All performances are excellent, and the reviewer saying that Kiefer Sutherland overacted, he must have been watching another movie. Donald Sutherland is equally as good as his father. Michael Wincott is also worth mentioning, in a memorable role as a hired gun. He seems to be channelling Val Kilmer in Tombstone. As mentioned before, Brian Cox is excellent as the villain, using up the films swear quota. The only poor lead role is Demi Moore, which is not down to her acting, but limited screen time and development. Still give her points for not being vain and letting her grey hair show through.

The plot isn't the most original, but gets the job done. Jon Cassar does a great job of directing and the Canadian scenery that is used looks terrific.

eryui 27 February 2016

I wish I could save this movie but, sincerely, it is not that great.

The plot is the usual, the good-hardened man who returns home from war to redeem himself. The usual very nasty guys who take advantage of expropriating people lands. Obviously the never forgotten ex-girlfriend, by this time married, which is in difficulties and ask for help. The good-hardened man that is brought (beyond measure) to the predictable despair.

The only nice thing about the movie are some good actors but, mainly the relationship between Sutherland father and son that it is interesting to see acting together in their "real" roles.

Otherwise a mediocre film, just a good set and a couple of moving scenes but overall a forced series of clichés from start to finish.

By not considering the recent eccentric "The Hateful Eight" or the particular "The Revenant", if you want to see a good - usual - now day western, then "The Salvation" or mostly "The Dark Valley" are on other level.

Just watchable

6/10

covenant12 25 February 2016

If you're a fan of the genre, there isn't a single plot beat in FORSAKEN that you haven't seen many times over. In most instances, you'll probably be able to deduce what's going to happen next, or even what the next line is going to be.

That said, I still enjoyed the movie a good deal, primarily due to the beautiful locations, and Donald Sutherland's exceptional performance in what could have been a thankless, cut-out role. Kiefer, in full-on Kiefer mumbly mode fails to impress, but it's still interesting to see the father-son duo share the screen.

I'd give it a 6.5 if I could, but since I can't, I usually round up.

bkoganbing 23 March 2016

Like Kirk and Michael Douglas, Donald and Kiefer Sutherland waited far too long to team up for a film. Forsaken casts them as a frontier preacher and his gunfighter son who wants to give it up and settle down and work the family farm with dad. But there's a lot that has passed between them, a lot of misunderstanding and judgmental behavior ever since Kiefer went off to war and didn't return. He also left behind Demi Moore who up and married Christopher Rosamond and has a son with him.

This is an old fashioned western in its villains because back when all those poverty row studios were churning out B westerns the way Ford did Model Ts, the town banker in New Deal Days was always the villain. Brian Cox portrayed this villainous town banker with real relish, stopping short of twirling the mustache like Snidely Whiplash.

Donald played a three dimensional preacher with both faults and strengths and resisted the temptation to make his role a caricature. Kiefer Sutherland is a Jimmy Stewart like western hero who the locality depends on to be the strong man who stands up to the villains.

Like in John Wayne's classic El Dorado, Cox like villain Edward Asner in El Dorado doesn't use a gun, he 'hires it done'. Cox has a stable of gunfighters to enforce his will, but one of them is a professional played by Michael Wincott. Wincott and Sutherland have a mutual respect between professionals the way John Wayne had with Christopher George in El Dorado.

For those who like old fashioned westerns like me, Forsaken is your type of film.

