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Epic American Western: Horizon Chapter 1 Review


The Film


A western epic that chronicles a 15-year-span of expansion after the American Civil War.

Horizon: An American Story – Chapter 1 is the latest project from actor-writer-director Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves). This grand undertaking focuses on 15 years of expansion into the American West.

Hayes Ellison (Costner) is a freelance cowpuncher of sorts going from town to town for work. He’s a man of few words and likes to keep it that way until he’s confronted by circumstances that he can’t get around. So much for minding one’s business in wild west.

Ellison’s story arc doesn’t even start until a little over an hour in. In fact, Horizon is a tale of a mythical place in the American West where folks make their way to start their lives. The rub being that the town of Horizon exists only in flyers that have been passed down from random settler to random settler. The town has been surveyed but the issue is that the town’s limits are smack dab in the middle of a Native American river crossing. The tribes don’t take kindly to strangers planting their roots by their river crossing. The other issue is that there is no actual town that has been erected, because anyone that has tried to build on it has been killed – the land has only been split and divided by wooden pegs in the dirt.

Horizon has several storylines going at the same time but do not cross into each other. Whether that happens in Chapter 2 remains to be seen. Having watched Horizon – Chapter 1 on opening weekend in theaters I was blown away by the grandeur of it all. Kevin Costner is not a rookie writer/director and his direction is confident and assured. The ensemble cast alone would break a lesser director down – just wrangling everyone day in and day out must have been crazy, especially during the unpredictable weather.

  • Ella Hunt in Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 (2024)
  • Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 (2024)
  • Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 (2024)
  • Kevin Costner in Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 (2024)
  • Horizon: An American Saga -- Part 1 (2024)

The curiosity over Horizon is that Costner spent almost 40 million dollars of his own money for Chapters 1 & 2. There is the possibility of Chapters 3 & 4 down the line. Horizon is a 3-hour film, so you might get folks who can’t sit still or have the need to empty their bladders in the middle. I sat all the way through it and it was great.

In closing, Horizon – Chapter 1 will satisfy Kevin Costner fans along with fans of the western genre. It’s been a while since we’ve had a solid western kick up as much dirt as this one has. I give Kevin Costner all the props in the world for doing his thing, going outside the studio system (Warner Bros. only served as distributor), and making a film the way he wants. It’s the truest form of art where, in this business, you put your money where your mouth is and get it out to the world on your terms. Whether it fails or not is out of his control – he’s already done his job as an artist.

Horizon: An American Story – Chapter 1 is playing in theater nationwide. Horizon: An American Story – Chapter 2 opens in theaters August 16.

  • Rating Certificate: R (for violence, some nudity and sexuality.)
  • Studios & Distributors: New Line Cinema | Territory Pictures Entertainment | Warner Bros.
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Run Time: 181 Mins.
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Director: Kevin Costner
  • Written By: Jon Baird (screenplay) | Kevin Costner (screenplay) | Jon Baird (story) | Kevin Costner (story) | Mark Kasdan (story)
  • Release Date: 28 June 2024

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A western epic that chronicles a 15-year-span of expansion after the American Civil War.Epic American Western: Horizon Chapter 1 Review