Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Jonah Hex

posted by Nell Minow
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images, and sexual content
Profanity:Brief strong language
Nudity/Sex:Character is a prostitute, sexual references
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, scenes in bars
Violence/Scariness:Intense and graphic violence, guns, explosions, terrorism, torture, slaughter, many characters injured and killed, dead bodies, extremely graphic wound
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:June 11, 2010
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2010
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images, and sexual content
Profanity: Brief strong language
Nudity/Sex: Character is a prostitute, sexual references
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, scenes in bars
Violence/Scariness: Intense and graphic violence, guns, explosions, terrorism, torture, slaughter, many characters injured and killed, dead bodies, extremely graphic wound
Diversity Issues: None
Movie Release Date: June 11, 2010
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010

Josh Brolin plays Jonah Hex, a man transformed by loss in a fantasy western set just after the Civil War, based on the series of comics and graphic novels. The war is over in the United States, but it continues to haunt Hex, who rides the West as a gun for hire still wearing his Confederate Uniform.


Hex has no friends, at least not any who are alive. He has one enemy, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), who made Hex watch as he ordered his men to make Hex suffer as he had, to watch as he loses everything he loves and has to live on, scarred inside and out. After Turnbull burns down Hex’s home with his wife and child inside, he orders his men to apply a fiery brand to Hex’s face, burning through the skin to the jawbone. “Every day that mark will remind you of the man who took everything you had.”


But that physically and psychologically searing experience gave Hex something, too. “It left me with the curse of talking to the other side,” he tells us. And so he rides, feeling nothing but vengeance, a gunman for hire, haunted by the dead and answerable to no one but himself.

Turnbull steals the most powerful weapon ever made, a sort of pre-industrial age H-bomb, And President Grant (Aidan Quinn) orders Lieutenant Grass (Will Arnett) to get Hex to find Turnbull and stop his plan to bring down the United States government as it reaches its 100th birthday.


It has a trim just-over-80 minutes running time, so I’m guessing there will be a future DVD release with a lot of deleted scenes. But the lean story-telling works well for its taciturn characters and spare settings, beautifully presented by cinematographer Mitchell Amundsen, and well scored by Marco Beltrami and John Powell with assistance from Mastodon. The blend of history and fantasy, both tweaking and saluting the conventions of both genres, works better than the clumsy references to current concerns like terrorism and tea party anti-government sentiment. Brolin is as at home in the role as he is in the saddle. As (of course) a prostitute with a mean right hook and, at least for Hex, a heart of gold, Megan Fox has to learn that a husky voice and a smoldering look are not enough to create a character. On the other hand, in that wasp-waisted corset (reportedly a Scarlett O’Hara-size 18 inches in diameter) she should get an award for staying upright.

  • Tom Clocker – Baltimore Movie Examiner

    I haven’t read your review yet since I wasn’t able to make it to D.C. for this screening, but I did check out your rating which gives me hope and reaffirms my feelings to go out this weekend and see it. Hopefully I can tomorrow. I try to hold off reading reviews until I see a film and write my own. So, I’ll be back to read your thoughts!

  • Vince

    This film has been really underrated by critics. If you’re a fan of comic book movies, this is a solid offering that has much to recommend it. Although, since it tanked (unfortunately), I think the best it can hope for is to reach cult classic status. Having read some of the comics prior to seeing it (courtesy of DC’s “Showcase Presents” volume), I can tell you that Brolin absolutely nailed Hex and that’s what made the film for me. Considering that the film wasn’t rated until a week or so before release, I imagine we’ll be seeing a director’s cut on dvd. I hope so, anyway.

  • Nell Minow

    Agreed! Thanks, Vince. I gave the movie one of it’s best reviews (and took a beating for it on Rotten Tomatoes) so it is good to hear from someone else who appreciated what it had to offer.

  • Danny Ray

    So the Tea Party is “anti-government” eh?
    Henceforth, perhaps you could keep your left-leaning bias out of the reviews? Thank you! :)

  • Nell Minow

    Hey, Danny Ray! Maybe I should have said “big government” or “suspicious of government,” but that is more nuanced than the reference to the movie’s allusion to current concerns merits. I certainly meant it as a statement of fact, not a criticism. But if you have some evidence that the tea party is pro-government, I’d be glad to see it. 😉

  • Iorek

    Danny Ray, I assume you are being facetious about the tea party, right? Different tea party candidates may come down differently on cultural issues (such as homosexuality, abortion, evolution, etc.) but the one thing they all have in common is that they take a libertarian, small-government approach. That’s what binds them together as a party. They all run on an anti-Washington platform and they all believe in cutting off the flow of taxes that feeds government.

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