There is a certain flow and sprightliness to Jeff Shaara’s prose. On one hand there were enthusiastic reviews by Civil War buffs and some columnists. Even more upsetting is how the film manages turn some of the most gripping battles in US history, into a series of confusing anti-climatic debacles. `Gods and Generals' may be a more `realistic' war film than `Gone With the Wind' (what wouldn't be? In one memorable scene, Col. Chamberlain [Jeff Daniels] sleeps on the nighttime battlefield using his fellow soldiers' corpses as bedding; come daylight, he uses those same corpses to absorb flying enemy bullets once the battle resumes anew. Yep. Gods and Generals for PC game reviews & Metacritic score: The action and drama of the American Civil War comes to life in this new game from the creators of "Gods & Generals… Regarding the length of the movie, all I can say is that I wasn't bored at all, or restless, just fascinated with what was happening on screen. The third and final installment, The Last Full Measure, was in pre-production but lost financing and has been suspended indefinitely. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! This film is historically accurate, deeply moving, and with outstanding acting by all concerned. I've read other reviews for this and have noticed that people have'nt read their history. Even Jackson says that slavery should be abandoned. Stay far away from the three hour-plus Gods and Generals--unless, of course, you need a good nap. Everybody is so good and decent that it's hard to tell where the generals leave off and the gods start. It simply requires talent, a quality abundantly deficient in Gods and General. 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. 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. Part Three is threatened. `Gods and Generals' plays less like a movie and more like a three-hour-and-49-minute long lesson in Civil War history. 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..."). Actors carefully reciting lines obviously drawn from letters, and thus speaking like nobody ever speaks; long, boring scenes where nothing happens (we do not go to films to see T.J. Jackson in bed with his wife or Joshua Chamberlain lecturing his brother on 19th-Century politically-correct terminology for blacks); endless numbers of soldiers being hit by bullets and falling down...). For example, we know that Stonewall rode with his left hand raised to keep his "humors in balance" and was constantly concerned about his alimentary health. This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ronald Maxwell, who wrote the screenplay, also directs in the same tune of exceptional inability. The dialog, rigid and awkward, is so bad at times, it is laughable. They all give bad performances and this is one film they should keep off their resume. "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. Gods and Generals is the second installment of the Michael/Jeff Shaara Civil War trilogy and the second to be filmed. GODS AND GENERALS is a careful, meticulous, lovingly crafted three and a half hour chronicle of the Civil War. Lots of dead bodies. 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. Billy Crystal once said, "We know where we would be without the critics, but where would they be without us?" Gods and Generals movie reviews & Metacritic score: Gods and Generals, the screen adaptation of Jeff Shaara's heralded best-selling novel and prequel to the acclaimed drama … Jeff Daniels and others give their side in eloquent dialogue for their feelings on the conflict. The people of these south, having absolutely nothing to deserve any of this, start their own country to defend themselves and a polite, bearded, General named Lee leads them and this other polite, bearded, General named Jackson is his second in command. Instead Gods and Generals holds no resonance whatsoever meticulously plotting out the details and making this decisive moment in American history interminable at three and a half hours. I liked Gettysburg and the novel "Gods and Generals" better. 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. On the second score -- no one will ever walk away from this film eager to see war in real life. 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. 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%. All rights reserved. Big mistake, Gods and Generals is the dullest film I have ever seen. 'Gods and Generals' is a flawed piece that works better as an educational tool rather than as a feature film. I was surprised that they messed up this film so bad and there's still talk of another film. Highly recommended; don't listen to the critics. Gods and Generals mimics history by treating slavery as the unacknowledged elephant in the room, the cause behind the cause of the war. I have read some comments, and I feel forced to add my own. If You Don't Know Who Sandy Pendleton Is, Stay Away, one of the great epic films of the decade. Full Review | Original Score: 1/4 Page 1 of 7 robert duvall is a far, far better lee than martin sheen could ever hope to be. on. Seriously, if you have no idea who Sandy Pendleton is then you have no business seeing this movie. This movie was like a few movies in one. The film "Gods and Generals" is essentially a biographical film about General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson of the CSA. Indeed, Gods and Generals does a fine job proving him right. Yes slavery was a cause, but not THE cause. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) was, like Chamberlain, a man of great religious faith who served in the defense of the Confederacy. On the first score -- too long for what? Read GameSpot player reviews and contribute your own! This review is based on the movie and the quality of the movie not the historical accuracy or inaccuracy. Why does American cinema keep failing to produce decent historical drama (John Adams excepted)? 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. Every minute of it's close to four hours is worth it. The best scenes were those with Stephen Lang who deserved top-billing(which instead was given to Robert Duvall in a smaller role) and an Oscar-nomination for his well-rounded excellent portrayal of Thomas `Stonewall' Jackson as a religious man with an un-moveable focus on his fight for independence for the South. If you ask me, you're better off watching documentaries about the civil war. I think a third movie would be in order to complete the Civil Story story. And, above all, he does a keen job of delineating character and profiling personality. The critics I've read seem to object to the piety, the length, and lack of political correctness. And Yep. By. I don't recall seeing one fit, young man among the foot soldiers. Maxwell has made the, shall we say interesting, decision to change [Stonewall Jackson]God's hellcat into a warm and fuzzy teddy bear. Are we supposed to take their false moralizing at face value, or is this a satire? ), but it's not nearly as entertaining. Such is a great movie trashed by the critics and they miss the whole reason for this masterpiece. worth seeing just for lang and duvall, and the supporting cast is just as impressive. 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. 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. If that doesn't raise some flags I don't know what would. Online reviewers have written 538 reviews, giving Gods and Generals (2003) an average rating of 56%. 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. Gods and Generals was hands down one of the worst movies I've ever seen. See it, and decide for yourself about this film. With Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy. 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. Simply put, the movie was poor at best in all aspects of production. 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. 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. One of the best things about this film is that it does not follow the PC slime that is so prevalent in society. On the other hand were reviews from Roger Ebert and others critics who I respected that said it wasn't very good. Then again, a historical film doesn't require explicit blood and gore in order to feel authentic. User Ratings Directed by Ron Maxwell. But, conveying this means that it does not go into the broader historical context of slavery. 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. I give it ten stars. 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. Apparently what some critics actually desire are cool special effects, with exploding bodies and mangled limbs flying across the screen. I think the biggest mistake that people make when watching something like this is that they are thinking with 21st century minds. Critics hate it because it doesn't kowtow to the conventional thought. GODS AND GENERALS paints a brilliant portrait of the Christian lives of the great military leaders during the tumultuous years leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. Metadata: Format(s): Text Articles Share this post: THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BP)–The sweeping Civil War epic begins in early 1861 and continues through 1863, just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. Lee himself said "I believe that seccesion is unconstitutional and I believe that slavery is an immoral and political evil in any society". Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer, Succumbs to turgidity. Now Playing: Gods and Generals Video Review The game's music generally consists of the same four-to-five-second loop of phony, synthesized orchestral music that hiccups each time it … A man walks up with no arm and its bloody. You be the judge, but honestly if history and the Civil War are not your thing then don't see the movie. The canonization of Stonewall is silly. Maxwell continues his textbook emphasis on military maneuvers, but despite literally thousands of Civil War reenactors recruited for the film, the wide-screen canvas fails to map the tactics or evoke the terror of battle. Major engagements are quickly glossed over with little explanation. The movie suggests that he rode with his hand raised only to stem the bleeding from a wound. Rating 1/10 avoid this film at all costs. The acting is top notch, most noteably Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson. I am a big..big fan of the original Gettysburg..and a civil war buff.....I am not sure what happened but it seems like it was made by "Confederate lovers of America".....incredibly one-sided....cheesy preachy dialog... and laughable scenes of Sonewall Jackson praying with his slave to end slavery,(sure that happened!!!! And he seems to have used his power and wealth to re-write history to suit his own self-identity process. The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reads, "Filled with two-dimensional characters and pompous self-righteousness, Gods and Generals is a long, tedious sit. The procession of monotonous, oddly gore-free battles breaks frequently for bloated speechifying. Lots of battle. