Brokeback Mountain

Critics Consensus

A beautiful, epic Western, Brokeback Mountain's love story is imbued with heartbreaking universality thanks to moving performances by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 246

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 519,852

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Movie Info

In 1963, rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and ranch hand Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) are hired by rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) as sheep herders in Wyoming. One night on Brokeback Mountain, Jack makes a drunken pass at Ennis that is eventually reciprocated. Though Ennis marries his longtime sweetheart, Alma (Michelle Williams), and Jack marries a fellow rodeo rider (Anne Hathaway), the two men keep up their tortured and sporadic affair over the course of 20 years.

Cast & Crew

Heath Ledger
Ennis Del Mar
Anna Faris
Lashawn Malone
Anne Hathaway
Lureen Newsome
Michelle Williams
Alma Beers Del Mar
Randy Quaid
Joe Aguirre
Graham Beckel
L.D. Newsome
David Harbour
Randall Malone
Ang Lee
Director
Bill Pohlad
Executive Producer
Michael Costigan
Executive Producer
Larry McMurtry
Executive Producer
Judy Becker
Production Designer
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News & Interviews for Brokeback Mountain

Critic Reviews for Brokeback Mountain

All Critics (246) | Top Critics (52) | Fresh (215) | Rotten (31)

  • Brokeback Mountain is in no rush. Its emotional impact builds slowly, its rhythms in tune with the countryside--the rugged grandeur of the mountains; the arid, bleak vistas of backwater Western towns.

    July 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    March 8, 2006 | Rating: A

    Keith Phipps

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Lee and his collaborators have tapped into Proulx's story and gathered it up without missing a single sad, delicate nuance.

    January 27, 2006 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    January 13, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • Ang Lee continues to astonish.

    January 9, 2006
  • The whole movie is a rich, spacious, passionate way of showing, not telling, feelings that dare not speak their name -- and doing so with superb intelligence and magnificent candour.

    January 7, 2006 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Brokeback Mountain

  • Mar 30, 2014
    Though slow in parts, Brokeback Mountain is a heart-wrenching, profound western romance bolstered by the chemistry of its leads.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2013
    "Brokeback Mountain" lives up to its expectations by being a highly homoerotic love story between two cowboys working as ranch hands for a winter and the spiral that follows. Lead tremendously by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film is unforgettable because of the performances turned in between the two. Ledger plays the grisly Ennis Del Mar who is cowboy through and through, with a growl in his voice and the main reason this love story cannot have a happy ending. Gyllenhaal then plays the more sensitive Jack Twist, whose feelings are not quite fully requited. Both men spend one winter together and on a night that gets extremely cold, they huddle together for warmth, and you can guess where that leads. When the sheep herding ends because of a cold snap, they go on with their lives, separately. Ennis gets married to Alma, played brilliantly by the talented Michelle Williams, and the two have kids together, while Jack marries professional horse rider and daughter of a wealthy farm equipment salesmen, Lureen, played by the equally exquisite Anne Hathaway. The performances brought out of the young actors by Ang Lee is completely commendable and sets this hard drama apart. I am in no way homophobic, but the film lingers on these heavy feelings too much and doesn't explore the other relationships enough to care when things inevitably fall apart. Unfolding exactly how I presumed it would, "Brokeback Mountain" is a memorable film for many reasons, but sadly, most of those reasons are for remaining one of the only high profile homoerotic films to be released in the last decade, but which changing times ahead of us, I am sure that market will soon multiply.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 23, 2013
    An often cold and uneventful romantic drama, "Brokeback Mountain" has all of its performers acting to the very best of their abilities, and that's probably the best reason to see it. Much of the story drags after the first forty minutes are over and the ending just sort of happens. The cinematography is quite exquisite and the musical score is interesting, and as stated before, the acting from Ledger and Gyllenhaal is impressive, but "Brokeback Mountain" just isn't very remarkable. The biggest reason I can think of for it being so overhyped is the subject matter it deals with.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2012
    The movie occasionally drags, but in the end it is a powerful film featuring excellent acting and excellent writing. It is griping and also quite devastating. The drama is intense, and the emotions are raw.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer

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