This is a perfect portrayal of the lynch mob mentality and is a powerful film.
Images Journal includes it on their list of 30 greatest Westerns. Western Fiction Review says it "perfectly captured the bleak and psychological elements of the story." DVD Talk describes it as an "austere and uncompromising story of a pitiless lynch mob". The Western Review says it "is scarcely less than a perfect picture" and concludes with this:
The Ox-Bow Incident was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1998; it remains a true milestone of the Western’s first half-century, and one of Henry Fonda’s finest films.