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Users wrote generally positive reviews of Gods and Generals (2003), giving it an average score of 73%. Its not that I can't watch a long movie as all three Lord of the Rings were pretty good. Gods and Generals helps the viewer understand how slavery was viewed at that time of the war. The battle scenes are weak and not very exciting either. Some critics condemn it as being sympathetic with the Southern cause. Good movie overall but Gettysburg was better. As a historian I was constantly baffled by how little military strategy is a part of the film. | Find low everyday prices and buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up. 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. Unfortunately, a re-enactment during a … The direction is bad as Ronald F. Maxwell did a much better job with Gettysburg. The costumes and sets were very believeable and historically accurate. Over-produced civil war movie with excellent portrayal of Stonewall... period detail, but overlong, sentimental, and unclear as to its message. The dialoge between the Generals, Top civilians, and the foot soldier gives the viewer a good taste of the variety of sentiments of the day. Doctors in tents cut's soldiers legs off, and do surgical work. I had heard great things about the new movie Gods and Generals. Gods & Generals wants desperately to be the ultimate Civil War epic, the film that defines the entire genre. 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). Don't take my word for it but this movie followed the lives of these people with great attention to historic detail. His religious zealotry is offered only as a deep and beautiful faith. A rich man's attempt to "buy" history. 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. For those who enjoyed the even-longer, but better "Gettysburg" this is must-viewing. But who is the victor now? Also Jeff Daniels and Robert Duvall as General Lee. I thought Gettysburg was a good movie so I went and saw this one. The acting was below average which is surprising give the talent involved. The battle scenes were probably the most realistic ever portrayed of the civil war and over-whelmingly long. An interesting film weakened by ham-fisted writing and direction and heavy-handed revisionism. Though this movie does have it's flaws, it is one of the most moving war pictures I have ever seen. How you could make a movie about the greatest tactician of the War and not examine his strategies in depth is a mystery to me. cinematography is incredible, and the scope of the film is extraordinarily ambitious. Yep. "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. The portrait of Jackson is accurate from the big issues (his profound religious faith) down to the trivial (his fondness for lemonade). A labour of love with special interest to history buffs, this epic film is extraordinary in many ways. Revisionist hooey! Since the story revolves around Stonewall Jackson it will obviously give his point of view on the subject also. Chuck Rudolph. Imagine watching half of Band of Brothers in one sitting, but with the story moving at a much slower pace. REVIEW: Gods & Generals. Actually, it is more of a character study than a war film, and appeals to many different audiences. However for those who love history and have an open mind then this is the movie for you. In the end, this film is defiantly worth skipping and its my worst film of 2003. Stephen Lang's performance of Stonewall Jackson should be remembered at Oscar time. Gettysburg concentrated more on the bravery of ordinary soldiers, and in some instances, their equivocal feelings, to better effect. Stay far away from the three hour-plus Gods and Generals--unless, of course, you need a good nap. I have heard it said that history is written by the victors--- and that's probably true. All I should have to tell you about this film is that Ted Turner plays George Patton's grandfather. Personally, I was once again impressed—as I was with Gettysburg— that war is ugly on and off the battlefield. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) is a college professor who volunteers as a soldier for the Union Army. External Reviews I grant, a clever and courageous General, he deserves all our proper honor. during our Civil War. Since I started to research and become passionate about the histoeical topic of the American Civil War, I have loved Gods and Generals. Shop Gods and Generals [Director's Cut] [2 Discs] [Blu-ray] [2003] at Best Buy. The big battles impress, but become somewhat samey. Because of a lackluster, sappy, script and horrible editing, this film wastes an absolutely top notch performance by Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson. War may be Hell, but in this three-and-a-half-hour Civil War epic from Ronald Maxwell, the syrupy monologues and righteous Bible thumping provide the punishment. )....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?? Great film. 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. Review: Gods and Generals. But this film makes him an angel such as he never really was. For one, all the foot soldiers are old men who are so obviously re-enacters that the action scenes have no weight. and the Terms and Policies, The sound and special effects were well done, and it gives you the feel that you are there in 1863. When a group of people who are obviously senior citizens are "Charging" (more like hobbling) into the breach well...let's just say it doesn't float. The United States was the last but one country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery (Brazil being the last). There is no sense of strategy or how the war is going, no feeling for the ebb and flow of battle, nothing but endless vignettes. By Phil Boatwright, posted February 19, 2003 in . 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