The Searchers ★★★★★

This viewing was a revelation. I've seen The Searchers about five times before, but finally I could appreciate it on more than an academic level. Finally, Ethan Edwards' quest makes emotional sense to me, and that allows me to truly recognize just how beautifully layered and complex a film this is on every level. Ford's inquisitiveness into his past sins as storyteller grafts into the film an urgency that becomes impossible to escape for those familiar with his work. Rare is the genre film that so determinedly confounds audience expectations of morality and character.