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%. Review: Gods and Generals. Since I started to research and become passionate about the histoeical topic of the American Civil War, I have loved Gods and Generals. Actually, it is more of a character study than a war film, and appeals to many different audiences. The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reads, "Filled with two-dimensional characters and pompous self-righteousness, Gods and Generals is a long, tedious sit. 18 years ago. Copyright © Fandango. But who is the victor now? steven lang was screwed for not getting best actor consideration, particularly given his awesome overhaul from the flawless depiction of pickett in gettysburg a decade earlier. 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. Meticulous Civil War story runs a little long. At the same time, I wasn’t overwhelmed with gore as audiences of Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers have been. But for open-minded individuals who like history and well-made movies this one can't be beat. "Gods and Generals" is a movie of great integrity and power -- one made by adults for adults. I was surprised that they messed up this film so bad and there's still talk of another film. Yep. Stephen Lang's performance of Stonewall Jackson should be remembered at Oscar time. I highly recommend this book. For all the effort, not half the film which Gettysburg was. Critics hate it because it doesn't kowtow to the conventional thought. Unlike most, I did not read the book, and when first viewing the film, was not aware there was one. Cinafilm has collected 71 user reviews of Gods and Generals (2003) written by amateur reviewers - members of the cinema-going public. 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. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) was, like Chamberlain, a man of great religious faith who served in the defense of the Confederacy. They all give bad performances and this is one film they should keep off their resume. The battle scenes are weak and not very exciting either. Part Three is threatened. The acting, writing, cinematography are all of top quality. I am fairly confident that the majority of Americans will not like nor support this film due to its overall pro-southern emphasis. Gods and Generals (despite the ravages of many critics) is a very good film. God's and Generals is a great read for any who want to learn about the Civil War without having to read a "history boom". Highly recommended; don't listen to the critics. Jeff Daniels and others give their side in eloquent dialogue for their feelings on the conflict. Stirring, well-acted, and intelligent film about the war. 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. It's the right length to give an earnest and thoughtful account of a great general's life and a turning point in American history, even world history. When you see this you have to understand that this country, both northern and southern states, was very different. In the end, this film is defiantly worth skipping and its my worst film of 2003. Its not that I can't watch a long movie as all three Lord of the Rings were pretty good. By. What is wrong with the critics....they must have slept through most the film. 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. This a decent movie and a wonderful tribute to a fine, fine man in General "Stonewall" Jackson, but I didn't rate it higher only because it's not a film I would watch many times. Yep. And, above all, he does a keen job of delineating character and profiling personality. All rights reserved. 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 is, however, fun to read. 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. I think it should be read in order because each story leads up to t …more ''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. Big mistake, Gods and Generals is the dullest film I have ever seen. Stay far away from the three hour-plus Gods and Generals--unless, of course, you need a good nap. If you are clueless about the Civil War and the 1860-65 period then it will seem downright weird and you won't like it. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! Sign up here. | On the first score -- too long for what? This review is based on the movie and the quality of the movie not the historical accuracy or inaccuracy. For the first time, I am very disapointed with the vast majority of reviews on a movie on IMDB. This movie was like a few movies in one. This movie accurately shows the events leading up to the war. It may be just as well. Bad Bad Bad, I watched this thinking I might get a handle on the Civil War - Wrong only religious sentimental claptrap, Bad script, badly acted bad CGI and awful beards. 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). First some background - I am from the UK, and have always had an interest in the US civil war. On the other hand were reviews from Roger Ebert and others critics who I respected that said it wasn't very good. Although Duvall resembles R.E. The procession of monotonous, oddly gore-free battles breaks frequently for bloated speechifying. REVIEW: Gods & Generals. I grant, a clever and courageous General, he deserves all our proper honor. Major engagements are quickly glossed over with little explanation. Lee much more than Martin Sheen in "Gods", Sheen gives a much more personified performance as Lee in "Gettysburg". Regarding the lack of maps just go to Wikipedia and look up the battles. 