I recently sang the Affleck brothers' praises for their work in Gone Baby Gone. Casey Affleck was a revelation in big brother Ben's directorial debut, and I was gratified to see that he delivered the same high-caliber acting in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It's no simple feat outshining a star like Brad Pitt, but Casey succeeds with the kind of quiet, unassuming confidence that's more Damon than Affleck, showing why he received and deserved that Best Supporting Actor nomination. He depicts Robert Ford as an impressionable and unstable young man, whose hero worship of legendary bandit Jesse James (played by Mr. Pitt) becomes a twisted fixation that eventually leads him to kill his idol. Affleck's Ford is a bit creepy and seems to be perpetually teetering precariously on the brink of psychosis, but he also manages to be strangely sympathetic because of his vulnerability and fragile psyche. An underappreciated turn by underappreciated Sam Rockwell as Ford's older brother also contributes to the few strengths of this dreary, overly long movie. The plodding pace is hardly compensated for by the breath-taking cinematography, and the barely coherent plot is made murkier by dialogue mumbled in muddled accents. The Assassination of Jesse James reminded me why I'm not a fan of Westerns in general, and quite frankly, my only motivation for watching is seeing cute actors dressed up as cowboys.