Reviews for Dead for A Dollar ( ) 720p

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

What if it wasn't for Waltz and Dafoe

Western movie made in 2022. When you look at the poster of the movie and see the names of Willem Dafoe and Christoph Waltz, one wants to watch it without hesitation. Because the ratings are high. For this reason, expectations are also rising. Here, the movie is far from meeting that expectation.

The politically powerful husband of the woman who was kidnapped and asked for a ransom enlists a bounty hunter to find her. The bounty hunter has a rival as famous as himself.

The subject is in the hands of a good director and it could have been much better with these master actors. The music of the movie was good.

There are scenes of sexuality and nudity in the movie.

A Politically Correct Western

A return to the old western formula by the hands of the experienced Walter Hill, who, at eighty years of age, is still writing and directing, and the roookie (in westerns I mean) Christoph Waltz, who produces and interprets, also counting on the charismatic Willem Defoe in the role of the villain.

Waltz does surprisingly well in the role of the bounty hunter, more Lee Van Cleef than Clint Eastwood, but still convincing. Also Willem Defoe is comfortable in the role of the gunslinger.

The problem is that the argument seems a little fragile, in the twists and turns that lead to a predictable ending, and also a bit politically correct, in the inclusion of suffragette women and emancipated blacks in the territory of overbearing Mexican landowners.

Sign of the times, even a western has to be inclusive and politically correct. But something is lost, with so much contemporaneity.

Spaghetti Western - If you actually know what that means!

Reading reviews here and am not surprised by every pretentious nobody that thinks they're the next Ebert - um, you're not. Spaghetti Westerns are low budget, rough cut, bare-bones acting with every random scene you wouldn't expect to see and that is what you get here. I loved it - I view this movie as a hat-tip to the old genre and it was filmed and acted appropriately. If you're too new to this type of cinema and are expecting new-fangled, high-budget, bells and whistle spectacular scenes and over the top acting then just move along as you will absolutely not get this movie. If you can watch it and enjoy it for what is actually is you won't be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you feel you are a semi-professional movie reviewer, please just pass on it as we have enough of those on here already and they're all absolutely incorrect.

Solid good old fashioned western

Sure, the film falls short in many aspects. Could have made better use of Willem Dafoe character, especially the demise scene. He had some great acting moments in this movie though, as if born for the Western. Always been a fan of Walter Hill, and this just being a Walter Hill film, raises it in my eyes. I enjoyed the script foe the most part, the acting, and the general pacing of the movie. It does feel a bit studio produced, with very crisp digitally feeling shots, not quite as dusty and dirty as maybe it should be. There is also a very minimalistic soundtrack, which makes the whole thing feel a bit like a TV movie. Still, it' s a enjoyable movie, reminiscent of the Spaghetti Westerns of old.

Solid, old fashioned western

Great to see Walter Hill still has the touch. A well acted and solid western. Many harsh reviews here. I don't know what movie they were watching or expected. Obviously, a low budget film, but so what. Not overly stylistic, more of an old school western and thoroughly enjoyable.

Waltz always solid and a nice performance by Defoe. Supporting cast and Bratt very entertaining.

Hopefully, Hill will get another chance, but in today's Hollywood probably not gonna happen. As an old fashioned western fan and admirer of Hill's career, I recommend this film. Don't be deterred by the overly critical reviews you see here.

Classic Western That Works

Giving it 9 stars as good basic old western style entertainment. If this had come out 40 years ago it would likely have been considered a classic. Obviously some are judging the movie harshly based on some kind of modern film school doctrines. The movie is classical low budget fare and that's just fine. It delivers what is expected with strong performances across the board. Perhaps I would feel differently had I paid fifteen bucks at a theater...but as a streaming film on Showtime, Dead for a Dollar is golden bargain to be appreciated if not treasured...and yes, it's something of a morality tale in which some degree of justice is realized, along with strongly implicit anti-racist and anti-sexist messaging.

