Gods and Generals - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gods and Generals Reviews

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½ January 19, 2015
I loved it. As someone who grew up in the South, I appreciated the fact that it wasn't just an American union propaganda piece.
November 20, 2014
Gods and Generals is an ambitious and historically accurate but overlong film that lacks such things as three-dimensional characters or a focused narrative.
½ November 15, 2014
Overwrought and overlong, "Gods & Generals" is too preachy and blunt in its endorsement of the Southern cause, doing very little to explore the moral and ethical ambiguity and dilemmas of the Civil War. Credit must be given where credit is due, however, for a harrowing portrayal of the Battle of Fredericksburg, particularly the charge of the Irish Brigade. For about 45 minutes, "Gods & Generals" is rousing cinema: emotional, visceral and moving. It's a shame it couldn't maintain that energy throughout. Watch the Battle of Fredericksburg, skip everything else.
½ October 17, 2014
I can't believe I sat through this crap. Jeff Daniels and Robert Duvall are great in this, but it not only comes out as a snorefest, but tries to make you support the people who wanted to keep slaves. At almost four hours long, I strongly suggest you stay away from this shit.
October 9, 2014
This movie is one of the best I have ever seen. As an American Civil War buff and reenactor, I can honestly say that Stephen Lang captures the persona of General Jackson to an art. The combat scenes are so realistic. The soldiers who take hits are masters at it. And the charge of the Irish Brigade at Fredricksburg.....speechless.
August 25, 2014
best film of the civil war ever made
August 19, 2014
I found the story telling elements very well crafted. Nice theme of home woven throughout the film, from Mary Fahl's song to open the movie "Going Home" to the death of Stonewall Jackson at the end. I also loved how Gen. Jackson's faith was so vividly and positively portrayed. I think the critics were off in their comments against some of the longer poetic soliloquies. Finally, this movie is rare in that it gives the Confederacy a voice more reflective of their ideals. Sensitively and intellectually engaging - highly recommended!

It's too bad plans to make The Last Full Measure onto a movie have fallen through. It would round out the storyline presented by this film and Gettysburg.
½ August 3, 2014
A bit dry in parts. I think the movie could have been cut by an hour and could have still given the same message.
½ July 6, 2014
A riveting account of General Lee's confederate armies earlier victories in the Civil War up to Gettysburg
June 22, 2014
It's long, boring, preachy, and filled with way too many monologues. The costumes and sets are fairly impressive, but there's not much to get excited about in this movie.
½ June 7, 2014
An excellent movie, and very enjoyable to watch. For those who don't know history, many of the military leaders at this time were religious. Get over it!
April 26, 2014
Gods and Generals has some impressive battle scenes and performances from its cast, but the tonal lapses and unbalanced story only make its length drag on.
½ March 11, 2014
Very historical Civil War movie. Are they serious about the so called "Pro-Confederate Slate" where was that ANYWHERE! It is just the truth from both sides. Wow people are dumb! One more thing of course they mention God a lot, it was the way people talked then. Personally, I think people should start talking that way again.
February 2, 2014
A great movie that showed what happened prior to Gettysburg. It never fully got the credit it deserved.
January 23, 2014
To watch this movie and appreciate it you need a profound understanding of Stonewall Jackson and the Civil War. To the common person it's a snore fest but to someone educated about the war it makes absolute sense and can be very emotional at times such as the scene where the opposing Irish brigades engage one another at Fredricksburg. Most reviews I've read on here talk about how Pro-Confederate it is and there are no "bad guys". First of all this isn't fiction it's historical fact! These were Americans against Americans, many of the generals on opposite sides new each other personally and were good men. Also most people don't understand that religion in those days was far more profound in society than it is today. Jackson himself was a religious fanatic. This film is also from a series of books. Gods and Generals is the book that tells it from the Confederate point of view hence why it concentrates on them. Killer Angels (Gettysburg) tells the story of both sides while The Last Full Measure is from the Union point of view. However the scenes with the saintly treatment of slaves by Confederates is definatley questionable and inaccurate as is the parts with the little girl. It also left out far too many key parts of the war such as Jackson's valley campaign, the Battle of Antietam and ran on far too long for a movie, you cant compress the entire beginning of the war into one film!. It should have been done the right way: historically accurate and in two parts. However this still is a great movie and highly recommended to anyone curious about the Civil War or who is a buff. The common person will most likely not find it to their liking or understanding. Personally if these so-called "Top Critics" and "super-reviewers" can't see how this is still a good film they need to seriously re-examine their "superior" methods and should do a little more research on the subject before writing a review.
