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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.
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.
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.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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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
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.''
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
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.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
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.)
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.
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.