The Hero

Lee, a former Western film icon, is living a comfortable existence lending his golden voice to advertisements and smoking weed. After receiving a lifetime achievement award and unexpected news, Lee reexamines his past, while a chance meeting with a sardonic comic has him looking to the future.


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  • ★★★½ review by Gazelle Garcia on Letterboxd

    SXSW 2017

    It's so satisfying when movies about making movies and the movie business actually pulls it off. Prepon and Elliot are meant to be an odd pair but sync up so wonderfully in a way that makes you glad they've found one another. This supporting cast does well to fluff the longer and more serious scenes focusing on Elliot's drama chops.

  • ★★★½ review by ryan k. on Letterboxd

    Sam Elliot carries this movie with a supporting cast that doesn't do its job

  • ★★★★ review by Kenton Bowton on Letterboxd

    Viewed at CFF.

    A gorgeously filmed character piece of an aging star at his wits end and Elliott fills every scene with dry full of emotion fear.

    The tired story can't drag the lead or the film down at all and is well worth the time.

  • ★★★★ review by Peter Craig on Letterboxd

    Sam Elliott is a national treasure and any film featuring him is worth seeing, so one starring him and about him (metaphorically at least) is a cause for celebration. As a story about an aging actor facing his mortality there is plenty that is cliched and unsurprising about the film, but Elliott and the rest of the cast make it new and funny and touching and even a little profound. There is an unfortunate over reliance on drug humor at times, but that is balanced by several scenes of genuine emotion that Elliott nails like the pro he is. Even the relationship between Elliott's character and the young woman he meets (played by Laura Prepon, displaying a range not seen from her before) is dealt with honestly and touchingly and avoids the old actor / young actress stereotype so common in Hollywood films. But mostly it's just great to see Sam Elliott back on the big screen doing what he does so well.

  • ★★★½ review by Ken Rudolph on Letterboxd

    Sam Elliott is playing close to the bone portraying Lee, a 71-year old washed-up former Western movie star. He's alienated from his family: ex-wife (Elliott's real-life wife Katherine Ross in a welcome return to the screen) and grown daughter (Krysten Ritter.) He is subsisting on commercial voice-over gigs that take advantage of his sonorous voice; and living off the reputation of his one great role playing the eponymous "Hero" forty years earlier. When Lee finds out he has pancreatic cancer, he starts to put his life in order...starting with an affair with a feisty younger woman (Laura Prepon, never better). It's a given that Elliott is perfect for a role tailor made for him. And it's obvious that at age 75, I'm the sort of audience that ought to be intrigued by such a realistic, wistful look at male aging. However, despite some clever dialogue, the script and character development were just a tad too predictable and the outcome too facile for me to commit to loving this film.

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