The movie properly belongs to the epic Western genre. The movie is set on probably the Western Slope of Colorado (Gunnison is mentioned) in 1882 (the year is seen on a new grave marker), and was filmed in Canada and the United States. It was directed by Kevin Costner.
Kevin Costner plays a former gunslinger who fought in the American Civil War — which side is never made clear — who feels guilt over his past as a killer.
The early part of the movie moves a bit slow, the camera caressing the magnificent scenery of the West. Costner and Duvall play free-range cattle men who with two partners land in a town controlled by a corrupt land baron who hates free-rangers. His henchmen kill one of the men, kill their dog, and nearly kill their other partner. The wounded man is taken to a doctor in town where Costner meets his "wife" (turns out to be his sister), and one can feel the emotions early on.
Costner and Duvall wreak revenge on the killers, being rather merciful for Westerns, killing none, and one can feel the final showdown coming.
When it come towards the end, guns blaze. Evil is re-paid; Costner rehabilitates himself somewhat, and there is a romance between Costner and Bening that many have found slightly forced.
In fairness, Bening has a stronger female role than is often seen in Westerns, and some find it refreshing to see a leading man get into a relationship with a woman who isn't young enough to be his daughter. The movie is decidedly of a "modern Western" feel, being very different from old Westerns in many regards, though there are no Native or African American roles. Reviews have been largely positive.