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At Theaters: 2/21/2003 On Video: 7/15/2003
Rated: PG-13 Length: 3 hr. 30 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 399958
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
A sweeping epic charting the early years of the Civil War and how the campaigns unfolded from Manassas I to the Battle of Fredericksburg, this prequel to the film Gettysburg explores the motivations of the combatants and examines the lives of those who waited at home.

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DETAILED STORYLINE
.
Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Action Drama War - An often slow, talky movie with several scenes of intense battle. There are moments when it's very sad, as all war movies are. It's also a very powerful story with many touching moments that will put a lump in your throat.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Jeff Daniels BLOOD WORK, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, TRIAL AND ERROR
Robert Duvall JOHN Q, THE 6TH DAY, GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS
Stephen Lang FIRE DOWN UNDER
Director: Ron Maxwell LITTLE DARLINGS
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Production Notes Heading
Introduction
About The Production
About The Production (Continued)
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Just 9 very mild profanities.
SEX/NUDITY: None
VIOLENCE: Many intense battles. Somewhat bloody and graphic.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Minor social drinking.
ACTION: The only action was the many battles.
COMEDY: Some mild humor in a few scenes to break the tension.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Below Average

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

(Close new window when finished with Full Reviews)

Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Poor "Gods and Generals is a trial to sit through: stiff, ponderous, fluttering in its ''poetry,'' and crudely simplistic as an apologia for the Confederate ideology. As history, Gods and Generals is a whitewash, literally... It would be nice to say that the battles are powerful, but instead they are draped in Civil War-buff ''authenticity'' without so much as a drop of carnage. Except for Lang, that's the movie: bloodless and false.''

James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Average "Sadly, the movie falls far short of expectations. So far short, in fact, that I can recommend this motion picture only to two kinds of individuals: die-hard Civil War buffs and insomniacs. If ever there was a movie that could cause even the most restless sleeper to fall into a deep slumber, this is it. Gods and Generals isn't just disappointing; it's awkward, poorly constructed, and boring.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Below Average "Gods and Generals is the kind of movie beloved by people who never go to the movies, because they are primarily interested in something else--the Civil War, for example--and think historical accuracy is a virtue instead of an attribute. The film plays like a special issue of American Heritage.''

USA TODAY  Full Review
Below Average "Generals opens promisingly with a lovely credits sequence involving flags, followed by a crisp scene in which Gen. Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall) turns down command of the Union Army. After that, it turns into a this-happened-then-this-happened recitation. Bad actors or normally competent ones (Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang) serve up stilted deliveries of stilted dialogue in a near-flashback to the filmstrips we used to see in school.''

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 235 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M)
25
Very High
96%
13-19Teens (F)
14
Very High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
29
High
97%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
7
About 50/50
86%
30+Adults (M)
91
High
97%
30+Adults (F)
69
High
97%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

Opinions will be collected opening weekend and will usually be worked up and online by Monday or Tuesday following a Friday opening. We are sometimes able to put on a Saturday Morning Update, so if you get a chance to check the site Saturday you may be able to see how the opinions came in Friday night. Go to Movies at Theaters and check the "What's Worth Watching" section.

Cinema Review Prediction: (before moviegoer opinions are collected)
I believe the critics are way off on this one. I never found this movie to be boring as several of them said it was. Sure, it's a little slow, but you pretty well figure it's got to be a little slow in places to be nearly four hours long. Now I like Civil War movies, so my opinion may be a little biased, but I believe this movie will only attract those that like Civil War movies. Who else is going to sit for four hours watching a Civil War movie? I predict the opinions will come in very high with very few low opinions. And I bet any low opinions will come from someone who isn't a fan of this type of movie who's seeing it with someone who is a fan. I highly recommend Gods and Generals! (Note: There is a 10 minute intermission about two hours into the movie which certainly helps.)

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D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Gods and Generals, the screen adaptation of Jeff Shaara's heralded best-selling novel and prequel to the acclaimed drama Gettysburg, is an epic and sweeping portrayal of a nation divided at the start of the Civil War.  Beginning in early l861 and continuing through l863, just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, the film illuminates heroes from both sides of the war, such as Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (JEFF DANIELS), a professor at Maine's Bowdoin College who gave up a promising academic career to enlist in the Union army, then went on to become one of the North's finest military leaders; Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee (ROBERT DUVALL), a distinguished 25-year veteran of the United States Army and native Virginian, forced to choose between allegiance to his country and loyalty to his home; and Thomas "Stonewall” Jackson (STEPHEN LANG), a devoutly religious man whose faith and courage made him an outstanding soldier and Lee's most trusted lieutenant.  

The tremendous suffering and bravery of the Civil War was not confined to the battlefields.  Gods and Generals vividly brings to life not only the Civil War's legendary leaders, but also the legions of anonymous soldiers and citizens who fought passionately and courageously for their vision of freedom and unity, in a war in which more Americans lost their lives than in any other conflict in the nation's history.   The film tells the story of the wives and families who were forced to assume responsibility at home, often in cities under direct attack from the opposition.  Chamberlain's wife Fanny (MIRA SORVINO), Jackson's wife Anna (KALI ROCHA), and Jane Beale (MIA DILLON), whose family was caught in the Battle of Fredericksburg, reflect the spirit, courage and anxiety of those who were left behind.

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