Good in its category

Great cast -- 9/10Great acting -- 9/10Great script -- 8/10Great story -- 10/10Great action scenes for its own style -- 8/10Great set -- 7/10

I think people are expecting modern western movie style but I watched without expecting anything other than it to be entertaining and interesting -- which how an unbiased review should be done.

It had no boring scenes, no ridiculous stunts and no illogical parts of the story.

I think the movie is in its own category, a casual old western movie that is entertaining and sufficiently interesting. I enjoyed it more than some slow western movies which are too dragging.

Very good indeed

I fail to understand the very low rate of the other reviewers.. Although I started watching it expecting to shut it down after the first dozen minutes,I found it very good in every aspect.

The script is excellent with never a dull moment and a couple of unexpected turns. Cinematography and directing,apart from the sapia color they chose to use ,very good. Acting ,especially Rachel Brosnahan's,tops. Christoph Waltz his usual low profile but effective character with the amiable accent. Excellent sound,you never miss an s. Music is nothing spectacular but its use is limited any way.

Do not miss this one out because of the bad reviews.

A Surprisingly Enjoyable Movie - No Spoilers.

After watching this film, I feel compelled to write a review and award it a 9. The plot is believable given the stories emerging from a hundred years of frontier activity and the characters are a good fit for the times. The actors portrayed their characters well with an interesting mix of the strengths and failings common to every person, irrespective of time or place. Women on the frontier had to be strong to survive and Mrs Kidd symbolises the early emergence of the suffragette movement. Bounty Hunter Borlund captures the part of men who lived their lives on the border between outlaw and lawmen. They lived in difficult times, balancing personal values against the need to survive.

The diversity of characters in the film reflects the melting pot of America and treats each culture and race with respect. Particularly impressive was the choice of a sepia colour palette that added an interesting atmosphere to the film. No fault could be found around the use of horses or firearms. Someone did good research to match characters with particular guns, such as the English gambler and the Mexican captain. The use of the firearms could not be faulted and was far more realistic than many other films that capture the attention of the mass market. It was good to enjoy a movie during which disbelief didn't have to be suspended. In one short scene, an experienced shooter may pick up an issue with a revolver but given recent events I can understand why it was done that way and it doesn't affect the overall rating.

The photography was well shot and the landscape scenes effectively conveyed a sense of country. The soundtrack had some issues of clarity but it wasn't as bad as other recent movies that don't seem to have been properly balanced for television circulation.

Overall, this was an entertaining movie that I was tempted to award a ten. The soundtrack reduced this, together with a reluctance to over-award any rating. It is a fine film that I struggle to fault.


The acting, the set, the music and all other details are perfectly in accordance with an old time western.... Something we hardly get to see anymore. The quality of all the stock, wardrobes, and construction of the town is very well put together. I don't know why it is receiving such low reviews. I'm really done posting but have to keep adding characters to get this submitted. I've watched Old Man, Old Henry, and a couple of others and the producing and directive here exceeds the rest, in my opinion. The color is odd, but it fits the genre and the locality out in the badlands of New Mexico, which closely resembles Old Mexico! There!

The return of the western

Walter Hill has done well in recreating the western in 2022. Don't listen to the incels complaining about things they don't understand. I doubt that Mr. Hill is concerned with these unintelligent film reviewers. This western covers all the bases moral, immoral and amoral. Christoph Waltz excels as the amoral bounty man, Willem Dafoe shines as the bad guy Joe Cribbens and Warren Burke represents law and order. The settings are excellent in creating the western vibe and the soundtrack is reminiscent of the spaghetti westerns of old. Outstanding!

Do yourself a favor and enjoy a rebirth of the western.

Very Low Budget

Filmed primarily in the open New Mexico desert, with no plot, and terrible acting. Unrealistic storyline about Austrian German (Max Borland) bounty hunter, British card shark (English Bill), rotten soundtrack, and a black deserter speaking jive. The female lead acts like typical hard-core twenty-first century feminist. A really bad fit for an 1860's Western. Totally serious and poorly written Blazing Saddles want to be without the campfire farting sequence. The Mexican accents are so bad it is laughable. Spaghetti Westerns are Academy Awards material compared to this waste of film and time. I truly feel people should be warned before watching this total wreck. The flick is just plain terrible, and boring.

