August 26, 2016 Outlaws and Angels (Movie Review)
Award winning Writer/Director JT Mollner (Red Room 2008, Flowers in December 2015) is no stranger to the Western genre and goriness, even earning himself the nickname “More Blood Mollner” from his crew due to the intense amount of blood used in some of his films. Staying true to classic cinema, and deviating from the digital world, Mollner set out to create a Western which was as good as the amazing repertoire of actors who were in his latest film, Outlaws and Angels. This star-studded cast consisting of Chad Michael Murray (A Cinderella Story 2004, House of Wax 2005) as Henry, Teri Polo (Meet the Fockers 2004, The Fosters 2013) as Ada, Francesca Eastwood (Girl Missing 2015, Final Girl 2015) as Florence, Luke Wilson (Legally Blonde 2001, Vacancy 2007) as Josiah, Frances Fisher (Titanic 1997, The Lincoln Lawyer 2011) as Esther, Ben Browder (Farscape 1999, Dead Still 2014) as George, and Madisen Beaty (The Master 2012, Other People 2016) as Charlotte, to name a few, proves that Outlaws and Angels took its time to find the best cast possible. Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival back on January 25, 2016, the film received a limited theatrical release via Momentum Pictures on July 15th, bringing back Westerns in their full glory.
When Henry and his posse of bank robbers cross the line by killing an innocent bystander, it is up to Josiah to find him and bring him to justice. As more bodies are discovered, including an old helper named Esther and her companion, Henry’s body count is growing, making it an easier and faster way of tracking him and his gang. Traveling through lands too risky to travel through, Henry embarks on a journey that will take him to a family with a wicked past that no one but the family knows about, until now. Meanwhile, tired of the same things over and over again at the Tildon residence, Florence feels the need to detach her feelings from her bullying sister Charlotte, her submissive and immoral mother Ada, and her abusive father George, but knows that she is unable to do so due to the gravity of her situation.
Just when the Tildon family thinks everything seems to be falling on the right path, their holy dinner is interrupted by Henry and his gang. Immediately, the family of four is placed in the corner while the rules are being explained by them: either cooperate and stay alive or play hero and die. The family and the robbers are exchanging words back and forth until Henry decides to take things out of proportion. He tells Florence to follow him to the room where he asks her to give him a massage.
At the room, Florence explains to Henry her sad past and how her father is to blame and her mother is at fault by association. Things go awry when Florence turns the tables at her family and decides to join Henry’s crusade but not before unloading all the hate and anger she feels towards her family. Leaving one of the family members alone and abandoned did not seem to help Josiah’s cause one bit and seeing how dangerous a scornful woman can be, Henry should have known how dangerous Florence can be.
In this intricate story about betrayal and revenge, due to the interesting turn of events, what was thought to be just another Western, turns out to be another genre altogether. Outlaws and Angels is the type of film that embraces true cinema at its best, leaving the fans satisfied instead of wanting more. There is nothing less to expect from the genius mind of JT Mollner, and because of the way this movie was shot, it fulfilled every expectation a movie-lover looks forward to. Westerns are definitely making a comeback, but films such as Outlaws and Angels are bringing them back with unforeseen twists. CrypticRock gives Outlaws and Angels 4.5 out of 5 stars.