Dead Man is Jim Jarmusch's 1995 Western film that tells the story of William Blake (Johnny Depp), an accountant who goes on the run after murdering a man. Eventually, Blake finds a companion in Nobody, a Native American man who serves as a spiritual mentor. Depp stars alongside Gary Farmer, who stars as the aforementioned Nobody, as well as John Hurt, who portrays John Scholfield, a business manager and Billy Bob Thorton, who portrays as Big George Drakoulious, a mountain man. Dead Man is often hailed as being an exceptionally rich film, both in terms of its immensely deep and interesting cultural allusions and well-made and ingenious soundtrack by Neil Young, as well as its complex themes.
Shot entirely in black-and-white, Dead Man is a rare film. Much of the films dialogue was taken from poems, especially the poems of William Blake. The film is also considered Jarmusch's most conventional film in terms of how its story was told. Thus, it is a departure from the normal Jim Jarmusch film. By all accounts Dead Man is an tremendously innovative film.
Upon release, Dead Man was met with mixed, learning positive reviews. Its portrayal of Native Americans was met with tremendous acclaim, with many people calling it well-researched. Speaking negatively of the film, acclaimed critic Roger Ebert says "Jim Jarmusch is trying to get at something here, and I don't have a clue what it is." Speaking positively of the film, film critic A.O. Scott says " [Dead Man is] One of the very best movies of the 1990s." Currently, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a critic score of 71% and an audience score of a more respectable 88%. Often hailed as a new type of Western, the film is now considered a cult hit and has since been given a spiritual sequel in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.