Old Henry

A widowed farmer and his son warily take in a mysterious, injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse of men claiming to be the law come for the money, the farmer must decide who to trust. Defending a siege of his homestead, the farmer reveals a talent for gun-slinging that surprises everyone calling his true identity into question.

  • Released: 2021-10-01
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Genre: Action, Thrillers, Western
  • Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Stephen Dorff, Trace Adkins, Richard Speight Jr., Max Arciniega, Brad Carter, Kent Shelton
  • Director: Potsy Ponciroli
  • JurijFedorov - 17 April 2024
    Fun to watch but not much story or theme
    Acting: 7 Dialogue: 7 Camera work: 8 Editing: 8 Budget: 5 Story: 6 Theme: 3 Pure entertainment factor: 8 Video quality: 8 Special effects: NA Pacing: 8 Suspension of disbelief: 4 Non-cringe factor: 9 Lack of flashbacks: 6

    A very simple movie and simple story. Basically, an old farmer lives alone with his son. The brother of his passed away wife lives nearby. The son is grumpy about having to live on a farm and not being allowed to touch guns. One day they find a shot guy with a batch of money with him. They take him in to help him out. Then a posse arrives as they want the man and money back. The man claims he's a sheriff so they don't want to hand him over. It turns out the old farmer is Billy the Kid who survived till old age. He kills the whole posse, but the sheriff shots him as it turns out he's a robber too. The son shoots the robber and rides away after having buried his dad. That's it.

    I did enjoy the movie. It's filmed in a calm manner, the acting is good, the editing clean. The story and mystery always progressing. There is not much here, but it's done well. The movie does look dirt cheap and feels like it cost a few millions at most. We are just in this one location with one house. There are some horses and hogs. The acting being quite decent makes it work and it's never too slow even though the theme and story is barebones. My main issue is the shootout sequences. There is one big showdown scene and then prior to that a lone bad guy attacks the cabin. But old Henry just stands around in the open and shoots at people and they shoot back and are unable to hit him. He's not smart or a great fighter; rather he just stands there and gets lucky. There are a few scenes where they hide in the cabin, but even then it's largely dialogue and exposition. There is even a scene where the fake sheriff goes in front of the window during the shootout and gets shot like a damn fool. The cleverness and fighting spirit of Henry is shown by having all other characters be extremely stupid. So the son and the fake sheriff do basically nothing during the fight and Henry largely stands in the open and even gets shot that way as he refuses to duck most of the time. This stuff just needed to be way better as it's what the movie is pointed towards and what we look forward to. It feels a bit like Glass (2019) where we are promised a huge showdown. The 2 characters got their own movie. One a supervillain and the other a superhero. Both movies were slow-paced and well-liked. Then at the end nothing happens when they meet up. There is no conclusive fight. A shame as pretty much the whole world looked forward to this franchise expanding, instead it crashed. And it felt like it had nothing else to tell us. This movie feels the same way. It's a neat story that for sure never feels dull and is a joy to watch. But there is not much here and just like Glass that I somewhat enjoyed, I'd likely forget this movie too. The movie thinks the Billy the Kid reveal at the end is something huge and makes it work. And it promises a huge showdown that's mainly Henry shooting people from the distance over a few minutes. The showdown should have been 20 minutes long maybe with clever fighting tricks. And I would have liked to see a village set too with stores. This feels a tad too cheap. Like an episode in a TV show with just one single reveal and then not much else. And heck we already knew Henry was an outlaw and quite brutal. That's clear from the first scene so once Billy the Kid is mentioned we kinda all know what's going on and who Henry is. And then he dies and so what?

    Good movie, but nothing much to it. I think the director is going places for sure. But I'm not sure the writing is good enough for anything bigger or proper for bigger genres. I did enjoy the directing for sure.
  • heathfilmore - 10 December 2023
    Another in the welcome line of modern westerns such as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (an obvious influence in tone), No Country For Old Men, etc. Tim Blake Nelson is a revelation here, and the entire cast is outstanding. The ending will F you up unless you are really paying attention and even if you guess it's done with style and aplomb. The soundtrack is moody and haunting, the setting perfectly bleak. The flashbacks may confuse and distract at first but make sense when you know the ending. A shame this has flown under the radar, but search it out as you will like it. It's haunting.
  • dinglet - 8 January 2023
    Take Scott Haze for some diction lessons, then put him in an ADR studio, and you MIGHT be able to understand what he says.

    The action of the movie was good, and the visual quality was excellent. The location(s) fit the story well. (Were those fields of Bluestem?) The closing music was some of the most boring, monotonous tripe I've heard in a while.

    You have a story oft-told, with a minor twist that wasn't bad. (No spoiler.) I just couldn't find a character that gained my empathy.

    This was one of those movies that, when finished, you say to yourself, 'Gee, I wish I had that hour and a half back'.
  • ledarn-96765 - 23 November 2022
    Quality western!
    The ghost of The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford hovers over this splendid low -budget western.

    Everything is nop-notch, especially Tim Blake Nelson and Stephen Dorff who shines in their roles,the script is great with a nice twist.

    What I love most about this movie is the cinematography,bleak and thoughtful with sparsely and carefully lit interiors,it's almost so you believe that they didn't use any artificial lighting at all.

    Movies like this one are too few and too far apart, when even a seasoned veteran like Walter Hill manages to screw his latest western up and make it look like it was shot with cellphone,this movie in comparison is a miracle!

    And I'm sure that Clint Eastwood would be impressed with Old Henry,in some way it bears a resemblance to The Outlaw Josey Wales,in the cinematography at least in my opinion.
  • bryangary65 - 6 September 2022
    Impressive atmospheric western which grips you from start to finish and feels original despite when you first read what the narrative is presuming the obvious

    Basically the movie is about a farmer who provides shelter for an injured stranger, but this is no normal farm man!

    Some nice twists and turns along the way which you will not see coming , and Tim Blake Nelson is excellent and convincing in the lead role as Henry ably supported by Stephen Dorff.

    Plenty of action and decent characters make this film a bit of a hidden gem, so comes recommended especially if you like your gun slinging movies.
  • rheaton-94697 - 2 August 2022
    Old style western with a more interesting story than most.
    Excellent cinematography gave you the real feel of how bleak life was in 1906 Oklahoma. There are enough clues for you to guess where the story goes but there's still another twist at the end. Great performances by Nelson and Dorf and interesting that the cast has zero women in it. Also loved the fact that there was no hidden Hollywood "messaging" in the script. Just a good story with plenty of action. Best film that I've seen in quite some time. Highly recommended.