Ride With the Devil


Ride With the Devil

Critics Consensus

A well-acted, eccentric Civil War film, Ang Lee's Ride With the Devil is often more visually striking than it is emotionally engaging.



Reviews Counted: 65

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,436


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Fresh: 0
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Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

The American Civil War is about to break out and best friends Jake Roedel and Jack Bull Chiles find themselves thrust into battle when Union marauders destroy Jack's family plantation. They join the Bushwackers, a skilled unit of guerilla-style fighters, and fight side-by-side until some of the members begin to distrust Jake and his Union sympathizing father. Jake becomes isolated from the gang and strikes up a friendship with Holt, a former black slave, as his seperation from Jack takes one final, deadly turn.

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Tobey Maguire
as Jake Roedel
Skeet Ulrich
as Jack Bull Chiles
as Sue Lee Shelley
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
as Pitt Mackeson
Jim Caviezel
as Black John
Jewel Kilcher
as Sue Lee Shelley
Jeffrey Wright
as Daniel Holt
Tom Wilkinson
as Orton Brown
Simon Baker
as George Clyde
Tom Guiry
as Riley Crawford
Jonathan Brandis
as Cave Wyatt
Matthew Faber
as Turner Rawls
Michael W. Nash
as Horton Lee Sr.
John Judd
as Otto Roedel
Don Shanks
as George
Zach Grenier
as Mr. Evans
John Ales
as Quantrill
Mark Ruffalo
as Alf Bowden
Stephen Mailer
as Babe Hudspeth
Celia Weston
as Mrs. Clark
Amber Griffith
as Clark Girl
Margo Martindale
as Wilma Brown
Kathleen Warfel
as Mrs. Chiles
David Darlow
as Asa Chiles
Jennifer Ackland
as Grace Shelley Chiles
T. Max Graham
as Reverend Wright
Dean Vivian
as Storekeeper
Cheryl Weaver
as Storekeeper's Wife
Zach Gernier
as Mr. Evans
Donna Thomason
as Mrs. Evans
Cassie Mae Sears
as Mary Evans
David Wilson
as Quantrill's Lieutenant
Larry Greer
as Federal Captain
Kevin Fewell
as Federal Lieutenant
Michael Owen
as Federal Recruits Captain
Jim Shelby
as Southern Gentleman
Addison Myers
as Southern Gentleman
Jennie Nauman
as Mrs. Riggs
Christine Brandt
as Pleading Woman
Bill Grivna
as Dulinski
Nora Denney
as Elderly Woman
Harry Gibbs
as Old Man
Clayton Vest
as Young Boy
Roger Denesha
as Lawrence Raider
Jacob Kozlowski
as Lawrence Raider
David Lee Burnos Jr.
as Lawrence Raider
Martin E. Liebschner Jr.
as Encampment Singer
Marvin Frank Schroeder
as Encampment Musician
Steven Price
as Encampment Musician
David L. Asher
as Encampment Musician
James Urbaniak
as Poker Player
David Rees Snell
as Poker Player
Ric Averill
as Federal at Farm
Buck Baker
as Federal at Farm
Zan McLeod
as Guitar Player
John Whelan
as Accordian Player
Roger Landes
as Mandolin Player
Kelly Werts
as Fiddler
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Critic Reviews for Ride With the Devil

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (18)

