The Hero

The Hero

In Theatres: 
Jun 23, 2017
Running Time: 
93 minutes

Sam Elliott is most known for his Western roles as either a cowboy or rancher, because he has the perfect look with his thick moustache and deep drawn out voice. I mean, he even voiced a rancher T-rex in Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. He’s so much more than just another typecasted cowboy, however, and The Hero showcases just how good an actor he is. It’s a film that was destined for Elliott.


Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) made it big in Hollywood back in the day doing Western roles and became somewhat of an icon. But those days are long gone and most of the work he gets now is doing voice-overs for BBQ commercials. That all changes when he is suddenly diagnosed with cancer and becomes determined to prove that his best performances are still ahead of him. While getting out of his comfort zone, he meets the young Charlotte (Laura Prepon), a stand-up comedian with whom he develops a relationship with. Meanwhile, he also makes an effort to rebuild his relationship with his estranged daughter, Lucy (Krysten Ritter), before it’s too late. He may be getting old and dying, but he’s far from being done.


The Hero is a well scripted and well performed film that wonderfully blends comedy with drama. It works so well because of Sam Elliott and his acting career that essentially mirrors that of Lee Hayden’s. It’s a perfect fit. Nick Offerman stars in a supporting roles as Lee’s neighbor, friend, and weed supplier. The two of them have some great scenes together on the couch as they get high and reminisce about the good ol’ days. While most of their time together is comical, the film does get serious every once in awhile to remind you of just how good Sam Elliott’s acting range is.


The same can be said with both Charlotte and Lucy as well. There are these little humorous moments they all share, but in the end it comes down to these powerful dramatic moments that pull you in emotionally. There are no big set pieces or flashy special effects. The Hero is all about these small and intimate moments that will last with you longer than any big budgeted Hollywood blockbuster.


Like Lee Hayden, Sam Elliott doesn’t get nearly enough recognition for the performances he gives. With a filmography dating back to the 60’s, Elliott proves he’s still got plenty of gas in the tank and that his best performances are still ahead of him. The Hero is exactly the kind of film Hollywood needs right now.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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