• R, 1 hr. 52 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Francis Ford Coppola
    In Theaters:
    May 8, 1987 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jun 25, 2002
  • Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Gardens of Stone Reviews

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Super Reviewer

March 18, 2009
It's taken 20 (plus) years but Coppola's much maligned take on the effects of an unpopular war seems to have found it's relevance.
March 25, 2014
Francis Ford Coppola directs this rather humdrum drama about the Old Guard (charged with burying many soldiers in military funerals) during the Vietnam War. James Caan and James Earl Jones are good...but D.B. Sweeney is kind of weak here. The script is a little too weak, with forced and tired views on the Vietnam War being continuously drudged out with little impact. I didn't care about the characters or most of what is going on...it is too dull and drab. You have to wonder why Coppola would return to the subject of Vietnam (in any small capacity) after he put his all into "Apocalypse Now". I would say this is one of Coppola's weakest efforts.
June 6, 2009
Coppola directs an all star cast in a gripping drama set during the Vietnam War but told from the perspective of Arlington National Cemetary. I've watched this movie over a hundred times.
August 2, 2007
Caan's character is great. He is a deep man and a soldier. Most people with A-type personnalities are not as in touch and articulate with their feelings. It shows the human side of a career enlisted infantryman. This is an emotional and dark movie. Bring kleenex...
August 12, 2014
Not anywhere near Coppola's best, but not bad. Mostly a movie on how war affects those at home, especially during times of tragedy, and the relationships involved. Quite moving, especially towards the end.

However, not flawless, not by any measure. Francis Ford Coppola, who gave us three of the greatest movies in history - Apocalypse Now, The Godfather and The Godfather II - plus the excellent The Conversation, is not in his best form here. (In fact, the only time he was in form was in the 70s...). The plot drifts, whole scenes are there for no reason other than padding, there are continuity issues, and the point seems a bit murky at times. Also, the first scene spoils the movie, to an extent, in that it gives away the ending. Remove the first scene and the movie would have been more impactful.

Mixed performances. DB Sweeney is a bit weak and unconvincing in the lead role. Best performances come from the old hands - James Caan and James Earl Jones - who give the movie gravitas and feeling.

Anjelica Huston is unconvincing and touch irritating in her role.

Interesting to see that real-life father and daughter Peter Masterson and Mary Stuart Masterson play father and daughter in the movie.

Worth watching for Francis Ford Coppola fans but not a must-see otherwise.
February 1, 2014
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
September 16, 2013
I loved and was connected to the story!
June 22, 2013
what do i have to do to see this g.d. movie?
September 9, 2012
Generally panned by the "pro" critics. These are the self same people that think the crap you and I paid to see is a "masterpiece" e.g "There will be blood".

Its a quiet film, focused on the characters and there lives against the backdrop of the war and its casualties, of which they are. The Vietanam war polarised opinion and made rational debate almost impossible. Gardens of Stone tries to address this.

Watch it if you can - its one of James Caan's finest roles.
December 22, 2010
(***): Thumbs Up

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