"you must see this film... even if you think you "don't like westerns", because its deeply philosophical look at fraternal ties has universal applicability and its delivery has a unique revisionist stylish flair all its own" - lee van mcqueen usually whenever today's films get vaunted and are placed besides the bona fide classics of old (not the films that are simply loved for being old), i get highly skeptical... simply because most directors back in the day had the respect for nuance and their audiences' patience, something a lot of today's filmmakers lack so, i chuckled as i read the reviews saying "the proposition" was worthy of side-by-side placement with the masterworks of the greats like peckinpah and leone, but i received the shock of my life... son... no, SON! listen to me... *ties your hands 'n ankles, grabs you by the shoulders, and violently throws your ass in a creaky wooden chair in front a wooden desk and stomps spurred boot in top of it in front of you wearing a stone-cold grimace*. this movie KICKS MAJOR GUTWAGON TAIL!!!!! it was said by one writer to be "the best western since 'unforgiven'"... hahahahaha [funny] [funny] [funny]! "unforgiven"? yes, "unforgiven" was sick, but this beat it on the draw by a whopping 0.60 seconds. nick cave, the aussie rocker-turned-screenwriter, obviously went to the town library, dusted off those books, and did his homework as he strikes morricone's ecstasy of gold with his first film pro-ject. many a night, i would be on my knees praying to that angelic goddess voice from the "once upon a time in the west" opening theme for the spaghetti western style of filmmaking to be resurrected with respect to the legends but an added new twist, and it just may have with this film. oh my goodness, there's so much i can say about this artfully savage and poetic powerhouse of an epic, but i have no idea where to begin. - guy pearce (memento) offers up a bulls-eye of a performance conjuring up the spirit of clint eastwood's monco, blondie, and man with no name with his own aussie swagger - john hurt (john merrick in "the elephant man") is deliciously devilish as the bounty hunter who speaks with such scholastic shakespearean eloquence - ray winstone's brilliantly burly and grizzled presence as the police captain - the australian outback provides a great off-color backdrop for western proceedings, and the cinematography captures it lovely - john hillcoat directs in a leone manner but doesn't completely bite the maestro's style - a kickass aboriginee bandit who resembles the spag western legend gian maria volonte in the gang that's being hunted - etc., etc., etc. you must see this film... even if you think you "don't like westerns", because its deeply philosophical look at fraternal ties has universal applicability and its delivery has a unique revisionist stylish flair all its own so, yeah... i like this film. a lot. best film i've seen this year thus far.