The Magnificent Seven movie poster
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The Magnificent Seven
The Magnificent Seven movie poster

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

Action-packed and entertaining from beginning to end, The Magnificent Seven may not be the smartest western in town—but it sure is fun nonetheless. Starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and others that fill most of the diversity checkboxes (what, no transgender cowboys???), The Magnificent Seven is a pistol-slinging good time.

None of the actors in the movie are asked to stretch much—Denzel plays a Wild West version of Denzel, and Chris Pratt is Chris Pratt—and the movie isn’t very deep or nuanced, but The Magnificent Seven is a high-profile crowd-pleaser, the likes of which have been notably lacking through much of the year. The movie, directed by Antoine Fuqua (who, 15 years later, is still best known for Training Day), features a few solid shootout scenes and a climactic battle where seemingly hundreds die by gun, knife or explosive.

Even when guns aren’t blazing, the light screenplay by Richard Wenk (The Equalizer) and Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective) offers up a solid dose of humor and witty dialogue. More importantly, it helps the actors develop strong chemistry with one another; the bond between the seven is strong, and their interactions are rich and entertaining.

The movie should be commended for its commitment to diversity, even if screen time is still delegated out based on the celebrity status of the actor. Byung-hun Lee, Manual Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier all get their time to shine, though they definitely feel like background characters to the others. The most memorable, fun and scene-stealing performance goes to the overweight Vincent D’Onofrio, whose high-pitched, Davy Crockett-esque turn is a complete blast.

The only actress—Haley Bennett (The Girl on the Train)—gets plenty of screen time as well, though the movie doesn’t incorporate her into the gang as much as expected.

The Magnificent Seven won’t win any awards, but it’s a whole lot of fun.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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