NateWatchesCoolMovies 12 May 2016

It's refreshing that in an age populated by revisionist westerns and snazzy new takes on the ancient genre, some filmmakers just want to play it straight and deliver a good old oater without any newfangled bells and whistles. Jon Cassar's Forsaken does just that, arriving a few years late (turbulent post production issues) but in modest, simple form, here to tell the age old tale of one man who stands up to some evil frontier bankers with stoic heroism. Kiefer Sutherland is John Henry Clayton, a man who has been away from his quiet hometown for nearly a decade. Following a traumatic stint in the war, circumstance led him into the life of the gunfighter. His unannounced return home stirs up old wounds in his preacher father (Donald Sutherland) who cringes in the very presence of his violent aura. John has thrown down the guns and sworn never to pick them up again, but we all know that just ain't true, and when he meets a certain group of unsavory dudes in town, he becomes a time bomb of righteous anger that's liable to go off any time. He spends some time mourning his mother and reconnecting with a lost love (Demi Moore), until the inevitable conflict brews. Corrupt banker James McCurdy (Brian Cox) is buying up farms and forcing families who don't want to sell off their land, using despicable methods carried out by his two goons, vicious Frank Tillman (Aaron Poole) and mercurial 'Gentleman' Dave Turner (Michael Wincott). Tensions arise and everyone finds themselves headed for an unavoidable and blistering conclusion. Kiefer always has a jagged rage simmering just below the surface, which is what made him so perfect as Jack Bauer, another time bomb. He's downright implosive here, delivering the best work I've ever seen him give. He's got a touching scene with his father in which he goes to places I didn't know he was capable of in his work. Donald is quiet, resentful and compassionate, wrestling internally to keep his serenity in the face of injustice. Cox always puts on a good show as the villain, and he's exactly what he needs to be here: bureaucratic menace with just a dash of swagger. It's Wincott who steals the show though, with the best work in the film. He inhabits Dave (and his incredibly dapper costume) with a relaxed, lupine calm, punctuated by sudden bursts of danger and always presided over by the midnight black, raspy croon of a voice that makes him so special. He jaunts along the line between villain and sympathetic antihero so well, the only character in the film to shirk the archetypes, and I was please try reminded of Jason Robard's Cheyenne from Once Upon A Time In The West. His best work in a while as well, but then he's always perfect. The film is refreshingly violent in its gunplay, with an earned brutality that never feels gratuitous, and always satisfying. The production took place in wildest alberta, a trip worth the taking for the breathtaking scenery we get to feast on, especially in an opening credit sequence that is very reminiscent of Eastwood films of yesteryear. It's a landmark in the sense that although both Kiefer and Donald have been in the same film before (Joel Schumacher's underrated A Time To Kill) they never have shared the same frame until now. Trust me, it was worth the wait. They are both excellent, along with their peers in a simple, honest to goodness Western film that should please fervent fans of the genre and moviegoers alike.

larrys3 22 March 2016

There's deliberate pacing in this old-fashioned type Western, but I thought it was quite well presented and absorbing. The acting was top- notch with believable characters, a good script from Brad Mirman, and able direction by Jon Cessar.

We've seen many of the plot elements here in varying degrees over the years with a vile and greedy land baron forcing the townspeople of Fowler to sell their land to him, with the knowledge that the railroad will be coming to their town soon. The fine veteran actor Brian Cox plays the land baron McCurdy, who employs a gang of violent goons to make sure the land owners sell to him.

Aaron Poole is very believable as the sadistic Frank, who heads up McCurdy's mob, and Michael Wincott does well as Gentleman Dave, also in McCurdy's employ but has a whole different style of getting the job done.

Amidst all this turmoil, Keifer Sutherland, as John Henry Clayton, is returning to Fowler for the first time in 10 years. His psyche was severely damaged in the Civil War and he has spent the last eight years carving a violent and checkered path across the country. All of that much to the chagrin of his father the local Reverend William Clayton, portrayed by Donald Sutherland, who's a strong believer in God and non- violence. I might note that it was good to see Demi Moore back on the screen, giving a most solid performance as Mary Alice, who loves John Henry and waited for him to return from the War, but eventually married and now has a son.

Overall, you can for the most part, but not entirely, predict which way this movie is going, but I thought it was very well presented, and I would recommend it to those viewers who like this genre of film.

phjscott 1 March 2016

I love Westerns! The Donald and Keifer Sutherland tandem here was irresistible and made this a must watch for me and it did not disappoint.

Here is a heart warming tale about a prodigal son who was lost to the world and comes home 10 years after going off to war. The son haunted by a decade of wayward wandering and misdeeds. The father trying to overcome the bitterness of losing his family and community piece by piece.

Throughout the movie is a pleasant, persistent but not overbearing theme of how God works through his servants to achieve His divine will. Fans of the genre will enjoy all the classic elements that make Westerns great. There is a scene in the church between father and son that had such raw powerful emotion it made me cry tears.

Gentleman Dave Turner, played by Michael Wincott is my new favorite anti-hero.

If you like Westerns you'll love FORSAKEN. Well done!!!

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