Before I get into my review of the Deadwood movie, I have a confession to make: I like how the show ended. In fact, it is perfect. Deadwood is a show about carving a society out of the wilderness but at the same time attempting to stave off civilization. Robert E. Howard was wrong: civilization always wins. The show ends perfectly because it ends when free Deadwood ends. Time marches on, but the thing about the town that made it such a fascinating subject for a show no longer exists.
My thoughts are also colored by my view of season 3 more broadly. Deadwood started with the brilliance and heat of a raging wildfire. By season 3 it only smoldered. Elements outwore their welcome for me. The respective storylines for Calamity Jane, Cy Tolliver, and Steve the Drunk each consisted almost shouting epithets.
So how does the movie measure up? It does finally give Calamity Jane, criminal underused by the show, something to do. People die. A large chunk of the movie is extraordinarily tense storytelling. Its suffers, though, from the usual problems of reunion shows and it undercuts the show ending, all while providing no real closure.