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Gods and Generals (2003)

tomatometer

8

Average Rating: 3.6/10
Reviews Counted: 121
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 111

Filled with two-dimensional characters and pompous self-righteousness, Gods and Generals is a long, tedious sit. Some may also take offense at the pro-Confederate slant.

6

Average Rating: 3.6/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 30

Filled with two-dimensional characters and pompous self-righteousness, Gods and Generals is a long, tedious sit. Some may also take offense at the pro-Confederate slant.

audience

64

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 9,073

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Ron Maxwell and producer Ted Turner return to the glory and tragedy of the Civil War in this historical drama, a prequel to Gettysburg, which examines the early days of the conflict through the experiences of three men. 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. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) was, like Chamberlain, a man of great religious faith who

PG-13,

Drama, Classics

Ronald F. Maxwell

Jul 15, 2003

$12.6M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (124) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (111) | DVD (21)

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.

February 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The procession of monotonous, oddly gore-free battles breaks frequently for bloated speechifying.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Four hours including the intermission, I felt like I was seeing the Civil War in real time for awhile there.

February 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper | Comments (2)
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It was made strictly by and for Civil War buffs who insist that every pious speech and every skirmish is worthy of filming, even if the end result suffers from serious battle fatigue.

February 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A movie that crams in so many faces, chronological details and endlessly ham-handed stretches of dialogue that the impact of the legitimately moving segments is considerably diminished.

February 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a plodding, episodic film, reverent and sanctimonious, and its pro-Southern viewpoint -- a time-honored Hollywood tendency -- makes Gone With the Wind look like a Northern polemic.

February 21, 2003 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comments (2)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Succumbs to turgidity. And...intentionally or not...conveys the impression that the film uncritically celebrates the Confederacy. [Blu-ray]

May 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews | Comments (3)
Groucho Reviews

Meticulous Civil War story runs a little long.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Everybody is so good and decent that it's hard to tell where the generals leave off and the gods start.

October 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

A labour of love with special interest to history buffs, this epic film is extraordinary in many ways.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The big battles impress, but become somewhat samey. Part Three is threatened.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Then there is 'Gods and Generals,' cut from the same production cloth as 'Gettysburg' but a film of very loose ends.

October 15, 2004 Full Review
Kansas City Kansan

You will watch a series of battle re-enactments and wait for a film to break out.

December 1, 2003
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Every shot is fired in sorrow, and there are no villains - except, of course, for the politicians, who remain safely out of the frame.

October 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Thinks it is grand without ever being so.

August 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Imagine watching half of Band of Brothers in one sitting, but with the story moving at a much slower pace.

July 25, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

Incredibly boring and badly acted.

July 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

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.

July 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Comment (1)
Boston Phoenix

Swapping politics for crass platitudes, Gods and Generals is a monumental folly.

June 24, 2003 Full Review Source: BBC.com
BBC.com

An interesting film weakened by ham-fisted writing and direction and heavy-handed revisionism.

June 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall | Comments (5)
Shadows on the Wall

Maxwell has made the, shall we say interesting, decision to change [Stonewall Jackson]God's hellcat into a warm and fuzzy teddy bear.

April 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Killer Movie Reviews

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.

March 25, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

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.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Comments (2)
Austin Chronicle

Stay far away from the three hour-plus Gods and Generals--unless, of course, you need a good nap.

March 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

Audience Reviews for Gods and Generals

I sat throw the long nearly 6 hour cut of the film drinking Tea and by the end i only asked "WERE THE FUCK DID MY DAY GO?".

Gods and Generals is a dry hollow epic thats boring and has woodern acting and camerea work thats nothing short of standered.

Some nice music but thats it this movie is crap lol
August 12, 2011
Keiko A. --Samurai--
Keiko Aya

Super Reviewer

A great Civil War Flim, The scenes are as realistic as its going to get, will teach you much about the civil war that wasn't in those high school books? Do they even teach about the civil war anymore, or is it not politacl correct?
March 10, 2008
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

I do have a problem with this one. IT SUCKS. One of the most boring films in the history of bad boring films.
October 25, 2007
puffchunk
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

This movie didnt do so well in theaters and I've even heard rumors that they are not making the last movie too the supposed too have been trilogy , "Last Full Measure", because of the outcome of this one.
I'm not sure why? I would give this movie credit as being possibly the best Civil War movie ever made! It nails all the historical figures, the battles are awesome, and beyond that it has enough information about everyone too seriously keep your attention on the people - really want too keep watching, too see what happens, too see how they react. I think most Civil War movies lack that, and I rarley reccommend a movie about the Civil War too someone who is not a Civil War buff.
This one however to me, is an exception.
I think it's great for anyone!
It's one of my favorite movies, and Stephen Lang totally won me over, as a fan with his acting in this.
June 12, 2007
bhobbs1985

Super Reviewer

    1. Gen. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson: Tell me general, do you expect to live till the end of this war?
    2. Brig. Gen. John Bell Hood: Oh... I do not know, but... I'm inclined to think I will. I expect I will be wounded. And you general?
    3. Gen. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson: I do not expect to live to see the end of this war. Nor can I say that without victory I would desire to do so.
    – Submitted by Nick S (2 years ago)
    1. Gen. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson: Tell me general, do you expect to live till the end of this war?
    2. Brig. Gen. John Bell Hood: Oh... I do not know, but... I'm inclined to think I will. I expect I will be wounded. And you general?
    3. Gen. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson: I do not expect to live to see the end of this war. Nor can I say that without victory I would desire to do so.
    – Submitted by Nick S (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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