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Western films, from silent to today

Justice (2017)

Justice (2017) DVD cover Marshal James McCord (Nathan Parsons) rides into a small Nevada town at the request of his reverend brother, a peaceful man who has come to the conclusion that violence might be the only way to rid the community of its evil element.

By the time McCord arrives, his brother is dead, his church burned to the ground. And few honest townsfolk believe the official story: That the reverend got drunk, knocked over a lamp accidentally and burned to death.

The reverend’s journal points to a more plausible explanation: Murder at the hands of henchmen under the control of Mayor Pierce (Stephen Lang).

Seems the mayor has been stockpiling gold, weapons and ammunication with dreams of starting a new Confederate republic in the west, starting in Nevada.

He plans to become the president of that republic. For now, he has an ex-Confederate named Reb (John Lewis) and a small army of henchmen to make sure no one in town gets out of line.

Those townsfolk are more easily controlled than McCloud, who also finds a coded map left behind by his brother pointing to the precise location where the mayor’s stash of stolen gold and guns are hidden.

Naturally, it’s not long before the mayor and Reb decide it’s time to get rid of the marshal.


I was about to give this three bullets. Stephen Lang and John Lewis make for decent villains. The acting from most of the rest of the cast is passable. It doesn’t look as low budget as lots of Westerns released these days. Heck, the Western town looks more realistic than most, even if the costumes look way too never-before-worn.

But then director Richard Gabai serves up at least three laughably absurb moments once the climatic showdown begins at the town jail. The last one … well, one of the better Spaghetti Western directors might have been able to pull it off. In this crew’s hands: No one will blame you if you howl in laughter.

Even before we reach that point in the film, there are some glaring continuity problems. Most noteably: Isn’t the letter the marshal rides into town carrying the same one the good reverend was writing in the opening scene? Meaning it would have burned along with the church and never been sent?

Jamie-Lynn Sigler plays Melissa Collins, the pretty widow who had caught the reverend’s eye, then falls for his brother. Ellen Hollman has a tiny role as the whore with a knack for luring good men into traps. And we get a glimpse of Lesley-Anne Down, now in her 60s, as Melissa’s mom.

Nathan Parsons as Marshal James McCord in Justice (2017)

Stephen Lang as Mayor Pierce in Justice (2017)

Directed by:
Richard Gabai

Nathan Parsons … Marshal James McCord
Jamie-Lynn Sigler … Melissa Collins
Ellen Hollman … Ginny
John Lewis … Reb
Niko Foster … Slim
Quinton Aaron … Benjamin
Jackson Rathbone … The Rev. Thomas McCord
Robert Carradine … Stratton Collins
Lesley-Anne Down … Elizabeth Collins
Stephen Lang … Mayor Pierce
Cru Ennis … Capt. Lewis

Runtime: 92 min.

John Lewis as Reb in Justice (2017)

Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Melissa Collins in Justice (2017)

Memorable lines:

James McCord: “My name is James McCord. My friends call me marshal.”

Mayor Pierce: “This McCord character — he can’t be allowed to interfere with my business. He’s like a disease. He could be contagious.”

Mayor Pierce: “Reb, I want you to listen to me. You see, you’re not educated. You’re not an intelligent man. In fact, you’re stupid. You are a stupid man. You’re a hired thug who shoots people. You cannot offer me anything I cannot buy 100 times over. You understand? Therefore, I do not want to know what you think about anything, ever. I pay you to do what I think. And, right now, I think you’re forgetting who’s running the show.”

James McCord, as he’s about to be whipped: “I am a U.S. marshal. You will catch hell for this.”
Reb’s man: “Already been there. Wasn’t impressed.”

Melissa Collins: “Your words are of the devil’s tongue.”
Mayor Pierce: “Don’t you go flattering me, Miss Collins.”

James McCord: “Why didn’t you run?”
Reb: “Men like you and me, we don’t run.”

Reb: “Where’s your compassion?”
James McCord: “Wrong McCord.”

Jackson Rathbone as The Rev. Thomas McCord (2017)

Ellen Hollman as Ginny in Justice (2017)

Cru Ennis as Capt. Lewis in Justice (2017)

Quinton Aaron as Benjamin in Justice (2017)

Robert Carradine as Stratton Collins in Justice (2017)

Lesley-Anne Down as Elizabeth Collins in Justice (2017)

Nathan Parsons as Marshal James McCord in Justice (2017)

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