Movie Review: Dead Man (1995)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1995 western starring Johnny Depp and Crispin Glover.

Synopsis: A Cleveland accountant travels out west only to discover the job he was promised has already been filled. After killing a man in self defense, he, with the help of a Native American named Nobody, tries to stay ahead of a group of bounty hunters while slowly dying from the bullet he took to his chest.

Who's In It?


My wife and I were scrolling through movies on Netflix last night and, when we came across this particular film, decided to give it a try. It wasn't highly rated and my wife and I had not heard of it before. But, I figured any movie that starred Johnny Depp, Crispin Glover and a wide range of other actors we knew would be worth watching. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

There are a few things about this movie that were enjoyable. First, I liked the decision to film it in black and white, something that gave it a class western feel. And, to be fair, the actors, Depp included, did a decent job in their respective roles.

I think my biggest problem with this movie is it just failed to click with me. Some parts of the film, such as the early scenes with Depp's character riding a train for what seemed like an eternity, just dragged on. In fact, since nobody spoke until a couple minutes into the film, my wife and I were beginning to wonder if maybe we were watching a silent film.

Also, for a western, the action in this film was somewhat limited. The surprise gunfight that left Depp's character a walking dead man was somewhat interesting. But, after that, the movie just seemed to lack any real excitement.

Plus, on top of it, I wasn't really sure if I was watching a comedy or a drama because, while some of the characters did have a bizarre, comical side to them, the main plot, along with the ending of the film, seemed to be much too serious to be considered funny. It was as though the writers couldn't make up their mind which direction they wanted to take with the film and attempted to mix the two genres with weak results.

Final Opinion

This film is described as a "cult" movie on Netflix, which means there are people out there who like this movie. I, unfortunately, was not one of them and can't find any reason to recommend this film.

My Grade: D

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Updated: 03/19/2016, StevenHelmer
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