Dawn Rider

 (140)4.91 h 33 min2012X-Ray18+
When the father of gunslinger John Mason is shot to death by masked bandits, Mason sets out with guns blazing to track down those who killed him. During his quest, he finds himself involved in a grim love triangle when he falls for Alice. Based on the timeless John Wayne adventure, Dawn Rider is a riveting saga of retribution, duty and valor in the American West.
Terry Miles
Christian SlaterJill HennesseyDonald Sutherland
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Jack Nasser
Riding Films Inc. (producer) / Studio City Pictures (sales agent)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentsmokingviolence
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4.1 out of 5 stars

140 global ratings

  1. 53% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 21% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 8% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Joseph A. ArdineReviewed in the United States on February 9, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Sutherland as a Bounty Hunter = Awesome!
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"Dawn Rider" is a 2012 remake of John Wayne's 1935 "The Dawn Rider". I really enjoyed this remake by Terry Miles. Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland, and Lochlyn Munro all give great performances. Obviously, Sutherland stands out because he is an acting powerhouse in my opinion. Slater and Munro had believable chemistry as old friends and road agents.

Jill Hennessy and Ben Cotton gave some excellent supporting roles. Cotton added some good comedic relief while Hennessy played as a veteran ranch owner who was strong and certainly not timid. Very good characters without being over the top or distracting.

It is a nice simple story. Some people may not like this because it is full of classic Western cliches and tropes. However, as I've said in other reviews I don't mind this and enjoy a familiar tale as long as it is told well. Sometimes when writers and directors strive too hard to be different the film gets too muddied and weird. However, "Dawn Rider", while simplistic, is an excellent story with a few twists and is a fun ride.

Terry Miles did a great job directing. I enjoy his westerns more than his horror films and I feel that westerns are his strong suit. He's directed a few other westerns that I've enjoyed but I really disliked his 2015 film "Even Lambs Have Teeth", finding it a mess of a movie. His version of "Dawn Rider" was a fine western that I recommend watching.

The camera work, scenery, acting, have no real issues. But the costuming and props are hit or miss and the town setting is reminiscent of the old serials. But these are minor issues. All in all this is a very good film.
8 people found this helpful
Chris RichardReviewed in the United States on April 23, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Deserves a higher rating
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I'm just going to be honest with you all. I'm not giving this five stars because it's a great movie. I'm giving it five stars because too many people who have unrealistic expectations are lambasting this film just because it doesn't deliver what they expect. Is it Lonesome Dove? No it isn't. But it if you're an avid movie watcher who realizes that not every movie can be Citizen Cane or Gone With the Wind, this is certainly not a waste of time. The acting is certainly NOT bad. In fact it's pretty good overall, but I do agree Jill Hennessy was not the best casting choice. And I like her. Just not in this. There is some corn in this film, but that's fine. Corn is respectable hat tipping to old style westerns. And since this is actually the FOURTH version of this film (the first three all being done in the 1930's), it's perfectly appropriate to toss some "tip of the hat" cornball into it.

One final point that should be made that I think most, if not all, of the negative reviews probably missed entirely, is that this film is based on a true story.
4 people found this helpful
Rick JamesReviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Zzzzzzzzzz. . .
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What? This is described as being a "riveting saga"??? Pfft. This movie's flatter than grandma's pancakes! They did not at all capture the feel of the times. Why? The acting is trash--even by Sutherland in a few instances. Between the acting and the script everything comes off as emotionless and completely wooden. Naturally, it made me not care at all what was happening to who because it all felt so fake. Since I didn't care, I was bored. The action scenes? lololololololol!!! They were right out of the low budget guidebook. I'm giving it two stars because it's just an ordinary bad movie, not an extraordinarily bad movie. WARNING: IN CASE OF BOREDOM, DO NOT VIEW THIS MOVIE. VIEWING THIS MOVIE MAY INCREASE THE LIKELIHOOD OF SLEEP. YOUR TIME WILL NOT BE REFUNDED.
2 people found this helpful
M. D. WallaceReviewed in the United States on October 7, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good western
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Got this on the basis of the previous reviews, and I'm glad I did... good movie. Not perfect... but good. The one weak spot (surprisingly) was Jill Hennesy. She just didn't fit her role. Not that she did a poor acting job, she was just miscast. But good work by the rest of the cast.
6 people found this helpful
GDFReviewed in the United States on May 29, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Beyond horrible, script is laughable but they’re serious.
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Awful, so many holes in the script it best resembles what could best be called video Swiss cheese. JUST A HORRIBLE quickly thrown together western movie! I swear, Sutherland seemed to speak in Mandarin at times, couldn't understand many of his lines. Watching paint dry is more entertaining and less nerve racking then watching Dawn Rider!
Alvin KimelReviewed in the United States on August 23, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
A bad Wesern
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I love Westerns. Always have. And I generally cut them more slack than I do with other movies. But this is just a bad movie. The plot makes little sense, but what is worse, Christian Slater is just a bad actor and does not persuade as the tough-as-nails ex-lawman.
5 people found this helpful
SKYReviewed in the United States on June 18, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Decent for What It Is
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A contemporary, though still generic, western film. Everyone does a decent enough job, but the plot is pretty slow. The climax is basically everything you think it'll be based on the first two-thirds and the denouement feels rushed. Worth watching if you're really bored and looking for a competent example of a western film, although it should be noted there are much better modern examples out there (see Unforgiven, 3:10 to Yuma [the remake], & Tombstone).
LauraReviewed in the United States on August 6, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A great Western
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It was nice to find a Western that wasn't super bloody and over the top. Yes they had way to many shots out of revolvers. Also there are a few more trees and the trees they have are wrong in the Dakota Territory (I'm from what was once the Dakota Territory). I enjoyed the story and the acting was quite good.
2 people found this helpful
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