“The Marksman” is an action-adventure film set in Naco, Arizona.
Rancher Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) uses a long-range rifle to kill a coyote that killed one of his cows. He spots a wounded man in the brush and gets him medical attention.
A bank officer arrives and tells him that the bank is going to foreclose and sell the ranch.
“I’m no deadbeat, I just need a little more time to sort things out,” he says.
It turns out that his late wife’s medical bills wiped him out.
At the local bar, he meets his stepdaughter and Border Patrol agent, Sarah (Katheryn Winnick), who thanks him for getting the man in the brush medical attention. “He walked all the way from Honduras, spent his life savings on a Coyote that left him in the middle of nowhere, all for naught,” she says.
“It’s a cruel world,” Jim replies.
Sarah worries about Jim who is on the front line at the border as the cartels are smuggling people across the border.
“I’m trying to figure out how you work your whole life, serve your country and then end up without a pot to pee in. I lost my home, my livelihood and the only person who made life living worthwhile,” Jim says.
When a migrant mother and young son, Miguel (Jacob Perez) crosses through a pre-cut hole in the fence at the border onto Jim’s property, the mother cuts her leg badly. Jim calls Border Patrol. An SUV pulls up on the other side of the border. Three man get out and demand that the woman and her son come with them. Jim stands up for them.
“You are Border Patrol?” The Coyote chief asks.
“I am a soldier, too. My orders are to take them back with me.”
“You’re no soldier. And I don’t scare easy. My advice is to turn around and adios.”
The Coyotes open fire with a machine gun. Jim fires back with his rifle and kills the chief’s brother. The chief gets on Jim’s truck and tries to overpower him. Jim throws him off the truck, but the mother is mortally wounded.
At the border station, Jim sees the chief and his crew, waiting and watching for the boy. Jim is told that the boy is going to be deported with a relative waiting for him on the Mexico side. Jim sneaks the boy out of custody. The Coyotes cross the border using overtly phony passports.
Jim winds up taking care of Miguel. He packs a bag and is prepared to drive Miguel to relatives in Chicago. He tries to buy a map at a gas station and the attendant finds one and gives it to him for free.
“It’s probably outdated. Most people just use their phone.”
Jim and Miguel bond as they progress to Chicago.
The ruthless Coyotes are in hot pursuit of Jim. One tracks his credit card purchases from his home. The others burn down his house and steal his medal. After they check the gas station camera footage, they kill the attendant.
The film is tense and violent, with a few interesting twists and Neeson gives another passionate performance.