When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven mad by harsh pioneer life, the task of saving them falls to the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), to join her. Together, they traverse the harsh Nebraska Territories marked by stark beauty, psychological peril and constant threat. “Jones, as always, knows what he’s doing. In only his second feature as a director, the laconic 68-year-old star has made a wrenching, relentless and anti-heroic western that stands among the year’s most powerful American films.”—Andrew O’Hehir, Salon. R. 122 Min.
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