Ty Burr
March 18, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

Red Rock West

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper
director
John Dahl
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it a C+

John Dahl makes movies as if he were Quentin Tarantino’s mild-mannered brother, fashioning film noir so dry, so droll, so gently bonkers that it almost qualifies as film taupe. He did it with 1989’s Kill Me Again, and he does it with this HBO thriller about a feral, errant Wyoming wife (Lara Flynn Boyle) and the men obsessed with killing or saving her, or both: a wandering loser (Cage), a psychotic husband (J.T. Walsh), and a deeply confused hit man (Hopper). Dahl’s own obsession seems to be twists of fate. You’re never sure which way West is going, and it isn’t until the last 10 minutes of Red Rock West that you realize it’s not going anywhere at all. C+

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