Lone Star


D: John Sayles

Sony / Castle Rock (R. Paul Miller & Maggie Renzi)

US 🇺🇸 1996

135 mins


W: John Sayles

DP: Stuart Dryburgh

Ed: John Sayles

Mus: Mason Daring

Chris Cooper (Sam Deeds), Elizabeth Peña (Pilar), Kris Kristofferson (Charlie Wade), Matthew McConaughey (Buddy Deeds), Miriam Colón (Mercedes Cruz)

John Sayles’ 1996 neo-Western thriller stars Chris Cooper as sheriff in a modern day Texas border town who investigates the murder of one of his predecessors who mysteriously disappeared in the 1950s, following the discovery of a human skeleton and further clues on the outskirts of town. 

The film juggles the past & present well, as it emerges that the late sheriff, Charlie Wade, was an incredibly cruel and corrupt man, and digging into the past brings the skeletons out the closet of many of the town’s residents.

1996 seemed to be the year when independently-financed films on the whole were of much better quality than those released by the big studios & Lone Star is a testament to that, certainly being amongst the 20 best of the year, if not the top ten. Sayles’ screenplay was nominated for an Oscar, through Kris Kristofferson can think himself a bit unlucky that he wasn’t nominated in the best supporting actor category.

A slow burn of a film, which could possibly have turned in at under two hours long, but still makes for an engrossing watch.


Chris Cooper in Lone Star
Chris Cooper in Lone Star