Walter Hill Western...Part Traditional & Modern...Good But a Let-Down By Expectations

Not Only a Let-Down Because of the 2 Popular, Acclaimed Actors...Defoe & Waltz, but...

Because it is Directed by 1 of the Best Writer-Directors of B-Movies with Style & Grit since 1975.

While Not a Household Name His Filmography is Filled with Writer & Director Greatness.

"The Warriors" (1979)..."The Long Riders" (1980)..."Geronimo" (1993)..."48 Hrs." (1982) Name just a Few.

He has Stated in Interviews that "Every Movie I make is in essence a Western".

Therefore when His 1st Film in 6 Years Arrives, only His 2nd in a Stands to Reason that His Fans are Anticipated, also Noting the A-List Star-Duo.

This is NOT an A-List Film by any Measure. Shot on Digital, an it Looks-It, Choosing a Washed-Out, Reddish-Brown Sepia-Tone Appearance...A B-Movie it it is...But that Obviously isn't the Disappointment.

Hill has Flourishings in that World. A Master at it.

Walter Hill is 80 Years Old...Perhaps that's the Low-Down on this Let-Down.

Everybody Loses a Step with the Passage of Time, and it Seem Like this Film is an Indication that the Lightning that He Once Had Bottled Up, has Escaped.

And the Auteur is Left to Wing-It, and His Grip on the Thing that Made Him Great, is Weakening.

He Knows what to do with this Stuff to Make it Unforgettable Entertainment.

But Something in His Treatment of "Dead for a Dollar" is, at Least for Him, Misguided, Lackluster, Common, with Precious Little of the Walter Hill "Thing".

His Choice of that God-Awful Color Wash-Out has been So Overused in the Modern CGI Era as to Become a Constant, Annoying, Irritating, Cheat.

That Does Nothing for the Tone, after 5 Min, other than Prompting One to Say..."What Happened to Technicolor?"

Also, His Falling-Back on "Fade to Black", after Almost Every Scene, a Throwback to Commercial Television, is Another Atypical Walter Hill Miss-Step.

Nostalgic Fans of the Western and Walter Hill can Still Enjoy the Movie with the Right Attitude,

and that is..."Good Try Walter"...Glad You're Still Out There and Active, Now Give Us Something.

Looked very cheap.

Well what to say about Dead For A Dollar? It was for sure not Walter Hill's best movie. Sometimes it looked very cheap and not only because of the decor. I thought there were a lot of bad decisions made by the editing team. Fading out from one scene to another, it didn't look good, itlooked like a cheap soap episode, a television movie of low quality. The colour tones were also not the best choice, made it look done by amateurs again. Disappointing for Walter Hill. The cast wasn't bad, well at least not all of them. Willem Dafoe and Christoph Waltz are both actors that can do very well in such roles, and they were not really disappointing but since the quality of certain scenes was quite low their acting didn't really made the movie good. You could say we were lucky with them, with any other mediocre actor this movie would have completely plummeted. The story had potential for a good western but the execution wasn't what to expected. It's watchable but it should have been much better.

Simple, straight, old-school styled sepia-toned Western from old master Walter Hill

In old-school-style 1890's-based Western "Dead For A Dollar" Christoph Waltz & Warren Burke head to Mexico after Brandon Scott who's abducted (or ran off with) Rachel Brosnahan (excellent), wife of sleazy tycoon Hamish Linklater. They all converge (with Waltz's nemesis Willem Defoe) in a small dust-bowl town in the territory of crime-lord Benjamin Bratt & his gang (inc Luis Chávez) where shoot-out show-downs beckon. Stylishly shot in sepia tones by iconic veteran action writer / director Walter Hill (his first film in six yrs (and only second in ten)) it's simple & straight but decent fare, especially for those who don't necessarily need their Westerns to be 'modernized'.

big actors

It's 1897 Albuquerque, New Mexico territory. Bounty hunter Max Borlund (Christoph Waltz) warns criminal gambler Joe Cribbens (Willem Dafoe) to never cross his path again after release from prison. Max gets hired by well-connected Martin Kidd (Hamish Linklater) to retrieve his wife Rachel Kidd (Rachel Brosnahan). Rachel has been supposedly kidnapped by Army deserter Elijah Jones (Brandon Scott) and held for ransom in Mexico. Max is partnered with Elijah's fellow soldier Sergeant Poe (Warren Burke). Tiberio Vargas (Benjamin Bratt) is a Mexican bandit leader.

