James Crowley’s review published on Letterboxd:
Weak tea in a lot of ways, but then I've never been fond of Wayne as an actor or as a persona. This picture feels older than it is, and artificial as hell, from its casting right down to the red paint blood (which was closer to Pepto-Bismol pink in the VHS I grew up watching this on). I've seen a lot more movies since I first saw this, so I appreciate the winks and nods to the genre and old Hollywood in general a lot more.
Watched this as a follow-up to Unforgiven when my first choice, the Japanese remake, proved unavailable except as a dub. Regret not watching the two films in release order as Unforgiven is a much more direct response/rebuke to The Shootist than I remembered.
The whole phony setup and typically stilted lead performance are almost single-handedly redeemed by Bacall, who says more with her eyes than with all of the dialogue she has in the picture.