Cold Mountain

2003

Cold Mountain

Critics Consensus

The well-crafted Cold Mountain has an epic sweep and captures the horror and brutal hardship of war.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 228

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 209,851
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Movie Info

Inman, a Civil War Confederate soldier, is seriously wounded in battle before heading home to North Carolina to his pre-war beloved, Ada. In his absence, Ada--with the help of a young drifter named Ruby--is desperately trying to hold onto the farm of her deceased missionary father. Inman's long journey home takes him through the crumbling confederacy, as he meets people of all walks of life who want to both aid and hinder his mission.

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Critic Reviews for Cold Mountain

All Critics (228) | Top Critics (48)

Audience Reviews for Cold Mountain

  • May 28, 2012
    Finally, a film that's unafraid to show the brutal, violent horror of the *snicker* Civil War. No, but seriously though, it is rather difficult to imagine such a generation of gentlemen putting those bayonets to good use, yet make no bones about it, war is war and has always been hardcore, even back in the days of the gentlemen, because the Civil War claimed more American lives than any other US war in history. Granted, it was America at war with itself, but still, it was messed up, man, especially when you consider how much they had to go out of their way to find Americans to kill, because according to this film, there weren't a whole lot of actual Americans in the Civil War. Man, California seems to be getting by relatively just fine with all of its Latinos, so maybe they should worry more about the English and Aussies coming in and taking everyone's jobs, even though this film, even with its director also being English (The director of "The English Patient", at that), did do a pretty good job at getting foreign performers, or rather, perforeigmer, because with that beard, Jude Law is passing for a good ol' fashion 'Merica, and Nicole Kidman will always have an immediate pass, not just because of that good ol' fashion American rear, but because she's married to Keith Urban... who is also Australian. Oh lord, first Mel Gibson, then our Civil War movies, and now the Aussies are taking our country music; speaking of wars, let's hit Down Undah before they take the rest of our entertainment. Ah, nevermind, I think we can get over it, because, say what you will about England and what is essentially its Canada for taking our American roles, they sure know how to play them. Still, even with all of the talent and good looks behind it, Mr. Anthony Minghella's experiment with a more "American patient" (Get it?) isn't without its bumps. In concept, the film boasts many unique touches as a film of its type, yet in execution, the film is a highly conventional one, falling into many of the tropes that are to be expected from other films of its types and certainly to be expected from films this ambitious. The film is not necessarily pretentious in its overambition, yet it improvably attempts to secure itself as critic bait, not being thorough enough in its celebration of its conventions and ambitions to disguise them as missteps, bringing the film's flaws more to the forefront and damaging other aspects to the final product, particularly the dramatic aspects. The dramatic aspects affect more often than not, yet go tainted by the waters poisoned by the faultier points in drama, as the film sometimes shrouds its attempts at resonance with a histrionic aura, from which melodrama is born, and with it, a couple of points in emotional distancing. This, of course, augments the film's central flaw of being very slow and dry in tone, topped off with moments of dreamy meditation that simply dull down an already dull film even further, and while the film does pick up at just enough moments, it reaches those pay-offs through the longest of routes, and routes that it circles around all too often. This film has its formula and plays that structure up on a bit of a loop, running the same repetitive straight line, and with the aforementioned genericisms and dullness slowing down the film's momentum even further, after a while, this should-be razor-sharp epic loses steam, and ultimately comes out as same-old-same-old, on the whole. The film boasts potential for uniqueness, or if nothing else, as much potential for excellence as most any other dramatic war and adventure epic, yet ultimately comes out as just another workmanlike piece in the batch, complete with much to like quite a bit. Bumpy transition, I know, but if I could just cut to the chase, as flawed and ultimately rather underwhelming as the film is, it's still one to watch and enjoying watching from, if nothing else, a technical stance. The productions and locations are sweeping and dynamic, giving an organic feel for the era and adventure, while Gabriel Yared's remarkable score touches the film with audible awe and John Seale's lush cinematography absorbs both the