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Horizon: An American Saga—Chapter 1

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SWEEPING EPIC Kevin Costner directs, co-writes, and stars in his four-part western, Horizon: An American Saga—Chapter 1, screening in local theaters. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.
  • Photo Courtesy Of Warner Bros.
  • SWEEPING EPIC Kevin Costner directs, co-writes, and stars in his four-part western, Horizon: An American Saga—Chapter 1, screening in local theaters.
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What's it rated? R

When? 2024

Where's it showing? Colony, Downtown Centre, Fair Oaks, Park, Stadium 10

I'm a sucker for a good Western, and Kevin Costner is without question an icon of the genre. From Silverado (1985) to Dances with Wolves (1990) to Wyatt Earp (1994) to Open Range (2003), Costner proves to be an engaging storyteller of this most romanticized period of American history. In Horizon, he tackles a 15-year period of the pre- and post-Civil War era, focusing on westward expansion and manifest destiny.

Like Dances with Wolves, he tells the story from both the white colonizers and Native Americans' perspectives, and thanks to its enormously long runtime—three hours in chapter 1 with three more chapters to go—it takes it time getting there. Heck, Costner's character, horse trader Hayes Ellison, doesn't even show up until the end of the first hour.

Trying to summarize the sprawling plot would be a fool's errand, but suffice it to say, there are good and bad guys, distressed damsels, romance, wagon trains, frontier towns, gunfights, chases, and a lot of glossed over questions about how utterly awful and unfair colonizing America was. It's history, now, and Horizon isn't interested in moralizing on such a grand scale. Instead, it's about people making their way as best they can. (181-min.) Δ

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