Paul's Review of Glory
Slightly sanitized, but still compelling and well scripted, Glory traces just one of the many black regiments formed as part of the Federal Army during the Civil War. Produced by Edward Zwick, the film features standout performnces by Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Andre Braugher. Their white officers, portrayed by Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes fare less well in terms of their depth and believability, but they don't hurt the film too much because its a great story, well told.
Great camera work, nice authenticity. There are a few liberties taken with the actual unit history, but it doesn't matter. By the time you get to the climactic final action at Fort Wagner, you're hooked, even though you know this isn't going to go well. Though Matthew Broderick is probably the weakest player here, he still has some nice moments, which redeem him. The fatalism that he puts into his formerly positive character is interesting to see, such as when he turns over his letters to the reporter just before the action.
It really kindled interest in black history month, and contributed to a resurgence in civil war studies that look at both sides. Like Saving Private Ryan, it's a war film that had fairly broad appeal, and that's why it had a lot of impact.
It's also a film that you can watch again, and still catch interesting moments in it. Good bombastic musical score, too. I don't know how those soldiers could have charged that breastwork without the music in the movie, but history shows that they did.