For Open Range, his third film as director, Kevin Costner returns to the West and it is clear that back in the saddle is where he is most comfortable. This is a western with classic elements in which Costner is also joined by actors actor, Robert Duvall.
Its the 1880s and the Old West is disappearing fast as modernisation encroaches. Boss Spearman (Duvall) and Charley Waite (Costner), his employee for 10 years, are cattlemen, moving a herd through the open range accompanied by two more recent members of the team, Mose Harrison (Abraham Benrubi) and 16-year-old Button (Diego Luna).
When they move outside a small town run by Irish immigrant, Denton Baxter (Michael Gambon) - a man who is violently opposed to the idea of free grazing - they run into trouble. Mose is beaten up and thrown into gaol when he goes to town on an errand and the young Button is also left in a bad way by Baxters thugs.
The peaceful existence that Boss and his men have sought is at an end. Baxter wants them out and, with the help of the towns ruthless sheriff, Poole (James Russo) who is also on his payroll, he intends to get what he wants. Boss, a man who has always preferred to avoid violence and Charley, who for the last 10 years has been trying to leave a violent past behind him, know that their freedom is threatened and that they must have revenge.
They find some allies - namely a doctor (Dean McDermott), a stable keeper (Michael Jeter) and the docs sister, Sue (Annette Bening) who also brings a breath of romance to Charleys life.
In the tradition of classic westerns like High Noon and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Open Range climaxes with a showdown and a decisive shootout that is both exciting and brutal.