Watch South of Heaven, West of Hell
- 2 hr 12 min
South of Heaven, West of Hell is a 2000 Western film directed by Dwight Yoakam and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Luke Askew, and Yoakam himself. The film centers around Valentine Casey, a notorious outlaw who returns to his hometown as a lawman to set things right. The movie begins with a young Valentine Casey living in the Wild West with his mother and father. A violent encounter with a corrupt lawman sets the course for his life as an outlaw. Years later, Valentine has become a notorious bandit, wanted by the law in every state. After a botched robbery, he is forced to flee with his gang into the desert. There, they encounter a strange assortment of characters, including an enigmatic woman named Adalyne, a band of Mexican bandits, and a rogue sheriff named Stemmons.
Valentine and Adalyne develop a romantic relationship, which causes tension with the rest of the gang. Meanwhile, Stemmons is closing in, and Valentine must decide whether to stay and fight or flee with Adalyne. As the tension builds, the film takes on a surreal, dreamlike quality, with hallucinations, flashbacks, and bizarre encounters.
The film is an homage to classic Westerns, with sprawling vistas, gunfights, and larger-than-life characters. However, it also subverts many of the genre's conventions, with an emphasis on surrealism and dark humor. Yoakam's direction is highly stylized, with bold camera angles and a distinctive color palette. The film's score, composed by Yoakam himself, is also a standout, blending traditional Western music with rock and roll and blues.
The performances are also excellent, with Thornton bringing his trademark intensity to the role of Valentine. Askew, as the grizzled old outlaw Leatherface, steals every scene he's in. Yoakam, in a rare acting role, is also impressive as the villainous Stemmons. The supporting cast is excellent as well, with appearances from a number of character actors familiar to fans of Westerns.
South of Heaven, West of Hell is a fascinating, idiosyncratic film that defies easy categorization. It's a Western, but it's also a surreal, dreamlike meditation on violence, love, and redemption. It's a movie that rewards repeated viewings, as its layers of symbolism and meaning slowly reveal themselves. If you're a fan of classic Westerns, or just want to experience a bold, unconventional film, South of Heaven, West of Hell is definitely worth checking out.
South of Heaven, West of Hell is a 2000 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 12 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.1 and a MetaScore of 22.