Ultimately Hitchcockian, in that the audience's identification with central characters shifts drastically a few times over the course of the narrative. Similar to Hitchcock's own penultimate Frenzy in its anger at a society devouring itself. Where Hitchcock had a bone to pick with patriarchy and fear of sexuality, Soderbergh tackles the effects of consumerism and corporatism on everyday life. Particularly damning is the film's reduction of the American legal system to a series of mergers and acquisitions. Soderbergh stays thematically…
A director clearly at play; you can tell Eastwood just had a blast making this. Structurally reckless and tonally spontaneous, with some of the most lively mise en scène of his entire career. There were more than a few jaw-dropping shots which made me think, "This is Eastwood?!" He's beyond taking risks at this point, making films on no one's terms but his own. I can't help but think of what Rossellini said about Chaplin's A King in New York: "This is the film of a free man."
An aging gunslinger western in the guise of a police procedural. The passing of time and the changing of the guard (so to speak) are enacted by way of the central romance. Terry and Graciella court in the light of the setting sun, and visions of death (both inflicted and impending) bind them together through the night. The film is less ambivalent toward violence than, say, Unforgiven, but it's telling of Eastwood's concerns that the enactment of justice is passed from the hands of an old white man with a gun to a younger unarmed Latina.