Packed with epic action, OPEN RANGE is a powerfully gripping story that's never been told until now, and stars Academy Award(R) winners Robert Duvall (1983 Best Actor, TENDER MERCIES) and Kevin Costner (1991 Best Director, DANCES WITH WOLVES), and Academy Award(R) nominee Annette Bening (1999 Best Actress, AMERICAN BEAUTY). A group of free grazers, four men trying to escape their past, are driving cattle and living off the land on the open range -- a place where nature makes the only laws. When a ruthless, evil rancher tries to run them out of town, the men's peaceful existence takes a tumultuous turn and ends in the grittiest, most explosive gunfight on film as two men battle a town for honor, justice, and a way of life that's quickly disappearing.
Released almost exactly 11 years after Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, Kevin Costner's Open Range proved yet again that the Western is the classic American genre. While it lacks the thematic impact of Eastwood's masterpiece, Costner's first film since 1997's ill-fated The Postman returns the actor/director of Dances With Wolves to the open prairies of America--in this case the free-range frontier of 1882--where legal "free-grazing" cattle drives were falling prey to empire-building land-owners. In the wake of territorial murder, free-grazing cowboys Boss (Robert Duvall) and Charley (Costner) seek vengeful justice against the ruthless rancher (Michael Gambon) who threatens their law-abiding survival. A feisty ally (the late Michael Jeter, in his next-to-final film role) and a doctor's sister (Annette Bening) offer support during climactic shootouts, masterfully staged with the shock and suddenness of real-life gunfire. Rich in character development and thick-hided humor, this handsome production redeemed Costner's directorial career with a well-told story (by Craig Storper, based on Lauran Paine's novel The Open Range Men), flawless performances, and stunning Canadian locations. --Jeff Shannon