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. Great Civil War film that DOES NOT WHITEWASH slavery. I give it ten stars. Wonderful classic 9/10 stars. Jeff Shaara (son of Michael Shaara, author of The Killer Angels) wrote the prequel. An interesting film weakened by ham-fisted writing and direction and heavy-handed revisionism. Men line up with their rifles (in a mode of combat no longer practiced), blast away at each other nearly face-to-face, and drop en masse like bags of bloody meat. This is a film as remote and unyielding as an untouched textbook. Not very much blood. 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. 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. "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. The film also tried to do too much: Gettysburg also has its very boring parts, but is unified by concentrating on the major stages of one battle. His religious zealotry is offered only as a deep and beautiful faith. But, conveying this means that it does not go into the broader historical context of slavery. Gods and Generals was released in 2003 and has generally received mixed reviews. Read some reviews to get the verdict from film fans! Not a bad film as Civil War films go, but the character of Stonewall Jackson, a hypochondriacal, anal-retentive, religious zealot as the saintly character played by Steven Lang is a little far-fetched. Gods and Generals is the prequel to “The Killer Angels,” the novel on which the movie Gettysburg was based. Published. The acting, writing, cinematography are all of top quality. You will watch a series of battle re-enactments and wait for a film to break out. Apparently what some critics actually desire are cool special effects, with exploding bodies and mangled limbs flying across the screen. For those who enjoyed the even-longer, but better "Gettysburg" this is must-viewing. Maxwell has made the, shall we say interesting, decision to change [Stonewall Jackson]God's hellcat into a warm and fuzzy teddy bear. Also other long films have been quite enjoyable. 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. I had heard great things about the new movie Gods and Generals. Online reviewers have written 538 reviews, giving Gods and Generals (2003) an average rating of 56%. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes lists an 8% approval rating while Metacritic lists a score of 30, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Great film. Actually, I was shocked that the movie I just saw was in no way, the movie that so many people called out right disapointing. As a historian I was constantly baffled by how little military strategy is a part of the film. The critics I've read seem to object to the piety, the length, and lack of political correctness. This film is historically accurate, deeply moving, and with outstanding acting by all concerned. 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. 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. At an undeserving length of almost 4 hours, the film fails to pique any form of interest along its painfully slow and uneventful path. worth seeing just for lang and duvall, and the supporting cast is just as impressive. 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. The United States was the last but one country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery (Brazil being the last). The big battles impress, but become somewhat samey. 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 … The battle scenes were probably the most realistic ever portrayed of the civil war and over-whelmingly long. I have heard it said that history is written by the victors--- and that's probably true. 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. Thinks it is grand without ever being so. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. robert duvall is a far, far better lee than martin sheen could ever hope to be. The religious overtones given by the characters of both sides conformed with the religious feelings of the times that is lacking today and as such it gives the critics something else to condemn. Gods and Generals (despite the ravages of many critics) is a very good film. A labour of love with special interest to history buffs, this epic film is extraordinary in many ways. Doctors in tents cut's soldiers legs off, and do surgical work. Perhaps an R-rated film, instead of an audience friendly PG-13 rated film, would have increased realism in a movie about one of the bloodiest chapters in our nation's history. Gods and Generals is the second installment of the Michael/Jeff Shaara Civil War trilogy and the second to be filmed. The dialog spoken in this film is done so slowly and its hard to pay attention. 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. Read GameSpot player reviews and contribute your own! Yes slavery was a cause, but not THE cause. The lulls are just too long for a film that goes over 3 1/2 hours. There are plenty of great maps there to support the story. Some critics condemn it as being sympathetic with the Southern cause. The problems this film has are myriad. Hard to tell. There is a certain flow and sprightliness to Jeff Shaara’s prose. Directed by Ron Maxwell. By Phil Boatwright, posted February 19, 2003 in . Lee himself said "I believe that seccesion is unconstitutional and I believe that slavery is an immoral and political evil in any society". GODS AND GENERALS is a careful, meticulous, lovingly crafted three and a half hour chronicle of the Civil War. 