January 18, 2014
½ December 17, 2013
A war epic that somehow manages to be slow, monotonous, and excruciatingly heavy-handed all at one time. The title sequence sets the tone for the entire film: extremely long for God knows why, and painfully droll. This film's only saving grace is a surprisingly good performance by Stephen Lang, it's a shame so much of his dialogue was so weak. This isn't generally a complaint of mine, but I actually had a big problem with the PG-13 rating. For a war film of this size to have realistic scope and scale there needs to be realistic battle, and the bloodlessness of the battles completely took me out of the film. It's strange though, I seem to remember really enjoying this movie at some point when I was younger.
December 8, 2013
lame review panel above....one of THE greatest of all civil war/war films ever created and shows the viewers the major truths of the Confederate side....liberty from Federal tyranny....just as we have today....and ours today is a direct result of their victory over the liberty-loving Southern states....individual soverienties!
November 13, 2013
If you are really in to the Civil War, it is worth watching. If you are only casually interested in the Civil War, skip it.
½ October 30, 2013
"Gods and Generals" - more like "God, This Is Generally Awful." So many things wrong with this movie, most notably the script and the acting: two areas of primary responsibility for writer/director Ronald F. Maxwell. I'm certain the acting could've been salvaged. Talents like Duall, Lang and Daniels just don't give sub-par performances at the same time. Though I will say Robert Duvall, during those few times he's on-screen, does do as decent a job as we expect from Duvall. No, I don't think any actor could make gold out of this terrible script. Very few of the characters actually talk to each other. Instead, most of the time, they're speeching at each other, with one person delivering a soliloquy after the other, and all in this god-awful dialogue that sounds like it was based only on readings of Civil War letters from Ken Burns documentaries. Most of it comes from Stephen Lang, who got the lead as Stonewall Jackson. He's a decent actor in general, but in Gods and Generals, all we hear through the majority of the movie is Lang as the dour, uninteresting, Bible-thumping version of his bad guy in Avatar, but who also likes to play with little girls (yes, there's an obvious, oh so obvious, metaphor around the girl, her inevitable death, and Jackson's sobbing response). But back to the dialogue, in this universe, Jackson would wake up in the morning and address his breakfast as such: "Today, before Gawd, I spread the butter of Liberty over the toast of Freedom, then I will drink my coffee of Justice in order to free myself from the tyranny of Sleep." It sucks like that, and for 3 and a half hours! 3.5 hours of people making ridiculous speeches at each other and making declarations of prayers, interspersed by generic battle scenes that don't depict much more than adults playing Pretend Time. There is very little to distinguish the battlefields or the two sides from each other. The one major clue, according to this movie, is if soldiers are fleeing in defeat, they're from the North. There's nothing to connect us to the battles beyond our how we already feel about the Northern and Southern armies. Few, if any, of the characters are meaningful enough to warrant any sort of dramatic feeling towards their fate in the battles. The movie, however, obviously wants to engender sympathy for the Confederates. That's not surprising considering Ted Turner bankrolled (and had a cameo in) the movie. We all know how he likes to colorize history. And if the movie wants to slant history to a certain viewpoint, I accept that. It happens. But what's embarrassing about Gods and Generals is how it almost entirely erases slavery as a key component of the war or at least for fueling hostilities between the two sides. By my estimate, there are only like 4 or 5 black actors who have any lines or significant screen time. Of them, only one makes reference to being born a slave. The others aren't referred to as slaves by name, but are treated as blacks who are pleased as punch for the opportunity to work for nice white people without being paid....or freedom. There are two scenes where Jackson and a woman both speech with black servant-like characters. The black characters are proud to fulfill their duties to the white characters, and the white characters get to appear magnanimous in their attitudes towards blacks. The only time slavery is addressed as a significant issue in the conflict is during a speech by Jeff Daniels in the latter third of the film as he expresses a desire for all men to be free. The moment comes and goes so independently of the rest of the action, it's almost like it was thrown in just to avoid major controversy, like the filmmakers were ready with a defense of, "see? We included slavery." I went into Gods and Generals eager for a decent Civil War movie, but this is a train wreck as epic as the movie's scope. Unless you're a big Civil War buff with a 150 year old chip on your shoulder because the South lost, don't waste your time on this movie. It's full of a lot noise, signifying little.
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