The Missouri Breaks (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Missouri Breaks1976

The Missouri Breaks (1976)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Missouri Breaks Photos

Movie Info

A rancher, a rustler, and a regulator face off in Arthur Penn's eccentric western. As a cover for their horse thievery, a gang of Montana rustlers, led by the laid-back Tom Logan (Jack Nicholson), buys a small farm adjacent to the ranch of their latest target/nemesis, Braxton (John McLiam). When the gang leaves Tom on the farm and heads to Canada for another score, Tom takes a shine both to farming and Braxton's rebellious, strong-willed daughter, Jane (Kathleen Lloyd). The slightly loco Braxton, however, hires the psychopathic regulator Lee Clayton (Marlon Brando) to root out the rustlers. With a series of unorthodox methods (and costumes), Clayton hunts down Logan and his gang one by one, even after Braxton fires him, but Logan isn't about to let Clayton (or Braxton) make him obsolete. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Watch it now


Marlon Brando
as Lee Clayton
Jack Nicholson
as Tom Logan
Randy Quaid
as Little Tod
Kathleen Lloyd
as Jane Braxton
John McLiam
as David Braxton
Sam Gilman
as Hank Rate
Steve Franken
as Lonesome Kid
Richard Bradford
as Pete Marker
James Greene
as Hellsgate Rancher
Luana Anders
as Rancher's Wife
Danny Goldman
as Baggage Clerk
Dan Ades
as John Quinn
View All

Critic Reviews for The Missouri Breaks

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6)

Thomas McGuane's brilliant script operates on a sort of sliding time scale, reaching back to the early pioneer days or forward to the present to illustrate the implications of this proposition.

March 17, 2020 | Full Review…

A Western-as-capitalist-critique piece shanghaied by Marlon Brando's eccentric bounty hunter trying on brogues, mumus, and buckskin Nudie suits.

November 12, 2008 | Full Review…

As a film achievement it's corned beef and ham hash.

June 24, 2008 | Full Review…

Slightly lacking in tension but with a striking performance from Marlon Brando

December 30, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This appealingly eccentric revisionist western highlights the critical importance of violence in establishing 'civilized' society in the American wilderness.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Enjoyable, if forgettable, New Hollywood shtick.

January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for The Missouri Breaks

Who would think that a movie with two of the greatest actors ever would be so horrible? I saw this one on TV, and it was so incredibly slow and boring, I couldn't watch the whole thing.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

This goes from being a very odd movie to a very good movie about half way in, which is actually why it's so interesting. Jack Nicholson really gives the better performance here, both his character and mannerisms are so natural and deeply thought out. Marlon Brando essentially went crazy for his role, which ends up being more scary than funny in the end. I really like the twist sense of mortality and the way murder is such a big part of the story. When the characters meet their fate, it's hardly glorious. It reminds me of what Clint Eastwood later played with in Unforgiven.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer


This is such a peculiar movie... it should have been great, considering the dynamic and powerful combination of actors under the direction of Arthur Penn. But it's a distant, sometimes tedious picture that I only enjoyed for the colorful, creative performances from Brando and Nicholson. As a huge fan of both actors, I liked watching the movie. I would assume that most viewers would not.

Mike T.
Mike T.

Super Reviewer

The Missouri Breaks Quotes

News & Features