Eastwood had a chance to do something a little different with this film. The introduction makes it look like a western take on the Civil War, but Eastwood is too married to his roots to commit, and slowly but surely more and more western elements find their way back into the film.
Josey Wales lives a quiet life, until a gang of guerrilla fighters murders his family and leaves him for death. Josey joins a rebel gang, hoping to get his revenge that way. At the end of the war the rebels are granted amnesty, but it's a setup that kills all of Josey's friends. Again, he is dying to revenge the fallen ones.
Not that I'm a big fan of the Civil War setting, but it sure beats western villages and Indian tribes. Eastwood plays the character he always plays, and it works quite well during the first half of the film, but as it pivots more and more to straightforward western territory, I started to lose interest. Certainly not the worst western I've seen, but this could've been a lot better.