Box art for Legends of the Fall

Legends of the Fall

drama, romance

A powerful story about three brothers struggling to stay together and the woman who comes between them. Starring BRAD PITT, ANTHONY HOPKINS and AIDAN QUINN!!

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 15
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Tween girls will swoon over this tear-jerker.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film features limited sexual material (including a sex scene) and language. There is violence throughout the film, including shootings, fights, an impaling and an implied suicide. Most violent acts are motivated by revenge.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about chick flicks. Who do you think this film was made for? Do you think there is something offensive about the term chick flicks -- or in targeting women with predictable, sentimental movies?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews


- Cole Smithey,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: A semi-successful attempt at grand, schmaltzy romantic melodrama, in the manner of 1950s movies like Giant and other works based on literature. Hopkins is hammy as the patriarch but Aidan Quinn and particularly Brad Pitt as his sons at least look right.

- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010


- Jimmy O, Film Snobs, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Directed by: Edward Zwick. Starring: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aldan Quinn, Julia Ormond, Henry Thomas. This film frustrates me. The fact that it is this preachy melodrama wrapped up with some unnecessary cheese for the characters, but the fact that the film is also so gripping and thoughtful. I think the latter has made me a sucker. The story follows Colonel Ludlow, who's wife moved apart from him, was left to raise his three sons away from the government, due to the disrespect of Native Indians that he had come to love. The brothers are like glue, until a young woman named Susanna enters their lives. Its sounds like a classic love story from a could say that, seeing as it is based of a novel, but what is more gripping in the film is character. The screenplay has a sweeping epic feel, with some unnecessary cheese and plot points for characters that add a melodramatic feel to it all, but you can't help but me engrossed. Its a tale of brotherhood, betrayal, love and loss...and all the grief in between. The focus is more of Brad Pitt's character Tristan, who goes through the most changes throughout the film and its an interesting and sad journey through madness and sorrow. The acting is spectacular, as you would hope. Brad Pitt's performance is purely emotional and deep, ranging through his different levels with skill. Aidan Quinn is not someone I really look forward to in films but he surprised me with his gripping performance, much like Brad Pitt, his range is stunning. Anthony Hopkins falls into his melodramatic character a bit too much and although his strong presence and performance is great for the first half, his change in character halfway through is...hammy. Edward Zwicks direction is spectacular as always. Shared with some gorgeous cinematography along a brilliant and beautiful backdrop, his sweeping epic style gives the film more life. I can't finish without mentioning James Horner's score. The fact that the Academy overlooked a nomination is appalling, especially when 3 of 5 that year deserved a spot. So rich is delivery and layered nicely, it's worth watching film for that alone. Legends of the Fall is a frustrating, cheesy melodrama that works, thanks to some strong performances and an interesting character tale. A love/hate film that has won me over.

- SilentWarProductions2009, Thursday, January 3, 2008

2 stars

Didn't like this. Hated Brad Pitt's character. Hated Julia Ormond for loving Brad when she had Aidan Quinn right there. She throws herself at this useless pile of hair and blows off a man who is handsome, successful, loving and good to her. She deserved what she got.

- webalina, Monday, May 14, 2007

5 stars

"Legends of the Fall" is an epic set in the early 1900s about a close-knit family that randomly comes together and breaks apart. Tristan (Brad Pitt), Alfred (Aidan Quinn), and Samuel (Henry Thomas) have always been real close. One thing that all three brothers have in common is that they all go into war together and see how tough it is to experience such a struggle, even though their father, Colonel William Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins) doesn't like the idea. Another thing they have in common is that they all love Susannah (Julia Ormond). All of the characters in "Legends of the Fall" have their own separate personalities that can clash or come together at the drop of a hat. I could explain each of them, but that would give the movie away. Throughout the film, the different characters provide commentary about different events such as reading letters that are written, or telling personal thoughts. "Legends of the Fall" won the 1994 Oscar for best cinematography in a motion picture, and it's true, this film does have spectacular scenery and landscapes, but that's the least that "Legends of the Fall" has to offer. There are both good times and bad times in "Legends of the Fall." Overall, it's a fairly depressing movie, but that's just because it's a realistic film about how jealousy and bad times such as war ruled the world back in the early 1900's, and probably even more these days. As I mentioned earlier, all of the main cast put out their absolute best effort in "Legends of the Fall." As always, I was the utmost impressed by Anthony Hopkins's performance. Brad Pitt, who was the main star in this film, puts out what is his best effort ever, in my opinion. I can tell when a movie is one of my favorites of all time by how much I want to see it after I see it for the first time, and especially by how often I watch it after seeing it several times. "Legends of the Fall" is one of those movies that never has and never will get old to me. No matter what kind of movie you like, even if you're not crazy about epics or dramas, give "Legends of the Fall" a chance. It just might become one of your favorite motion picture legends. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. Indeed, Pitt's best, one of Hopkins's best, and one of my favorites.

- stormyweather980, Monday, September 14, 2009