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‘Murder at Yellowstone City’ review: Acceptable Western & undercooked mystery

The twist is well done.

Murder at Yellowstone City knows how to set the table. It is a Western in which a newcomer named Cicero (Isaiah Mustafa) comes to town and is quickly arrested for the murder of a local prospector (Zach McGowan). This leads to division in the town. Before long, lines have been drawn and no one is safe. 

Director Richard Gray is also able to work in a decent mystery. The twist is well done and it will keep audiences interested for the most part. Still, there is a feeling that Murder at Yellowstone City is more concerned with its aesthetic than the atmosphere. 

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This ends up being the most disappointing aspect. There is a great opportunity here to combine two popular genres and do something special. Gabriel Byrne and Thomas Jane are two capable hands who play opposite each other. Regrettably, each are used as little more than caricatures of Western characters. They do good with what they are given, but they are never tasked to do much, either. 

The setting also looks great. While the movie does not stand out amongst others like it, it does fit in perfectly. Everything in Murder at Yellowstone City just looks right, if too familiar. The downside to going all in with the look is that it never contributes to its whodunit aspirations. 

'Murder at Yellowstone City' review: Acceptable Western & undercooked mystery

Overall, Murder at Yellowstone City is an acceptable Western and underdeveloped mystery. It is always teasing to be something more, but ends up being satisfied with what it is. It is far from bad, but it also is not memorable.

Murder at Yellowstone City comes to theaters, digital, and on demand June 24


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