Of the handful of directors ready, willing, and able to make a Western that’s worth a damn, Tommy Lee Jones runs neck and neck with Clint Eastwood. Anyone who’s seen Jones’s impressive 2005 neo-western “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” has some idea of what not to expect from Jones’s no-frills approach to the genre. Forget about stereotyped characters, epic vistas, or action-filled gunfights. Hardscrabble people living in difficult conditions with rough-hewn tools of the physical and intellectual varieties are the only things Tommy Lee Jones is interested in. Any displays of humor will be as droll as the desert is dry. The allegories and subtexts that Jones explores here appear as ancient cultural artifacts that require the viewer to think deeper into the narrative substance and form being presented. Nothing is spoon-fed.
"Film critics exist to inform and entertain the public; to separate the wheat from the chaff. Cole Smithey does so with expert brevity and style, imparting to his reader not only a vast knowledge of film, but his infinite passion for the movies."
—Jen Yamato - Deadline Hollywood Editor/Reporter
"Cole Smithey tells me what I need to know about a movie: Does it fit into a broader social or political context? Is it fun? Is it worth $12 and several hours of my life? He's the only film critic I find indispensable." —Ted Rall - editorial cartoonist, political columnist, and author.
"[Cole Smithey] might just be the smartest film critic in the world." —Chris Fuller - filmmaker (LOREN CASS)
"This guy [Cole Smithey] is consistently sharp with his reviews and he clearly loves film. A rarity."
—Joe Carnahan - writer / producer / director (THE GREY)
ColeSmithey.com is your guide to what to see and what to avoid at the movies, as well as a window into all aspects of global cinema, classic movies, music, culture, politics, poster art, DVDs, VOD, and news. Critic and film historian Cole Smithey is available for speaking engagements, radio and television appearances, teaching opportunities, film festival juries, seminars, and other film related events. Get in touch with Cole via email by clicking on the "contact" link on the upper left sidebar. Follow Cole Smithey on Twitter, and subscribe to his YouTube channel — for the fun of it.
Cole Smithey is currently serving his third elected term on the Governing Committee for
The Online Film Critics Society.
Cole Smithey's Movie Week is a syndicated video product produced and distributed by Smart New Media Inc.
© Copyright 1997-2014 Cole Smithey - All Rights Reserved. These pages may not be reproduced in any form of electronic or printed media without the expressed written permission of the author.
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FILM JOURNALISM — MAKE A DONATION
Website Design: Kris Fortney — Paul Nash