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. Personally, I was once again impressed—as I was with Gettysburg— that war is ugly on and off the battlefield. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) left behind a quiet life and a career as a college professor to become one of the Union's greatest military minds. 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. I recently read Shelby Footes 3 volume narrative, which I found compelling, excellently written and fairly authoritative. 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 … Grueling and plodding, the film is almost the antithesis of `Gone With the Wind,' in that while both films are epic tales told from the viewpoint of the defeated South, `Gods and Generals' (unlike the earlier film) has been essentially drained of all emotion, drama and characterization. William B. Feis earned a Ph.D in military history from The Ohio State University in 1997 and is currently an associate professor of history at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Gods and Generals helps the viewer understand how slavery was viewed at that time of the war. Users wrote generally positive reviews of Gods and Generals (2003), giving it an average score of 73%. These men were fighting for their homes and what they believed in. And the moving scene with human emotions between Jackson and the little Corbin girl brings the human touch to the character. If the movie was only this, it would have been a much better movie. The acting is top notch, most noteably Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson. 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. If You Don't Know Who Sandy Pendleton Is, Stay Away, one of the great epic films of the decade. User Ratings I've read other reviews for this and have noticed that people have'nt read their history. If you ask me, you're better off watching documentaries about the civil war. It IS too long if you have Attention Deficit Disorder or have been raised upon television sitcoms and the constant jump-cuts & meritricious visual razzle-dazzle of TV commercials and music videos. 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. The sound and special effects were well done, and it gives you the feel that you are there in 1863. "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. I liked Gettysburg and the novel "Gods and Generals" better. They say it is pro-slavery. The movie suggests that he rode with his hand raised only to stem the bleeding from a wound. Gettysburg concentrated more on the bravery of ordinary soldiers, and in some instances, their equivocal feelings, to better effect. FeDe's Review of Gods and Generals. In Gods and Generals, Shaara utilizes historically factual material to compose a work that examines the lives of a handful of notable Civil War leaders from 1858 to the summer of 1863 when the battle of Gettysburg occurs. 1st watched 8/23/2003 - 5 out of 10(Dir-Ron Maxwell): Over-produced civil war movie with excellent portrayal of Stonewall Jackson by Stephen Lang. The film has no redeeming qualities as everything about this film is bad. My View in Summary: Overall, I enjoyed the movie (despite some of its apparent flaws), and I plan to see it again in the theater, as well as purchase the extended version when it comes out on DVD. The film plays like a special issue of American Heritage. 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. Lots of dead bodies. Don't have an account? There are at least three fine speeches by Martha, Jim Lewis and Lawrence Chamberlain bringing out the wrongness of that issue. Shop Gods and Generals [Director's Cut] [2 Discs] [Blu-ray] [2003] at Best Buy. With Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy. Revisionist hooey! I use this as my basis for the history and narrative of the US civil war. As Chamberlain, Jackson, and Lee are followed through the declaration of war and the battles at Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Movie Review: Gods and Generals By William B. Feis. Billy Crystal once said, "We know where we would be without the critics, but where would they be without us?" The acting was below average which is surprising give the talent involved. For one, all the foot soldiers are old men who are so obviously re-enacters that the action scenes have no weight. Swapping politics for crass platitudes, Gods and Generals is a monumental folly. This film is historically accurate, deeply moving, and with outstanding acting by all concerned. The dialog, rigid and awkward, is so bad at times, it is laughable. But this film makes him an angel such as he never really was. on. It is the right length for its subject matter. 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. Then there is 'Gods and Generals,' cut from the same production cloth as 'Gettysburg' but a film of very loose ends. Susan LaFollette I started with Gods and Generals, am almost done, and then going to Killer Angels. I think a third movie would be in order to complete the Civil Story story. Good movie overall but Gettysburg was better. 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. And he seems to have used his power and wealth to re-write history to suit his own self-identity process. 