“A dark river of fatalism courses beneath the beautifully photographed vistas of Slow West an intriguingly off-center Western that brings a bevy of European talent to bear on an American frontier story. John Maclean’s impeccably crafted writing-directing debut at times has a distinctly Coen-esque flavor in its mix of sly intelligence, bleak humor and unsettling violence, exuding fierce confidence even when these qualities don’t always cohere in the smoothest or most emotionally impactful fashion.” — from Justin Chang‘s 2.13.15 Variety review.
“Belying its title with its brisk pacing and 91-minute running time, Slow West emerges a curious fusion of seemingly incongruous dramatic elements — coming-of-ager, romance, Western and thriller — all filtered through a slightly detached, almost deconstructive sensibility, clearly informed by hours of exposure to classic oaters. Accomplished as the filmmaking is, on a certain level the movie feels more like a meticulously constructed cinephile curio than a fully immersive adventure.
“Despite the natural splendor of the outdoor imagery, shot with a typically superb eye by Robbie Ryan, there’s an almost deliberate sense of artifice to the composition of the action and the blocking of bodies within the frame — a feeling enhanced by the use of the 1.66:1 aspect ratio (an early ‘widescreen’ format that made its debut with Paramount’s initial release of Shane in 1953).”