Gardens of Stone - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gardens of Stone Reviews

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March 19, 2017
This is a GREAT film! Not top 100 all time, but worthy of seeing, if only for it is possibly the ONLY film to deal with the Vietnam War specifically, as opposed to a film set during the Vietnam War. Both Angelica Houston is and James Caan play wonderfully real characters who sharply portray the deep emotional, ethical, and personal struggles over Vietnam as felt by the people alive and in those situations at the time. Both LOVE, their country, their institutions, and the people used and destroyed by the conflict.

I must see for all who wish to understand the conflict.

Best Scene - Promotion! Coppola gets the "old Army" regardless of his Vietnam experience. JE Jones is the SNCO we all wish we had met.
½ February 12, 2017
Slow, predictable, boring. All the big names in the world couldn't save this dog. This is your typical 1980s version of a Viet Nam police action movie. I have several relatives including my father and I never heard them tell any stories like this.
½ August 31, 2015
Period piece that presents the POV of the impact of the Vietnam War stateside; both civilian and military perspectives and how they most often clashed. Great performances by all the main players, this is a movie very worthy of you viewing. One of JEJ's best performances
May 23, 2015
This movie is not about entertainment; it's about educating and understanding military commitment and service. It's messages are layered and are what you choose to read into them or ignore.
January 19, 2015
The inspection scene is fantastic
December 13, 2014
I really wanted to like this but campy overly acted shit just isn't my thing.
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.
½ August 6, 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 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.
February 1, 2014
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
September 17, 2013
I loved and was connected to the story!
June 26, 2013
what do i have to do to see this g.d. movie?
½ June 1, 2013
This is a Coppola film I had never seen before, and I liked it. James Caan is good in it and I really liked James Earl Jones...almost a follow-up or companion to "Apocalypse Now", though nowhere near as good. In any case, give it a try!
½ January 2, 2013
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.
February 23, 2012
Can well be perceived as a tear-squeezing drama of a young man who wanted to go to war, went to war and died. Another story is about friendship between comrades-in-arms slightly spoiled by the fact that the friendship is inherited from the times of the protagonist‚(TM)s father and may be a way to get a promotion. And finally, to hell with the stories, the characters' remarks about war and life are witty and enjoyable.
January 24, 2012
If you served in a U.S. Army Honor Guard unit this is a must see.
January 14, 2011
If you served in a U.S. Army Honor Guard unit this is a must see.
½ January 5, 2011
A movie that had everything going for it, and kinda just lay there.
December 22, 2010
(***): Thumbs Up

Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2010
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.
½ January 2, 2010
4.5/5 - This is one of my favorite Vietnam movies of all time - it's not about battles or weapons or horror in raw form, it's about the people, the soldiers, specifically those who man the Old Guard at Fort Myers. Veterans who've been to war, young bucks who want to go there, it's a haunting and touching story. These are some of the best performances ever by James Caan, James Earl Jones and D.B. Sweeney. Dean Stockwell and Anjelica Huston are excellent as well despite their small roles.
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