Gods and Generals - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gods and Generals Reviews

Top Critic
Bill Stamets
Chicago Reader
February 27, 2007
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.
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
The procession of monotonous, oddly gore-free battles breaks frequently for bloated speechifying.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
February 24, 2003
Four hours including the intermission, I felt like I was seeing the Civil War in real time for awhile there.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 21, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
February 21, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 21, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 21, 2003
What the filmmakers fail to recognize is that history on the page is quite different from what it needs to be onscreen, namely alive and visceral.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 21, 2003
It may not be the worst war epic ever made -- that probably would be Battlefield Earth -- but it's darn close to being an unqualified disaster of that magnitude.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
February 21, 2003
A shameless apologia for the Confederacy as a divinely inspired crusade for faith, home and slave labor.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 21, 2003
An inert pageant of waxen figures that fails completely as drama even as it insults the sensibilities of anyone not clinging to rosy memories of the slave-era South.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
February 21, 2003
A viewing of this epic is likely to leave all but the geekiest Civil War buffs feeling as itchy and as restless as if they themselves were wearing woolen underwear -- soggy, unwashed, vintage 1860s, government-issue woolen underwear.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
February 21, 2003
One doesn't come away from it with any sense of what the victory cost in human terms or what it's like to face a rank of men shooting at you, or to jam a bayonet into somebody's guts or have one jammed into your guts.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
February 21, 2003
It's less a movie than a salute to a troubled moment in our history, a movie so steeped in nobility that you half expect it to swoon with reverence for itself.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 21, 2003
Few of [the actors] are able to compete with the wigs and the platitudes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
February 21, 2003
On the big screen ... Gods and Generals plays woefully stiff, hampered by the breadth of its source material and the reams of exposition required to explain the action.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 21, 2003
General Boredom meets Major Tedium on the Civil War fields of Virginia.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 21, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
February 20, 2003
It is so lacking in flesh-and-blood characters, so unclear in its depiction of battles like Bull Run, and so nauseating in its gruesome sentimentality that it is all but unwatchable.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
February 20, 2003
Bad actors or normally competent ones (Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang) serve up stilted deliveries of stilted dialogue in a near-flashback to the filmstrips we used to see in school.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
February 20, 2003
A lumpy three-and-a-half-hour glob of Civil War history.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
February 20, 2003
All that yapping! -- great swaths of quotations from the Bible and the classics, countless ringing speeches, endless stretches of flowery dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
February 20, 2003
Despite boring patches, this $56 million epic is a noble effort.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
February 20, 2003
Maxwell, a TV movie director with no ear for dialogue that isn't over the top and no eye for the sort of visual poetry these stories demand, is plainly not up to the job.
| Original Score: 1/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 20, 2003
A technically proficient but emotionally vacuous historical pageant.
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Ron Stringer
L.A. Weekly
February 20, 2003
Maxwell illuminates the processes of denial and the cultivations of self-image by which these famously decent men, in defense of indefensible prerogative, sent thousands upon thousands ... to their deaths.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
February 20, 2003
The movie we see here, though admirable in parts, is numbing as a whole.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 20, 2003
At times, the film can feel like a historical pageant, stiff and heavy-handed.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 20, 2003
A trial to sit through: stiff, ponderous, fluttering in its 'poetry,' and crudely simplistic as an apologia for the Confederate ideology.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 20, 2003
If ever there was a movie that could cause even the most restless sleeper to fall into a deep slumber, this is it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Koehler
Variety
February 19, 2003
American history transformed into a museum movie, consistently making the flawed human characters at the heart of the Civil War into flawless figures Olympian in their statuesque remoteness.
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David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
February 19, 2003
From the start Gods has a mighty wind of nostalgia and outright historical mythicizing that doesn't go down easily.
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
February 19, 2003
Ballooning, jingoistic goat spoor.