The Duel (2016)

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Alice Braga, Emory Cohen

Genre: Western, Crime, Drama

Channel: Amazon Prime Video

Problems present early for The Duel, with the movie poster showing the opposite name over the two lead actors.

Set in 1860-1880s Texas, the film opens with Woody Harrelson as Abraham Brant, responding to the duel against Jesse Kingston over the treatment of Mexican (and Mexican-American) people in the town of Helena. In this form of duel, the “Helena duel,” players tie hands as not to escape the other, and wield a knife in the free hand to stab their opponent to death. Brant wins and uses his victory, hateful politics and mystique to become the powerful leader and “Preacher” of the small Texas town.

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3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

I made the mistake of reading a scathing review of 3 Billboards before penning my own response and it embarrassed me a little because all the good points I had noted were the same points the professional reviewer shot down. It also made me question whether my categories of “the good, the bad, the verdict” were appropriately titled.

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