Brokeback Mountain 2005

Critics score:
87 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The best movie of the year. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: It stays with you after you've seen it, like a haunting strain of music; both love song and elegy for what might have been. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: This is one of the best serious films about homosexuality ever made, but though it's sad and sobering it's still only a rough draft of a great movie. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: A good and eloquent Wyoming-set love story with a great performance at its heart. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Brokeback Mountain is an American masterpiece. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: Heath Ledger, in particular, I think really has to get an Oscar nomination. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Brokeback Mountain is a love story, but that's not all it is. In some ways, the movie is as much about the way we were as the way they are. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: The approach is dry as the Wyoming landscape, and while it occasionally threatens to pull the film out of shape, it's still the right one for these men. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: There's no contest. Brokeback Mountain is the most poignant movie love story of the year. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The reason to see Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, and see it you should, isn't its hot-button topicality or its cultural cachet but simply that it's a very good movie, with a staggeringly fine performance by Heath Ledger. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: It's a deeply felt, emotional love story that deals with the uncharted, mysterious ways of the human heart just as so many mainstream films have before it. The two lovers here just happen to be men. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: A film about love and the cost of lying that's exquisite in its beauty, painful in its truths. Read more

Paul Clinton (, Quite simply, this is one of the best films of the year. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: What is truly distinctive about Brokeback Mountain is that it brings to life a love story that, after all these years of love stories, is essentially new to mainstream movies, and it does so without special pleading or sentimentality. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Like these indelible cowboys, you, too, may find it impossible not to succumb to the powerful, quiet greatness that is Brokeback Mountain. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: If love does indeed conquer all, it should win hearts across America. If not, then its focus on a tragic stigma will remain as valid as its story suggests. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Brokeback Mountain is that rare thing, a big Hollywood weeper with a beautiful ache at its center. It's a modern-age Western that turns into a quietly revolutionary love story. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Brokeback Mountain the power to break your heart -- and, perhaps more important, to open it. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: A story of forbidden love on the range, Brokeback Mountain is acted, directed, written and photographed with heart-pounding beauty. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: Brokeback Mountain is at once the gayest and the least gay Hollywood film I've seen, which is another way of saying that Lee has a knack for culling universality from the most specific identities. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: Brokeback Mountain coaxes audiences to walk several hundred miles in its characters' shoes, luring us with the scent of forbidden fruit and rewarding us with the sumptuous taste of complex storytelling. Read more

Ken Tucker, New York Magazine/Vulture: Ang Lee conveys maddening delirium rendered in the way one man's eyes gaze at another's, and then look away, and the looking-away amounts to the murder of two souls as surely as if they'd drawn guns and hit each other in the heart. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Like all great love stories, Ang Lee's is one of tragic romance, strongly acted by Heath Ledger as the most buttoned-up of cowboys, and Michelle Williams as his betrayed and enraged wife. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: An epic, heartbreaking love story that's far greater than the sum of its parts. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: I was never moved or even overly excited by what I finally witnessed on the screen, though I have no quarrel with the superlatives heaped upon the film by most of my colleagues. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Both [Gyllenhaal and Ledger] embody what that old Waylon and Willie song taught us -- 'Cowboys ain't easy to love, and they're harder to hold.' Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: It's a brave and affecting effort from a director from whom we have come to expect worthwhile things. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The filmmakers have focused so intently and with such feeling on Jack and Ennis that the movie is as observant as work by Bergman. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Ang Lee's unmissable and unforgettable Brokeback Mountain hits you like a shot in the heart. It's a landmark film and a triumph for Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Brokeback Mountain takes great pains to be a compassionate love story; but the filmmaking itself, self-consciously restrained and desiccated, is inert and inexpressive. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: [The film] is directed by Ang Lee in a style that pays attention to the nuances of expression, to the thoughts and emotions being articulated between the words and in the pauses. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: Ang Lee's formalism is so extreme that it's often laughable, and the sex is depicted as a holy union: Gay love has never been so sacred. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It has become shorthand to call Brokeback Mountain the 'gay cowboy movie,' but it is much more than that glib description implies. This is a human story, a haunting film in the tradition of the great Hollywood romantic melodramas. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: It is simply one of the greatest love stories in film history. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: With its measured pace and its sumptuous visuals, transforming a taboo into a romantic totem, this opening act is fascinating, like watching Red River with the subtext cranked way up. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: What Ang Lee has wrought with his stunning contemplation of two men who find love in a lonely place is more about universal human needs than about gender preferences. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: For all its brave beginnings and real achievements -- its assault on western mythology, its discovery of a subversive sexual honesty in an unexpected locale -- Brokeback Mountain finally fails to fully engage our emotions. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: Lee has taken a story of gay love and placed it where it should be -- in the mainstream. He's delivered a beautifully crafted film to boot. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: It's an old-style virtue for a film that's old-style in the best way: unassuming but people-oriented and aiming to endure. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: This ostensible gay Western is marked by a heightened degree of sensitivity and tact, as well as an outstanding performance from Heath Ledger. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: All is tasteful, and far more convincing than the movie's representation of passion is its only-the-lonely evocation of a punishing social order. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: A sweeping, solemn, self-serious chronicle of their relationship over several decades. Read more