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The Independent Critic

Sarah Drew, Lucas Black, Olivia Sanabia, Tom Proctor, Eric Stanton Betts, Jeff Fahey
Aaron Burns
Aaron Burns, Justin Strawhand
Rated PG-13

 Movie Review: Birthright Outlaw  
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I suppose it should be stated up front that if you're expecting Birthright Outlaw to be a Western in the Clint Eastwood or even John Wayne tradition, you're probably going to be a wee bit surprised. Birthright Outlaw combines everything you've come to know and love about Great American Pure Flix into the Western genre. The end result is a grittier than you might expect, Birthright Outlaw is rated PG-13, faith-based Western with a strong scriptural foundation and also a rather adventurous story. 

Birthright Outlaw centers around the Jacobs family. Rev. Jeremiah Jacobs (Lucas Black, Legacy Peak, NCIS: New Orleans) is a scripture quoting man maintaining the family homestead in secluded Last Chance, Arizona. He lives there with wife Martha (Sarah Drew, Moms' Night Out, Grey's Anatomy) and daughter Hope (Olivia Sanabia, Just Add Magic). All is seemingly well until members of the House Gang show up raising some trouble and eventually kidnapping Hope. The story that follows involves a secret past revealed, loyalties tested, and hope (and Hope!) in peril. 

Birthright Outlaw is a narratively ambitious film that is definitely appropriately rated at PG-13. This is one to watch without the youngest kiddoes in the room, though I'll also note there's nothing particularly graphic experienced and the primary reason for the rating involves violence and threats of violence.

This is a Western, after all.

Birthright Outlaw benefits from its strong ensemble cast. Lucas Black is ideally suited to the role of Rev. Jacobs and captures both the strong familial commitment and the moral quandary that unfolds as truths are revealed. The always wonderful Sarah Drew is similarly impressive as Martha, a loving yet complex woman whose story is brought vividly to life thanks to Drew's wonderfully nuanced work here. Olivia Sanabia, in addition to turning in a fine performance, also contributes a wonderful tune to the film. While Birthright Outlaw largely centers around the Jacobs family, it should be noted that Hollywood veteran Jeff Fahey shines as William "King of Hearts" Bridges, Tom Proctor is terrific as Sheriff Beauchamp, Eric Stanton Betts shines as The Diamond Kid, and fans of the television series Northern Exposure will be delighted with Janine Turner's turn as Bonnie Beauchamp. 

I was quite taken by Mario Grigorov's original music along with Ryan Spacone's lensing for the Arizona-based film. 

Birthright Outlaw is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant Western debuting on Great American Pure Flix on October 13, 2023. This AFFIRM Original film isn't quite one for the entire family, however, for those seeking a bit more of a mature theme that manages to maintain everything we love about the faith-based cinema on Great American Pure Flix this is a definite film to watch.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic