This prequel to Gettysburg examines the early days of the conflict through the experiences of three men. Characters quote poetry from memory and sometimes speak in almost biblical cadences, in the same way that Lincoln's speeches were deeply influenced by the language of the King James Bible. On the other hand were reviews from Roger Ebert and others critics who I respected that said it wasn't very good. For those who enjoyed the even-longer, but better "Gettysburg" this is must-viewing. Simply put, the movie was poor at best in all aspects of production. Yes slavery was a cause, but not THE cause. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes lists an 8% approval rating while Metacritic lists a score of 30, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Lee himself said "I believe that seccesion is unconstitutional and I believe that slavery is an immoral and political evil in any society". Don't have an account? All rights reserved. Indeed, Gods and Generals does a fine job proving him right. The film plays like a special issue of American Heritage. Despite an apparent attention to historical accuracies including battle recreations from hundreds of professional Civil War reenactors, the film falls far short from achieving a feeling of historical authenticity. Gods and Generals - A prequel to the movie Gettysburg, "Gods and Generals" is a 3-hour historic drama about the early years of the Civil War, ending in 1863 with the Battle of Chancellorsville, where Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by his own soldiers. With Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy. I am fairly confident that the majority of Americans will not like nor support this film due to its overall pro-southern emphasis. He was a decidedly unpretty man, but the depiction here is of a man who might model men's work clothes in an LL Bean catalog. It may be an effort to contrast Jackson's of his grief for the death of the little girl with his apparent enthusiasm for setting thousands of young men to kill each other, but if so, the scene with the girl and the family are far too long to make that point. Those who have no idea, or interest, as to who this man was should probably stick to such heavyweight box-office competition such as "Agent Cody Banks," "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," or "Daredevil" instead. A stiff and stilted historical pageant that somehow manages to make the savage tumult of thousands pitched against thousands seem not so much dreadul as dreadfully dull. Personally, I was once again impressed—as I was with Gettysburg— that war is ugly on and off the battlefield. The film "Gods and Generals" is essentially a biographical film about General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson of the CSA. Imagine watching half of Band of Brothers in one sitting, but with the story moving at a much slower pace. Directed by Ron Maxwell. It simply requires talent, a quality abundantly deficient in Gods and General. Because God is on their side, the kind, virtuous, heroic, men of the southern army prevail in several combat engagements against the godless, sex-crazed, murderous barbarians of the north. Why does American cinema keep failing to produce decent historical drama (John Adams excepted)? The portrait of Jackson is accurate from the big issues (his profound religious faith) down to the trivial (his fondness for lemonade). By Phil Boatwright, posted February 19, 2003 in . The rise and fall of confederate general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, as he meets with military success against the Union from 1861 to 1863, when he is accidentally killed by his own soldiers. 18 years ago. And...intentionally or not...conveys the impression that the film uncritically celebrates the Confederacy. For all the effort, not half the film which Gettysburg was. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. the guess here is that when the last full measure, the final film of the trilogy, comes out this group will score a ten regardless how poorly done simply because it will reflect northern rather than southern victories. Gods and Generals was released in 2003 and has generally received mixed reviews. The weird thing about the movie is that it drifted back-and-forth between sides allowing us to see the `realness' of the characters but halfway thru the Jeff Daniels' character started becoming God-fearing as well. A pause button will be helpful to stop the DVD and discuss some of the points with the kids is a good tactic to us. "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. I was surprised that they messed up this film so bad and there's still talk of another film. Although Duvall resembles R.E. Gods and Generals is the second installment of the Michael/Jeff Shaara Civil War trilogy and the second to be filmed. I think it should be read in order because each story leads up to t …more cinematography is incredible, and the scope of the film is extraordinarily ambitious. The movie suggests that he rode with his hand raised only to stem the bleeding from a wound. Not very much blood. Ronald Maxwell, who wrote the screenplay, also directs in the same tune of exceptional inability. When you watch the film, try and keep that in mind and don't listen to these doorknobs who claim that everybody in the northern states were all righteous and pure and wanted to liberate the black slaves in the south and that all southerners were racist traitors, dry that out and you could fertilize Central Park in New York. However, this did not stop them from efficiently making war on their enemies. The period detail is impressive and clearly most effort went into its creation, and the actors make what they can of it, but it is far too long, not enough action and sickly sentimental. Characters both Northern and Southern are portrayed even-handedly, and the historical and social aspects of the film are authentic. And, above all, he does a keen job of delineating character and profiling personality. Its not that I can't watch a long movie as all three Lord of the Rings were pretty good. External Reviews This is just a Ted Turner vanity project that should have been made for TV. It seems to have escaped them that the Civil War was fought in Victorian times, and that the Victorians were extremely pious and sentimental, not to mention hypocritical. Gods and Generals was hands down one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Billy Crystal once said, "We know where we would be without the critics, but where would they be without us?" See it, and decide for yourself about this film. Jackson would be better represented by giving some idea of why he is considered a great soldier (the Valley campaign) rather than being shown as primarily a sentimental, but simultaneously bloodthirsty, religious crackpot ("hoist the black flag... kill everyone..."). Two criticisms of the movie have been made repeatedly: (1) it's "too long"; and (2) it doesn't accurately portray the horrors of war. Movie Review: Gods and Generals By William B. Feis. The battle scenes were probably the most realistic ever portrayed of the civil war and over-whelmingly long. And Gen. Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall) who led the Confederate army, was a man who was forced to choose between his loyalty to the United States and his love of the Southern states where he was born and raised. Lots of dead bodies. Then there is 'Gods and Generals,' cut from the same production cloth as 'Gettysburg' but a film of very loose ends. Even Jackson says that slavery should be abandoned. "Gods and Generals" is a movie of great integrity and power -- one made by adults for adults. As a result, an otherwise talented ensemble actors portray an otherwise fascinating collection of historical figures, in a fashion lacking of anything remotely resembling a human personality. And the moving scene with human emotions between Jackson and the little Corbin girl brings the human touch to the character. Doctors in tents cut's soldiers legs off, and do surgical work. `Gods and Generals' may be a more `realistic' war film than `Gone With the Wind' (what wouldn't be? With Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy. FeDe's Review of Gods and Generals. ''Gods and Generals,'' a lumpy three-and-a-half-hour glob of Civil War history, occupies a narrow but self-important cinematic genre that might be called American History Pageant. If the movie was only this, it would have been a much better movie. His religious zealotry is offered only as a deep and beautiful faith. And, IMHO, the General Lee in Gettysburg is a much more real character than the one in G&G (who, however, gets little screen time). This review is based on the movie and the quality of the movie not the historical accuracy or inaccuracy. "Gods and Generals" is well-made, old-fashioned film that gives an absorbing view of the U.S. Civil War and one of its leading figures. User Ratings Revisionist hooey! If you knew absolutely nothing about the American Civil War you might come away from Gods and Generals believing something like this: A sociopath named Lincoln decides one day in 1861 to raise an army to invade the south because he just feels like doing that. Gods and Generals is the worst movie of 2003 and one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The rise and fall of confederate general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, as he meets with military success against the Union from 1861 to 1863, when he is accidentally killed by his own soldiers. Review: Gods and Generals. But this film makes him an angel such as he never really was. The big battles impress, but become somewhat samey. Gods and Generals is an over the top movie about historical characters who, for the past near 150 years have been portrayed in every media form as larger than life and nearly God-like. The critics I've read seem to object to the piety, the length, and lack of political correctness. Stay far away from the three hour-plus Gods and Generals--unless, of course, you need a good nap. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! In the end, this film is defiantly worth skipping and its my worst film of 2003. I've seen Gods and Generals twice, and I've enjoyed it both times. Directed by Ron Maxwell. It may be just as well. This movie seemed to lean a lot towards the South and portraying them as `real' people who cared about God's plans and weren't just slave traders, and the North as upper-echelon educated men portrayed mostly by Jeff Daniels' character. I don't recall seeing one fit, young man among the foot soldiers. This movie deserved to fail, and, though I am in some ways sorry that "Last Full Measure" will therefore not be produced, I am apprehensive what these filmmakers would have done with it. "Gods and Generals" is a horrible disservice to people trying to understand American history, and to the millions of real people who suffered pain, death, heartache, etc. You will watch a series of battle re-enactments and wait for a film to break out. When you see this you have to understand that this country, both northern and southern states, was very different. This movie was like a few movies in one. The acting, writing, cinematography are all of top quality. This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I grant, a clever and courageous General, he deserves all our proper honor. For one, all the foot soldiers are old men who are so obviously re-enacters that the action scenes have no weight. The direction is bad as Ronald F. Maxwell did a much better job with Gettysburg. (Many believe the Civil War might have gone differently had Jackson survived.) REVIEW: Gods & Generals. All I should have to tell you about this film is that Ted Turner plays George Patton's grandfather. It was extremely bold for Ted Turner pictures to present this 4-hour long movie in the theatres but it probably would have been a better movie at 2 ½ hours. And Yep. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer, Succumbs to turgidity. It amazes me that the people who made this film could not see what a mind-numbing, boring turkey they had produced. Since I started to research and become passionate about the histoeical topic of the American Civil War, I have loved Gods and Generals. There is a certain flow and sprightliness to Jeff Shaara’s prose. Overall, cinema-goers prefer the movie, giving it an average score of 73%, compared to film critics, who gave it a lower average score of 45%. On the second score -- no one will ever walk away from this film eager to see war in real life. )....and his slaves lying to Northern soldiers to keep their property from being looted....Was is really a war between with greedy North...and the Christian, righteous, glorious South?? Swapping politics for crass platitudes, Gods and Generals is a monumental folly. First, it was a majorly complex civil war battle recreation, next, it was portrayals of famous civil wars generals in a very broad way, and lastly a very specific interpretation of Stonewall Jackson of the Confederates. | Everybody is so good and decent that it's hard to tell where the generals leave off and the gods start. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. Also other long films have been quite enjoyable. Jeff Daniels and others give their side in eloquent dialogue for their feelings on the conflict. Gods and Generals is the prequel to “The Killer Angels,” the novel on which the movie Gettysburg was based. Wonderful classic 9/10 stars. Full of windy speeches about honor, god, fealty, and so on, the movie comes to a literal standstill whenever one of these noble addresses is about to be delivered. Now he has taken his megalomania to new depths with "Gods and Generals"--- a thoroughly misleading and trite piece of revisionist crap. I think the biggest mistake that people make when watching something like this is that they are thinking with 21st century minds. Yep. It is a beautiful film to look at, with great feeling for the often-wild landscape of the era; in this respect, it gains immeasurably from being seen on a full-scale theatrical screen. and the Terms and Policies, Jackson and others may have been convinced that God was on their side, but how exactly did they square that with support for a system that had already been abolished in the British Empire? I liked Gettysburg and the novel "Gods and Generals" better. This is a film as remote and unyielding as an untouched textbook. The movie caught this perfectly, with Jackson's assumption that God's will is his will -- the scene before the battle on Sunday, the contrast between his sentimental love of children and his 'Kill them all' about his enemies, the constant references to Bible verses ripped out of context. | Lots of battle. during our Civil War. 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