2007 / Andrew Dominik > I’ve never seen Chopper, but if this is what Dominik is capable of, then Cormac McCarthy’s Cities of the Plain is in great hands. The term “lush” isn’t one you would usually use to describe a Western, but somehow Dominik and cinematographer-extraordinaire Roger Deakins brings that sort of vibrancy to the era heretofore unseen. For its 160 minute running time, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is an immensely watchable picture that rarely tires, and in fact accelerates into the final 20 minute homestretch. Much of this is driven by the awkward and solemn performance by Casey Affleck in his Oscar-nominated role for Ford. He outshines Brad Pitt at every step, though one could argue this was not an acting film. It was about the mood, the feeling, the drama and the mythology.