We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Billy Bob Thornton's "All the Pretty Horses" is an elegiac Western about two young cowboys, and then a third, who ride from Texas into Mexico in search of what may be left of the Old West. The movie is really as simple as that. It touches on adventure and romance, but isn't really about them. It's about the mythical idea of heading south on a good horse, with a change of clothes, some camp gear and a gun, and seeing what happens. It takes place in 1949. A few years later, its heroes would have headed down Route 66 in a Chevy convertible.
The movie stars Matt Damon and Henry Thomas as John Grady Cole and Lacey Rawlins, and they're followed on the trail by a kid named Jimmy Blevins (Lucas Black), who is riding more horse than the other two can convince themselves he paid for himself. He wants to come along, and they let him, although one observes he is going to get them into trouble, and he is right.
In Mexico, they get involved in a misunderstanding, or maybe it isn't, about stealing horses, that requires them to leave in a hurry. The kid knows it's his fault and does the right thing, keeping to the trail in front of the pursuers, while John and Lacey lose themselves in the sagebrush.
Following no particular plan, they end up on a ranch owned by Don Hector de la Rocha (Ruben Blades), who values his private airplane but not nearly as much as he values his daughter Alejandra (Penelope Cruz). John breaks some wild mustangs for Don Hector and discusses the fine points of horse breeding, on which the two men find themselves in agreement. Don Hector gives them a job, and John and Alejandra are attracted to each other like those two little Scottie dogs with the magnets in them.