Arguably the best western since “Unforgiven” (but why argue?), writer-director Andrew Dominik’s hypnotic tone poem chronicles the last days of train-robbing outlaw Jesse James (Brad Pitt) as seen through the eyes of a member of his gang, the seemingly loyal yet seethingly jealous Robert Ford (Casey Affleck). Set to a haunting score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” is a fascinating portrait of moral corruption and mortality, featuring a terrific performance by Pitt, who plays James as both a melancholy figure and grinning devil, slowly but surely becoming the ghost of his own ghost story — though it’s Affleck who really hits it out of the park as his friend and slayer, a man who finds that fame and notoriety bears a heavy price on one’s soul. The Wild West comes to startling life courtesy of Roger Deakins’ gorgeous cinematography, with hearty acting support provided by Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Paul Schneider and Sam Shepard. – IFC Staff