Aside from the acting, there are so many other aspects that make this movie worth watching. The cinematography is excellent and is a major reason for it winning an Academy Award for it. In addition, you will be drawn in and fall in love with the amazing score composed by the late James Horner. It is a score that not only makes each scene in the movie greater, but immerses you in that same moment. The battle scenes are excellent considering the year it was released. Without the aid of CGI that so many movies rely on nowadays, the movie captures the authenticity and brutal nature of the Civil War.
As for the movie and storyline itself, this is where the heart of the movie is. The movie has so many subplots that work extremely well together to help create the overall message and purpose that the main plot holds. Each character has his own little story to help contribute to the plot, but as little as it may be, you care for each little story. It allows the viewer to actually want to know what happens next and is supporting the characters the entire way through.
Whether you are a student in high school learning about the Civil War or just a regular person, it doesn't matter who you are, this is a film that you must see. It will give you great insight into what the war was actually like and the reason behind why so many Americans fought and lost their lives for. Not only is it the best Civil War film, but in my opinion, it is the best war film out there that both captures the action and the moving story behind it all.
The true story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, told mostly through the eyes of their commander, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (played by Matthew Broderick). Formed during the American Cicil War, the 54th Massachusetts was the first African-American unit in the US Army. We see the formation of the regiment, its first volunteers, their training, disputes with administrators, their first operations in South Carolina and, finally, their moment of glory - the attack on Fort Wagner.
Incredibly moving movie. The regiment is historical for its formation, for its attack on Fort Wagner and for how, through their courage, the regiment inspired many other African-Americans to enlist in the Union army, to the extent that about 180,000 African-Americans fought for the Union in the Civil War.
We see the issues they had to go through, facing racial prejudice at every turn. We also get to feel how their existence symbolizes why the war was being fought, and what's at stake if the Union loses.
A quite necessary movie, for the above reason and to show the part African-Americans played in the Civil War. Plus it conveys a strong tolerance and anti-racism message.
Solid performance by Matthew Broderick in the lead role. Denzel Washington gives the stand-out performance, as Private Trip. He got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his efforts.
Good support too from Morgan Freeman and Cary Elwes.
Both Freeman and Washington give great performances here, the story and characters are fascinating, and even though Broderick isn't a great actor, he manages to do a decent job as the protagonist.
If you love US history, or are a fan of Washington and/or Freeman, you owe it to yourself to watch this masterpiece.