And his acting ability.
I'm watching Open Range now (which is beginning to be one of my favorite movies), and he's pretty much got the realism of western gunfights and realities of life down.
I enjoy some of his other movies that got panned, but when he has something to do with production- he does his homework.
Also- Annette Bening is still comely in a natural un-enhanced, non-Hollywood way.
Of course she's probably a flaming Liberal...