The Wild Bunch
1969
*****
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Cast: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sánchez, Ben Johnson

Sam Peckinpah’s finest work is a melancholic Western about a group of aging outlaws who want to retire in style, but discover that time has caught up with them. Their quiet self-discovery is poignant and their final, violent showdown in Mexico is part of cinema history. The film is famous for its graphic violence, but that’s because Peckinpah’s shooting and editing rewrote the grammar of film. Excellent performances all around.