Audience Reviews for Ride With the Devil

A beautiful character study with jolts of great action, Tobey Maguire's best performance and a great supporting cast.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Very interesting film which focuses on the American civil war but the Southern Confederate side as opposed to the more regular viewed Northern Union side. Its all based on fact (a book also) and the real leadership of 'Quantrill's' fighters in 1861, loosely depicting events of that time. Its also quite unusual as its directed by Ang Lee who's films have been admittedly diverse in range but you wouldn't expect this kind of theme from him. The cast in this film is what impressed me the most really, Maguire, Ulrich, Wright and Rhys-Meyers stand out from the crowd but all perform well plus they all look great in their costumes, think of a cross between 'Interview with the Vampire' and 'Colonel Sanders' :) with their long flowing hair and thin sharp facial hair. I liked how the guerrilla's were dressed with their dandy outfits and feathered hats also, unsure if that's how they really looked but its different and visually striking. Location work looks great, filmed in Missouri with plenty of beautiful woodlands and some authentic sets as you would expect in a major western. Not allot of action in the film, only the real event of the Lawrence Massacre is all you get which is decent but not a classic historic movie moment. For a war film (of sorts) its more about the relationship between friends amidst the battles really, not overly epic and emotional as you might expect which isn't a bad thing but with a long run time some may get turned off.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Every great director has one or two misfires. The Civil War drama "Ride With the Devil" is Ang Lee's, and it's a doozy. The photography is gorgeous at times; it captures the panoramic majesty of the American countryside. But everything else falls flat. The story is dull, the casting is spectacularly off, the actors were coached unbelievably badly, the editing is flaccid, the music is pedestrian, and the costumes and hair are downright laughable. Lee gives almost all the young male characters very long hair, making them look like girls. It's quite silly. Lee took a lot of risks with this film. He did not want to make a standard Western. This courage is admirable, but his judgment goes wrong at almost every turn. Chief among the disasters is the casting of Tobey Maguire in the lead role. I've never been a big fan of Maguire. His range is among the smallest of any big-name actor in American cinema today. All he seems capable of portraying is gentle, doe-eyed boys. His voice is so soft and high that you wonder if he ever experienced puberty. I like the idea of trying to build a Western around a girl-like male character. On paper it sounds interesting and innovative. But Lee was not able to make it work at all. His direction of almost all the actors was disastrous, and there are many of them -- far too many. Skeet Ulrich and Simon Baker are almost as bad as Maguire. Jonathan Rhys Meyers parades around like he's doing an imitation of Mick Jagger circa 1968. Jewel, making her acting debut, is bizarrely anachronistic, reeking more of 1990 than 1860. Only Jeffrey Wright, playing the one black character, knows what he's doing. Lee seems to have wanted to make a real effort to reach out to younger audiences. But filling his cast with Brat Pack youngsters isn't the way to go about that. He demonstrates here a real difficulty directing younger actors. The film Lee made before this was "The Ice Storm." After it was "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." What a stunning contrast there is between those two near-masterpieces and this goofy, boring dud.

William Dunmyer
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

Ride with the Devil was an interesting movie for me: For one it was the first movie I seen that actually had the ability to break Tobey MaGuires image of Spider-man in my head. I didn't once think he was going to spawn a web on any of the rider's that were approaching! :-) On a serious note - This movie was based in Missouri during and post-civil war in which we seen the struggles within the state that led to a divide of union loyalist and confederate guerrilla's that were both willing to risk it for all their believes. This movie had some courage in a few different ways. I really enjoyed how one of the confederate guerilla fighters was a black man (as many are afraid to risks that and I've only seen it seconded in Gods and Generals) as well as it steered away from the typical Jesse James movies that are often the only Missouri based stories. We also get a viewpoint from the Confederate side of things which also is typically frowned on and not noted in movies for fear of scrutiny about those who wish to degrade heritage and truth. We now get a glimpse away from the legend behind Jesse James and Bloody Bill Anderson and focus on the everyday riders that never gained fame but only lost and sacrificed in the struggle that touched every American life somehow or another... The actors were amazing, the gory was awesome, the soundtrack, the emotion, the action, and the off season from the action tied in with a few typical western story twist (such as how one man in the group went on to become an outlaw like so many of these men did being they were already sanctioned outlaws by both the south and the north) all came together nicely. Personally for all that it risked in the story it told and viewpoints I took I congratulate this movie for taking men who were noted as 'cowards' (worse than that of the poor confederate viewpoint by those who are ignorant in history as is) by taking the lowest considered form of Confederate 'Freedom fighters' and telling their story in a way like no movie has ever had the balls to tell it like before. It's an amazing film and even if I wasn't a civil war buff and a historian at heart I'd still recommend this movie to many who wants a true glimpse in a film that approaches the civil war without any bias and sticks as close to historic truth as any movie I've seen that wasn't actually completely historical based (and does better then even some of those). Well done!

Bobby Hobbs
Bobby Hobbs

Super Reviewer

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