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Brokeback Mountain

09brok While working together near Wyoming's Brokeback Mountain in 1963, sheepherders Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) begin an increasingly passionate affair. But keeping their relationship a secret from their wives (Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams) proves agonizing and all-consuming. Ang Lee directs this Oscar-winning drama based on a short story by Pulitzer Prize winner E. Annie Proulx.
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Netflix Rating: 3.2
NYT Critics' Pick
Annie Proulx's heartbreaking story of two cowboys who fall in love while herding sheep in 1963 has been faithfully translated onto the screen in Ang Lee's landmark film. Heath Ledger (in a great performance worthy Brando at his peak) and Jake Gyllenhaal bring them fully alive. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 86%
Critics' score: 87   Audience score: 77   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Like all great love stories, Ang Lee's is one of tragic romance, strongly acted by Heath Ledger as the most buttoned-up of cowboys, and Michelle Williams as his betrayed and enraged wife. full review

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

Ang Lee continues to astonish.

Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic

Both [Gyllenhaal and Ledger] embody what that old Waylon and Willie song taught us -- 'Cowboys ain't easy to love, and they're harder to hold.' full review

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

A sweeping, solemn, self-serious chronicle of their relationship over several decades. full review

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

It has become shorthand to call Brokeback Mountain the 'gay cowboy movie,' but it is much more than that glib description implies. This is a human story, a haunting film in the tradition of the great Hollywood romantic melodramas. full review

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

A film about love and the cost of lying that's exquisite in its beauty, painful in its truths. full review

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle

The movie has a universal quality because it tells a story of unfulfilled lives and roots it in the well-observed specifics of a vanishing Western culture.

Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

Like these indelible cowboys, you, too, may find it impossible not to succumb to the powerful, quiet greatness that is Brokeback Mountain. full review

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Brokeback Mountain the power to break your heart -- and, perhaps more important, to open it. full review

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

With its measured pace and its sumptuous visuals, transforming a taboo into a romantic totem, this opening act is fascinating, like watching Red River with the subtext cranked way up. full review

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

If love does indeed conquer all, it should win hearts across America. If not, then its focus on a tragic stigma will remain as valid as its story suggests. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

The reason to see Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, and see it you should, isn't its hot-button topicality or its cultural cachet but simply that it's a very good movie, with a staggeringly fine performance by Heath Ledger. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

There's no contest. Brokeback Mountain is the most poignant movie love story of the year. full review

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic

If the cowboy movies of John Wayne and John Ford were about the opening of the American West, Brokeback Mountain is the somber slam of its closing.

Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News

A good and eloquent Wyoming-set love story with a great performance at its heart. full review

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Much as it is about love, Brokeback is also a potent study of repression that comes alive in Ledger's shattering performance.

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

A story of forbidden love on the range, Brokeback Mountain is acted, directed, written and photographed with heart-pounding beauty. full review

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News

Brokeback Mountain is a love story, but that's not all it is. In some ways, the movie is as much about the way we were as the way they are. full review

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The filmmakers have focused so intently and with such feeling on Jack and Ennis that the movie is as observant as work by Bergman. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

I was never moved or even overly excited by what I finally witnessed on the screen, though I have no quarrel with the superlatives heaped upon the film by most of my colleagues. full review

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
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