John Ford Would've Been Proud of Scott Cooper
Helluva movie. One of the best Westerns I've ever seen. Like the characters, most viewers will find their emotions and sympathies change profoundly from beginning to end. The 19th century West was a hard, unforgiving place where settlers and Indians were constantly in danger and death could come at any time. That kind of fragility of life is so difficult for modern people to understand since most of us live such safe lives.
In past films, Native peoples were usually shown as aggressors against settlers and in recent films that characterization has been flipped. Evidence shows there was brutality and kindness on both sides and this is what Hostiles understands so much better than most Westerns.
Kudos as well for not presenting Native peoples as a monolithic group. They fought among themselves just as fiercely as various settler groups or Unionists vs. Confederates. Chief Yellow Hawk (Cheyenne) describes the Comanche as “rattlesnake people, the worst kind” and his group takes it upon themselves to dispatch the Comanche raiders with extreme prejudice.
Food in Films: Enjoyed Lt. Kidder (Jesse Plemons) describing the group's provisions for the journey...A month's worth of meat, raisins, sugar, and pickles.