Full of great, wide-open Texas ranch landscapes, but sadly, just as packed with terrible writing and some of the worst acting imaginable...exceptions were solid portrayals of brothers surviving a fractured horse ranching dynasty, Josh Hartnett and James Franco. While this movie may be a historic film curio for other reasons down the road, don't spend your money or your time watching this one. To see Duvall at his edgy elder best in a crowning achievement of starring and directing, watch his marvelous APOSTLE instead.
But here, in WILD HORSES, where apparently locals and family members were used, instead of seeming naturalistic, both the integrity of the story --its glue-- and overall believability of actors and non-actors woodenly reciting bad lines, it all morphs into, well, a trainwreck. Everything important beyond the magnificent landscapes falls prey to the bad acting and writing. Apart from performances by Franco and Hartnett, this movie played worse than many a grindhouse B-movie or film student shaky cam film I've seen in the last few years.
As a long-time admirer of Duvall, who for more than half a century, from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD to THE GODFATHER to APOCALYPSE NOW to LONESOME DOVE...to Duvall's own wonderful APOSTLE, has been one of our great American actors, I have to say based on this and his previous film about an elder cowboy getting lost in a border town, it's long since time this screen legend stepped back, stopped listening to a bunch of *yes men*, and allowed others to write and direct.
Having lived in Texas in ranching country years ago I know these people, and the badly written lines and often wooden acting do not give the people and place the dignity they deserve. Makes me sad that no one close to this living legend could delay the film's release in its present state. No doubt bringing in a new editor and exchanging some of the fine nature footage for some of the badly acted/badly directed scenes could make it work.