A Perfect World ★★★★★

hell no, phillip. good size for a boy your age

most of the runtime consists of intercutting costner teaching a jehova's witness youth about outlaw moralism with clint the texas ranger fighting off the governer's criminologist (laura dern) and the fbi's sharpshooter (bradley whitford), who were assigned to assist his highway manhunt, which is... perfect. eastwood is a master of balancing the melodramatic and the procedural, which makes the clash of the two at the climax that much more painful. whitford looking down the scope, followed by a series of reaction shots that seem to punctuate the dramatic thread of each character. buzz asks butch "are you bad?", and this ironic question has as much weight as henry fonda's "by jing, that's all there is to it. right and wrong" in young mr. lincoln. myth-making in the gray area.

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