and some of the performances, especially Bale, got praise. Three criticisms that most firmly insist on are:
1) The portrayal of the Indians is very thin. Lots of people criticized that point and pointed out that it's not about them at all, it's just about the white guy's redemption.
2) Even beyond that issue, it really does not progress beyond the 1950s movies in its handling of racism and white/Indian conflict, and people who think that it does don't know what they're talking about.
3) I think that the real credit for the praise the cinematography got just belongs to the scenery. Even if you get to see some great locations here they are not used as well as they are in most classic Westerns.
If people like the acting, script, and the quiet dreary tone of the non-action scenes, that's their business. I disagree but whatever. But those first two points seem inarguable to me, and I have a hard time buying disagreement with the third one.
I guess this is what I'd have guess a positive review of it would be like: