Appaloosa is a dramatic western about a town held to ransom by renegade cattle rancher Randall Bragg (played by Jeremy Irons). Bragg has just killed a sheriff in cold blood and the townsfolk are desperate for protection. Called in to save the good people are gun toting peacemakers Virgil Cole (played by director and co-writer Ed Harris) and his loyal sidekick Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen).

It's not all shoot outs at dawn and run ins with the local natives - the film is thoughtful - its highlight is the relationship between Cole and Hitch - a mutual devotion spoken in few words. Mortensen and Harris's performances hit just the right note and Renee Zellwegger is good as shapely widow Alison French, with her amoral instinct for survival.

At the end of this adaptation of Robert B. Parker's novel Cole and Hitch seem sadly out of date as Bragg builds a fortune and mingles with the town's leaders - the very people who called in Cole and Hitch to save them from his evil clutches.

Appaloosa has a real sense of humour and, a different take on the classic western, with beautiful scenery and in-depth character portrayals, it is definitely worth going along for the ride.