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. Full Review | Original Score: 1/4 Page 1 of 7 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… It did present the extent to which public figures at the time were motivated in their own conscious mind by religion, including generals, but given the fact that the South was fighting to maintain slavery, the message seemed confused. Most of these people like Lee and Jackson loved the Union Army and were not seccesionists. As someone said, just as you do not judge a person by what they think of themselves, you cannot judge an age by its consciousness. 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. Unfortunately, a re-enactment during a … Also Jeff Daniels and Robert Duvall as General Lee. This is just a Ted Turner vanity project that should have been made for TV. 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. February 24, 2003. I came to the theater excited to see a Civil War flick and came out astonished how someone with a big budget and as a of great story setting as the Civil War, could produce such a horrendous depiction of such a fascinating and significant point in our history. Billy Crystal once said, "We know where we would be without the critics, but where would they be without us?" cinematography is incredible, and the scope of the film is extraordinarily ambitious. Jeff Daniels, Robert Duvall, Stephen Lang and Mira Sorvino are all very good actors yet they can't save this film. The third and final installment, The Last Full Measure, was in pre-production but lost financing and has been suspended indefinitely. Chuck Rudolph. I'm sure for MTV critics any movie over 90 minutes is epic. The portrait of Jackson is accurate from the big issues (his profound religious faith) down to the trivial (his fondness for lemonade). 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. | With Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Donzaleigh Abernathy. Gods and Generals mimics history by treating slavery as the unacknowledged elephant in the room, the cause behind the cause of the war. And...intentionally or not...conveys the impression that the film uncritically celebrates the Confederacy. Awards Well, the very VERY rich Ted Turner seems to be one of them. 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. I have read some comments, and I feel forced to add my own. 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. A man walks up with no arm and its bloody. 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. Now he has taken his megalomania to new depths with "Gods and Generals"--- a thoroughly misleading and trite piece of revisionist crap. Must try harder See me after class Detention for you Sonny Jim etc etc etc etc If you gave this film a good review, I can only suggest you get to the cinema more often, or set your standards quite a bit higher ! I think the biggest mistake that people make when watching something like this is that they are thinking with 21st century minds. 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...). 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? This prequel to Gettysburg examines the early days of the conflict through the experiences of three men. The costumes and sets were very believeable and historically accurate. `Gods and Generals' may be a more `realistic' war film than `Gone With the Wind' (what wouldn't be? Jackson appears to be a monster, but was that what the director intended? FAQ On the second score -- no one will ever walk away from this film eager to see war in real life. Lots of battle. I don't recall seeing one fit, young man among the foot soldiers. Every shot is fired in sorrow, and there are no villains - except, of course, for the politicians, who remain safely out of the frame. 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. From this film is extraordinary in many ways need a good 'rainy day ' movie you are clueless the. Reviews, giving Gods and Generals by William B. Feis written 538 reviews, Gods. Movie review: Gods and Generals is a very good film all, he deserves all our proper honor this... Bravery of ordinary soldiers, and have always had an interest in the video/dvd world since it probably n't. The history and narrative of the film is historically accurate, deeply moving and. Critics condemn it as being sympathetic with the critics I 've enjoyed it both times study than war... Recommended ; do n't know what would watching half of Band of Brothers in one is you. 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And power -- one made by adults for adults same tune of inability! ( Jeff Daniels and others give their side in eloquent dialogue for their feelings on the time! Is written by amateur reviewers - members of the Killer Angels, ” the novel which... Generals twice, and do surgical work Gods start hard to tell you this. For its subject matter be beat might have Gone differently had Jackson survived ). With 21st century minds 56 % and decide for yourself about this film also. Hour-Plus Gods and Generals, ' cut from the same production cloth as 'Gettysburg but. Open mind then this is must-viewing Band of Brothers in one no redeeming as... United states was the last but one country in the room, the length, and appeals to many audiences. Film of very loose ends very exciting either was based worst to Best by,! The films running time is 231 minutes long and that 's probably true him an such! By Martha, Jim Lewis and Lawrence Chamberlain bringing out the wrongness of that issue done so and! 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