* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: The film strongly implies that Jesse James realized that the Ford boys were about to kill him and willingly went to his death, apparently out of simple weariness.
* AwardSnub: While the film made a number of critical top ten lists, it was nominated only for Best Supporting Actor and Cinematography, winning neither. Special mention must go to Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' beautiful score which didn't make the list of nominees.
* CriticalDissonance: The film earned positive reviews and made quite a few top ten lists for the year (topping several), but it flopped at the box office and make back half of its thirty million budget.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: The entire soundtrack, written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, who also supplied the sountrack to ''TheProposition''.
** ''Particularly'' during [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfv_7mO0M1M the titular death scene]].
* EndingFatigue: The title event occurs about two hours into the film, but the film continues for more than a half hour, tracing the Ford brothers' lives for years after the event. Some viewers felt that the film should have wrapped up quickly after the murder, apparently failing to realize that Robert Ford is just as much a main character as Jesse James. A rumored director's cut that has yet to see the light of day supposedly continues for a full two hours after the murder.
* ItWasHisSled: Jesse James is going to be assassinated. By Robert Ford. It's left to the viewer to figure if Ford was a coward for what he done.
* JerkassWoobie: Both Jesse James and Robert Ford. Jesse is a murderous bully and Ford is a sniveling snake-in-the-grass, yet both are so beat up by their problems that you can't help but feel for them.
* MemeticMutation: The end shootout between Jesse and Robert was parodied in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6w0r-ScEG4 the "Booboo kills Yogi" video]]
** The titular death scene.
** Jesse breaking down and crying after completely snapping and beating on a child.
** The final narration describing Bob's fate.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The role of Robert Ford was down to a choice between Casey Affleck and Shia Lebouf. The executives chose Casey because they thought Shia was too young.
* TheWoobie: Bob.