If I had to describe the great state of Texas in one word, it would be big. When I think about Texas, a couple of things always come to mind: barbecue, Dallas Cowboys, oil, and George Bush. That said, so much of our charm and character comes from the little things, including our small towns.

Our state definitely holds a lot of interesting culture and beautiful history that I am truly proud of. If someone were to ask me what would best describe the state as a whole, I wouldn’t have an answer, but I would have a perfect movie to get a sense of the vibe.



It turns out I'm not alone in my pick of a pic. The Houston Chronicle featured it on their list of movies you need to see to understand Texas.

I'm talkin' about the 1996 neo-Western mystery Lone Star starring Chris Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, Kris Kristofferson, and Elizabeth Pena.

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Even though this was a rated R movie, I remember watching it as a young child. Even back then, I knew the movie was special. (It was even nominated for a Best Writing Oscar.)

Lone Star is about the Texas border town of Frontera. Sheriff Sam Deeds, played by Chris Cooper, begins digging up the past of this small town after the bones of a former corrupt sheriff are found near a local military base.

To complicate matters, the former sheriff had vanished in the late 50s with thousands in stolen money, after which Sheriff Deed's father, Buddy (wonderfully played by Matthew McConaughey), became sheriff and a beloved figure in the town.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Deeds also rekindles an old romance with a local school teacher, all while the town's secrets start to slowly reveal themselves.

I don't want to give too much away, but the cinematography, performances, and dialogue all combine to capture the unique feeling of living in a small, Texas town where everyone knows each other, yet there's always more going on beneath the surface.



If you've never seen Lone Star, or it's just been a long time, I definitely recommend watching it soon. The plot is fantastic, the characters are phenomenal, and the movie was actually filmed here in Texas. I don’t know many Texans that have not seen the movie, but if you haven’t, I suspect you may not be from around these parts. It's definitely essential to the Texas experience.

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