Critic Reviews



Based on 20 critic reviews provided by
Slant Magazine
The film communicates a sporadic sense of violation—of pastiche unpredictably giving way to a raw and primordially intimate emotional realm.
A film that's simultaneously heart-wrenching, hilarious and horrific.
Suffice to say, this departure from West’s usual run of seriously freaky spook shows is a brilliant piece of work, cordite-scented sorrow, and last-laugh gags stabbed through with a discernible lust for life.
With an enjoyable atmosphere, solid performances from Hawke, Travolta, Farmiga, and one gifted canine, In A Valley of Violence ends up a solid entry in a genre gradually fading from mainstream cinema.
Ti West's In a Valley of Violence plays like a grim, Eastwood-style genre revival before some conspicuous Tarantino-influenced humor infects its climactic showdown.
Ultimately, In a Valley of Violence thrives is in its final 20 minutes. In one of the more impressive sudden upticks in quality by a film in 2016, West seems to finally figure out what kind of a movie he wanted to make: a comedy. The concluding combat sequences are occupied by physical and witty gags.
As the violence escalates, an absurdist dose of humor is added to the mix, injecting the film with a distinctly modern sensibility that is welcome and does not let up.
We never get more than a glimmer of personality within these well-worn character types, and West never digs beneath them to offer any sort of commentary or criticism.
The Film Stage
In a Valley of Violence feigns to be a revisionist western, but it’s frustratingly stuck in a place of inevitability in the last half. It’s an excellently-made imitation, but coming from a director whose made a career of tilting the familiar, it’s a disappointing detour.
It’s frustrating that West often scores with his few modest attempts to stamp his own imprint on the genre, as those flashes of fun hint at what this movie could have been.

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