These are some big actors. I don't like the cinematography and I kept wondering who got these actors in this film. It's Hollywood legend Walter Hill. The problem is that he hasn't directed a good movie in this century. He's trying for an old spaghetti western. Christoph Waltz is able to carry the movie on his back. Dafoe and Burke are standouts among the rest. The dialogue is trying, but clunky. There are lines that just aren't quite right. It needs a script doctor to work it over a few times. The direction is almost there, but it looks a little off. That can be forgiven for a newcomer with a bad cinematographer. Walter is an old hand. One cannot overlook that.

An entertaining romp for viewers who aren't saddled with serious expectations

I came to this movie with no preconceived notions of what the movie was supposed to be. Unlike the majority of other reviewers, I found the movie highly entertaining and was not the least bit troubled about historical inaccuracies or the fate of the Western genre.

It was fun to see Christoph Walz in a role where he isn't a villain. The plot was very satisfying to me as all the disparate story elements converged towards the climax. There were some very memorable characters, not least of which was the highly entertaining lawyer for the Mexican land baron Tiberio Vargas, who appeared at regular intervals to act as a silver-toungued arbiter to make his boss's unreasonable demands seem civil and pleasant. Willem Dafoe was excellent in his role as ex-con Joe Cribbens.

If you're looking for light-hearted entertainment and aren't too hung up on what a Western is supposed to look like, give this one a try.

A decent setup, but Walter Hill doesn't give this story enough dramatic weight or pulpy thrills to deliver a satisfying payoff.

Set in 1897 in the New Mexico Territory, bounty hunter Max Borlund (Christoph Waltz) is hired by wealthy landowner Matin Kidd (Hamish Linklater) to find his wife Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan) who Martin alleges was kidnapped by black Union Army deserter Elijah Jones (Brandon Scott). Borlund is told to stress discretion and assigned Sergeant Alonzo Poe (Warren Burke) as a partner in tracking down Jones and bringing him to face charges for desertion. Borlund and Poe eventually find Rachel and Elijah in Mexico and learn that Rachel was not their against her will and in-fact willingly left her husband intent on fleeing to Cuba with Elijah. Borlund still bound by his contract with Martin arrests Elijah and enlists Captain Miguel Aragon (Fidel Gomez) in the nearby town of Ciudad to hold Elijah until Martin comes to pick up Rachel, but circumstances come about that lead to Borlund running afoul of gang leader Tiberio Varags (Benjamin Bratt) and recently released outlaw Joe Cribbens who carries a grudge against Borlund.

Dead for a Dollar comes to us from seasoned genre director Walter Hill whose career in filmmaking covers films ranging from cult hits like The Warriors and Streets of Fire to gritty genre pieces like Hard Times, The Driver, and Southern Comfort, and Hill is almost single handedly responsible for the creation of the "buddy-cop" archetype of action films with his 1982 Eddie Murphy/Nick Nolte classic 48 Hrs. But it's undeniable that Hill has a true passion for Westerns and has said in interviews he believes every film he has done over his career is at its core a Western spiritually speaking due to his film's often operating in a "stripped down moral universe" often featuring characters who operate in moral gray zones. Aside from Hill believing his film carry the spirit of Westerns, Hill also has more direct ties to the genre with films such as The Long Riders, Geronimo: An American Legend, the 2006 miniseries Broken Trail, and Hill even directed the pilot episode for the HBO critical favorite Deadwood. Dead for a Dollar marks Hills first directorial effort in 6 years following his previous effort The Assignment and Hill largely credits this to issues with getting Western films financed with two additional years lost due to COVD restrictions. Now having been released after a tumultuous journey to the screen, Dead for a Dollar is unfortunately a rather disappointing effort from Hill.