beauty and brutal grit of the environments. The film is utterly handsome, with striking colorization and lighting to compliment grand camerawork that comes into particularly brilliant play during the handful of action sequences, all of which are quite strong. Still, more than the style, what engages so much about the action and certain other intense moments in the film is the resonance behind it all, which may go tainted by histrionic missteps, yet generally keeps the film heavy and engrossing, painting an unflinchingly honest portrait on the horrors of war that hits more than it misses. I really wish the film could have hit harder with its messages, for were it more inspired in that regard, alone, it would have stood as a much better film, yet as things stand, there's still enough inspiration to give the film the occasional, yet worth waiting for piece of pay-off, and getting to that pay-off is no difficult task, as the film is kept going by the aforementioned striking style, as well as a slew of performers expected to deliver who do just that. The film's cast is a glowingly studded one, justly proud in its giving most everyone their time in the sun to produce memorably distinctive and colorful characters, whether we're facing such comes-and-goes as the always charming Giovanni Ribisi and a slightly more prevalent Philip Seymour Hoffman or a powerful, show-stopping Natalie Portman - who particularly steals the spotlight when she hits and graces the screen with an all too brief powerhouse of a layered and mysterious performance -, or facing the anything but physcially attractive, yet engagingly charismatic Renée Zellweger (I'm sorry, but oh man, so ugly!), who wins the audience over with fiery charm, broken up by the occasional piece of unexpected depth. As for the headliners of this showcase of strong talents, the lovely Nicole Kidman compels as a spirited yet vulnerable soul who uncovers her own unexpected secrets to life while on her journey to love, and Jude Law delivers a somber performance as the good-hearted W. P. Inman charater, yet when reality crashes down on Inman, Law portrays a transformation that's very subtle, yet palpable, giving our lead layers and intrigue in his atmosphere, making him and, by extension, the film all the more engaging. Much of the film is so very competent and a reasonable bit is rather unique, and while all of this skill goes betrayed by the almost equaling underwhelming aspects, there's still enough talent behind this picture to push it on as generally enjoyable and ultimately worthy of your time. At the peak of this climb, undeniable dissatiscation sets in, spawned from moments of histrionic emotional distancing and a bit of repetition to exacerbate the dullness within a final product that ultimately doesn't have it in it to transcend its conventions and stand as strong, yet it still stands as generally enjoyable, boasting sweeping a production and locations - complimented by stunning style -, as well the occasional, yet worth waiting for piece of genuine resonance born of the gritty, honest portrayal of the harsh era and secured by one distinctively memorable and colorful performance after another, from the simply charming or the hauntingly deep, thus leaving "Cold Mountain" a chilled and improvable epic, yet one to enjoy for the many things that it does do so very right. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Oct 01, 2011
    The movie deals about American Civil War(1861-1865), Jude Law meets Nicole Kidman in ¨Cold mountain¨ and they fall in love. Then he's enlisted and participates in Battle of Saint Petesburg(Virginia 1864). He leaves and sets off to find her lover. Being dead her father(Donald Sutherland), Nicole will have to confront a lot of misfortunes until that she's helped by Renee Zellweger. The picture is overlong ,runtime is approx. three hours but is neither boring, nor tiring , but entertaining for the reason that happen several events. The film blends epic battles,drama ,a love story, shootouts and a little bit of violence. The motion picture is pretty strong with crude scenes : the bloody battles,rampages, rape,murders...it has many violent shots, for that the film is classified ¨R¨ as the violence is extreme with cruel killings, besides of sex scenes. well worth watching .................
    Mouhannad S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2011
    Has an epic sweep about a brutal adventure set in the final days of the Civil War. Renee Zellweger's Oscar win was definitely worthy. Also noteworthy are the small roles of Natalie Portman, Philip Seymore Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Giovanni Ribisi, and the underrated Charlie Hunnam who is good at playing a sadistic character. The soundtrack is a perfect fit for the film's setting and the series of events.
    Max G Super Reviewer
  • May 12, 2011
    A romanticized civil war film with a fantastic cast and a heartfelt story. The length of the film might run a little long for some, but I enjoyed all of it.
    Shawn E Super Reviewer

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