Miracle at St. Anna (2008)

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Critic Consensus: Miracle at St. Anna is a well-intentioned but overlong, disjointed affair that hits few of the right notes.

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Movie Info

"Miracle at St. Anna" chronicles the story of four African-American soldiers who are members of the U.S. Army as part of the all-Black 92nd Buffalo Soldier Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy, during World War II. They experience the tragedy and triumph of the war as they find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and separated from their unit after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.

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Cast

Derek Luke
as 2nd Staff Sergeant Aubrey Stamps
Michael Ealy
as Sergeant Bishop Cummings
Laz Alonso
as Corporal Hector Negron
Omar Benson Miller
as Private First Class Sam Train
Pierfrancesco Favino
as Peppi 'The Great Butterfly' Grotta
Matteo Sciabordi
as Angelo Torancelli
John Turturro
as Detective Antonio 'Tony' Ricci
D.B. Sweeney
as Colonel Driscoll
Kerry Washington
as Zana Wilder
Robert John Burke
as General Ned Almond
Omari Hardwick
as Platoon Commander Huggs
Lidia Biondi
as Natalina
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Critic Reviews for Miracle at St. Anna

All Critics (120) | Top Critics (36)

Lee is a filmmaker who, through talent, accomplishment, and a constant working of the refs in the Hollywood system, has earned autonomy over his films. I'm all for artistic freedom, but here he could have used a bit of oversight.

Nov 10, 2008 | Full Review…

It's impressive that a filmmaker of Lee's distinction is willing to continue to push boundaries.

Nov 7, 2008 | Full Review…

Clocking in at 160 minutes, this interminable movie comes across like a rough cut. Perhaps Lee believed its length would give it gravitas. The opposite is true.

Sep 29, 2008 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Given the importance of that subject, the real mystery of Mr. Lee's movie is why it's so diffuse, dispirited, emotionally distanced and dramatically inert.

Sep 26, 2008 | Full Review…

Overwrought, overproduced, overbusy and overlong, Miracle at St. Anna finally suffers from the worst filmmaking sin of all: the failure of trust, in the story and the audience.

Sep 26, 2008 | Full Review…

[Lee] resorts to many of the same hoary clichés and fantasy situations he so frequently condemns.

Sep 26, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Miracle at St. Anna

Band of Brothaz

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

whoever wrote the script should be sentenced to 10 courses in remedial scriptwriting 101. What a mess - dialogue right out of a high school play, while beating us over the head with its message, and being completely unable to decide what type of film it wants to be. We take a prommissing start, with some nice cinematic touches, sprinkle in some odd noir (Torturo and the reporter are right out of a Chandler novel), and then do a 180 into a not very intense war piece that is more about snafus and human frailties than anything else (the writer even feels compelled to explain snafu - good grief!). In attempting to explain all the bizarre situations, there are still holes a mile wide in the narrative, and often actors are left either over emoting or trying to get some kind of feel for the lousy dialog they have to speak. The final payoff is contrived and ridiculous, and the little "sermon" given by the savior's servent is laughable and cringe worthy (closeup into the camera - as if we didn't already know that this drivel was the "message"). What a disappointment!

paul sandberg
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

½

2 hours and 40 minutes is a long time to endure a barrage of one-dimensional characters. Unlike other recent war films that vividly capture the chaos and mayhem of battle, Miracle at St. Anna seems contrived and overly scripted. This isn't combat through the eyes of soldiers, this is a perception of combat through the eyes of a director. As much as I admire Spike Lee, and as much as I really (REALLY) wanted to like this film, I just couldn't. This one is far too cliche to be taken seriously.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Spike Lee shot himself in the foot when he criticized Clint Eastwood's two-film Iwo Jima masterpiece for not showing the role of African Americans during WW2. First off, the Japanese army didn't have any black soldiers, and second, Flags of Our Fathers does talk about how minorities were mistreated at this time, despite their contributions to the war effort. But Miracle at St Anna really is a great film, nowhere near as good as Eastwood's films, but still worthy of attention. It depicts in harrowing detail how all black soldiers were seen pretty much as Operation Human Shield throughout much of the war. Even the Germans were able to point that out to them. Lee also shows the division of black soldiers between themselves. There's a great scene where one soldier flirts with an Italian lady, and another onlooking soldier says, "People like him have set our people back almost 400 years." A little on the nose, but the line gets the job done. Lee has always been a very ambitious filmmaker, and here, he tries to cover the battle from all angles: the peasant Italians, the Italian renegades, the Nazis, the white Americans, and of course the black Americans. At times, the film seems to wander on tangeants, but the emotional impact that Lee is aiming for is never lost. Even as cheesy as the last sequence is, it puts the title into a lot of perspective.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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