On the surface this seems like you have a solid setup for a solid genre piece with good actors like Waltz, Dafoe, and Brosnahan headlining the material, and a rich premise involving a the wife of a wealthy corrupt land owner running off with a black Union Army deserter, but despite that richness of the material being present, the movie never really ignites with it because most of the characterization is lacking in depth and the movie is lacking in much of a production budget so there's very little style at play and not many standout setpieces. The movie also suffers from the fact that Borlund and Poe find Rachel and Elijah within the first twenty minutes, so this results in the film having a very flabby mid-section as Borlund and co. Hang around this Mexican border town essentially waiting for the plot to catch up with them, but also going in parallel with this seemingly endless "waiting game" of a narrative we spend a large amount of time following Willem Dafoe's character Joe Cribbens who seems like he's positioned as being important with an opening scene between him and Borlund, but much like how Borlund hangs around the border town waiting for the plot Cribbens doesn't have much connection to this story as we focus on him playing cards with shady figures until he essentially stumbles his way back into the story by way of plot convenience and this disconnect between these storylines leaves the movie feeling very dragging and lacking in energy.

There are brief flashes where the movie almost comes to life such as a unique fight sequence involving two men each using bull whips, but those scenes are over before they really have a chance to begin and even in the climax where much of the action is placed isn't particularly well done as it's a very awkwardly staged gunfight with surprisingly sloppy editing, stunt coordination that has characters standing in the middle of the street and not being shot despite a lack of cover, and even sequences of people being in the same room and not being able to hit one another with a shot until at least 20 of them have been fired. Maybe I could forgive the not that great action if the characters had much depth, but they unfortunately don't Christoph Waltz is basically recycling his character and performance from Django Unchained only minus the support of a good script, Willem Dafoe is okay as Joe Cribbens even if there's not much for him to work with, and Rachel Brosnahan who's so good in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is wasted in a performance that doesn't give her much to showcase her acting ability despite a seemingly rich opportunity to do so.

Part of me wanted to bump up this movie's score by a point just because of my admiration for Hill who despite being 80 years old hasn't let that deter him from making films (in fact in a recent interview he indicated he had a few more left in him), but unfortunately Hill's set too high a precedent for himself as a director and I know he's capable of more than this. I'd really like whatever he does next to be a classic on par with the high points of his career, but at least he still has the drive and energy to create even if I unfortunately can't recommend what he's created.

Can the Western come back

With all the cheap B westerns lately, finally a decent one comes along.

The cast is superb. You can't beat Christoph Waltz. He does a great job as the bounty hunter. Rachel Brosnahan played her part as a strong female character. I really liked seeing Willem Dafoe in a new movie.

It has a good story. Complements to the writer, director and casting agency. The movie was entertaining to watch.

It didn't have that big Hollywood feel but I enjoyed it very much.

Coming from 50 years of watching a lot of westerns.

I'm afraid after the mishap with Alex Baldwins movie "Rust", we may never see another decent western.

A Western for Western fans

I read the poor reviews, and I think I saw a different movie. Either that, or those who don't like Westerns because . . . They're Westerns, decided to vent their frustrations after junk like Batgirl, The 4400 remake, the Bros flick, and the other Hollywood trendy junk people don't want fell flat. Who knows?

This is Walter Hill being Walter Hill. Gritty, realistic, devoid of Technicolor fluff. The landscape is unpleasant, uninviting, because that's what it is in this area of the southwest. People are living on the hard edge, because there isn't much else.

This tale, in the mold of The Professionals and The Wild Bunch, is not in thesame category as The Undefeated. There's no sweetness and light, just the reality people of this era faced.

The acting is fine, the script is good, and the directing, that's Walter Hill. My only knock on this one, the same lighting and filtering used in the exteriors was applied to the interior shots in a way that's noticeable. That's not something one should notice.