In 1871's New Mexico Territory, Jane Hammond's (Natalie Portman) husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) returns home from having been bullet riddled by the revenge seeking Bishop Boys (Ewan McGregor, Boyd Holbrook). After stabilizing him, she gets her young daughter to safety and seeks out assistance from an old boyfriend, Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton), who at first is reluctant to help, still smarting from losing her years before. He eventually does and through well-sprinkled flashbacks we learn about their relationship and why the Bishops are seeking to kill Jane's husband in the first place.
This film opened to mixed reviews and died at the box office but don't let that discourage you from watching one of the best Western action movies of recent memory led by Ms. Portman in a memorable performance. From a tear-stained face as she says goodbye to her little girl to the steel in her eyes as she guns down a gunslinger, she puts her stamp on the genre as an intelligent, complicated protagonist. And in an era where the emphasis has turned to revisionism or hybrid Westerns, damn if it isn't nice to have straightforward storytelling with a climax that actually delivers the goods. Jane Got a Gun may have had a troubled, lackluster start but this film will age well.