The Old West has never looked as dark and depressing as it does in ‘Hostiles’

By MARK VIOLA

When the film “Gravity” hit theaters in 2013, I remember reading a couple of reviews that talked about how everyone has a point in their lives when they want to go to space, but after seeing “Gravity,” they might change their mind because of how it depicts the dangers facing anyone leaving the safety of our atmosphere for the vacuum of space.

I thought about those comments while leaving the theater after having seen the new western, “Hostiles,” from writer/ director Scott Cooper (“Out of the Furnace,” “Black Mass”). Like space, I believe a lot of people have a point in their lives — most likely during their childhoods — when they wanted to go back in time and live in the Old West. I would bet “Hostiles” will do the same thing to those dreams that “Gravity” did for many aspiring astronauts’ plans.

While “Gravity” was my favorite film of 2013, in part because it was able to transcend its deadly setting to deliver a story built on hope and human perseverance, “Hostiles” seems determined to revel in its own dour, depressing situations.

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