The Sunset Limited (film)

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The Sunset Limited
The Sunset Limited.jpg
Based onThe Sunset Limited
by Cormac McCarthy
Screenplay byCormac McCarthy
Directed byTommy Lee Jones
StarringTommy Lee Jones
Samuel L. Jackson
Theme music composerMarco Beltrami
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Barbara A. Hall
CinematographyPaul Elliott
Editor(s)Roberto Silvi
Larry Madaras
Running time91 minutes
Production company(s)HBO Films
Original networkHBO
Original release
  • February 12, 2011 (2011-02-12)

The Sunset Limited is a 2011 American television film directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones. The film co-stars Samuel L. Jackson. It was the duo's second collaboration, after the 2000 film Rules of Engagement. The screenplay was written by Cormac McCarthy, based on his 2006 play of the same name.

The film received mainly positively reviews, mainly for the performances of Lee and Jackson, Lee's direction and screenplay


Black and White converse about White's attempted suicide. White feels as though everything ends up in death, and that his life is minuscule in the throes of time.

From White's point of view, no matter how great someone or something is, all that is created eventually fades away. This is the opposite of what Black believes. He believes that there is a God and that we all must go through the troubles of life to get to paradise (Heaven). By his own account, his story is that of a man who has committed murder and was far away from God, but has now changed.

Black feels that he can dissuade White from committing suicide. With Black stopping White right before he was about to kill himself, Black feels that this is destiny. In the end, Black is not able to dissuade White from suicide; he lets him leave the apartment. When White leaves, Black is left pondering why God would put him in a position to save this man's life knowing that there is nothing that he can do to stop White from going through with the suicide.



The film received generally favorable reviews. The film holds a 67-out-of-100 score on review aggregation website Metacritic, based on 15 reviews. Among those who praised the film are Verne Gay of Newsday, who called it "grim, but a chance to see two magnificent actors at the peak of their powers."[1] It currently holds no rating on Rotten Tomatoes with no score and only 1 positive review listed.[2] Mike Scott of The Times-Picayune, who called the film "A thinking man's drama that rolls deep, heavy thoughts around and around, trying to puzzle out where the truth lies. Or, indeed, if what we see as the truth is just that: a lie."[3]


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