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Plot:

The rise and fall of legendary war hero Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as he leads the Confederacy to great success against the Union from 1861 to 1863.::slang fan

Also Known As: Богове и пълководци, Istenek és katonák, Θεοί και Στρατηγοί, Deuses E Generais, Deuses e Generais, Generalowie, Gods and Generals, Dioses y generales, Jumalan miekka, Theoi kai stratigoi, Боги и генералы

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26 Comments

  • confederado
    Confederado

    What a great movie about those monstrous huns you call Yanks. The War of Northern Aggression will forever remain in the minds of the proud and loyal people who gave their lives for Old Dixie.

  • natalja-iljin
    natalja iljin

    “Gods and Generals” was based on a novel by Jeff Shaara, whose father Michael penned “The Killer Angels”, the basis for the movie “Gettysburg”. “Gettysburg” was a pretty good movie. Although it was based on a novel, and on Shaara’s exoneration of Longstreet (many others think it was his ineptitude that lost that battle), it was clear. One always knew where the battle stood and what was going on. One had a feel for the characters. Jeff Daniels was particularly wonderful.”Gods and Generals” had some things going for it. Robert Duvall was so wonderful as Lee, one wonders if the asinine black-hole of a performance by Martin Sheen in “Gettysburg” can be done over by computers. There were also other wonderful stand-outs, like John Castle and, of course, Stephen Lang as “Stonewall” Jackson.The problem is, the film makers bit off more than they could chew. There’s a lack of focus. A story seems to be emerging about Jackson, and his staff, and the generals who have a love/hate relationship with him.But it tries to be “epic”. First of all, they should have cut out Jeff Daniels and the yankees. Jeff Daniels’ character is suitable for a movie of his own, and it might have been a good idea to make two separate movies about Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and this one about Jackson. Second, there is a family they try to follow called the Beals. I do not know if the Beals were fictional, nor do I care. I only wish the first shot of the war had landed on the Beals’ house, taking them all out and making them unavailable for the movie. All they do is clog the works. Third, whereas in “Gettysburg” there was never any confusion for those who were not experts on the war (I confess I’m not a military historian), it was always clear where the action stood. In “Gods and Generals” there are lengthy scenes of two armies shooting at each other, but it’s never really clear what the dickens is going on. And, in the interest of historical accuracy, with all that firing the field gets covered with smoke. Realistic, but not conducive to following the action, if any.”Gettysburg” was based on a novel so the characterization was M. Shaara’s own, but one also knew how the generals got along. Here we have many generals who have a love, love/hate, or hate relationship with Jackson. A.P. Hill (William Sanderson) mentions something about problems he’s had with Jackson. But they aren’t shown or deeply explained. Also, although Lee says, after Jackson loses his left arm to amputation, that he has lost his right. Lee and Jackson were meant to have a great relationship, but they’re hardly ever shown together and certainly they don’t get shown in the deeply trustworthy and collaborative relationship that was so successful until Jackson’s death.The addition of common soldiers and their lot to give it an “epic” feel had the same fate as the Beals — it extended the movie without adding anything to it. I’d much rather see generals directing a battle and troop movements seen at a distance and close up, so I know what’s going on, than just having the horrors of war spelled out by having soldiers who never quite make it to characters shooting each other and raising a lot of smoke. Jackson is the heart of the movie and should have been its focus. His relations with his wife, his relations with his staff, his relations with the other generals, his relations with his men. It’s the only part of the movie worth salvaging and the rest should’ve been scrapped. Jeff Daniels’ Chamberlain should have a movie of his own rather than having to rattle around playing second fiddle in this one. Robert Duvall is superb as Lee and has little to do. The wimpy, uninspiring and foolish little Lee in “Gettysburg” is everywhere and almost drags the whole movie down the toilet.I have not read J. Shaara’s book (I have read M. Shaara’s) so I don’t know if the novel has such a loose lack of focus. But whatever the screenwriters had to work with (and it doesn’t look like much) they should have focused and clarified. In this they failed. “Gods and Generals” is a movie that tries to do too much. What it does it does extremely well, but when it lapses it drags unmercifully.And Ted Turner has a lot of gall! When is he going to be fully like Howard Hughes and finally drop from sight altogether and live in his private la-la land?

  • baegjunho
    baegjunho

    If you are a person who can’t sit through a long movie, this may not be for you. This movie is on 2 DVD’s and will take a good 3 and a half hours to watch. At the end it is worth it. But it is long and some scenes can get violent, although they are very nice battle scenes. There are some intimate parts for the people who are fond of love stories. From my point of view this is great movie and depicts the events as close to real life as they can get. I suggest it if you like history and/or the Civil War. 7 out of 10 stars… (ps. we got my dad this movie along with a biography of Roberrt E. Lee and I think if you learn more about the people you understand the movie more.)

  • jan-gorenc
    jan gorenc

    I had the privilege of attending the Hagerstown Maryland premier of ‘Gods and Generals’ on Tuesday night and I came away absolutely amazed and thrilled at what I saw. The casting was fabulous, as were the costumes. The filming of the battle scenes was tremendous.And the acting took my breath away. No one could have played Stonewall Jackson as well as Stephen Lang did. Jeff Daniels was again superb as Chamberlain.I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this film. Kudos and thanks to Ron Maxwell and all involved with the project.

  • william-antoine
    william antoine

    I loved the original (Gettysburg) because the story was compelling, the dialog meaningful, and the acting superb. That said, even the original film suffered with “made for TV” filmmaking Characteristics – the cinematography lapsed horribly, the costuming (including the fakest looking beards in film history) wanting, and Maxwell was forced to skimp on blood-packs, squibs, and pyrotechnics – essential in giving a film about the bloodiest battle in US history the proper perspective. Instead, Maxwell (the director) resorted to clever sight gimmicks and sweeping pan-shots of the same men walking and fighting, and I embraced these things understanding the kind of budget the film was given.”Gods and Generals” cost 60 million dollars (or so) – and should have been much better given the material that was being presented. Alas, the film suffers (surprise) a terrible lack in meaningful pyrotechnics and squib usage, and the battle scenes are flat and uninspiring – the men merely appear to be walking around with guns on their shoulders. The beards are a little better – but still obviously fake in many cases. Sadly, the dialog is also a snore and is shamelessly biased toward the southern perspective. I left during the intermission (couldn’t take anymore), but to that point the film was southern-bent to infuriating degrees. Lincoln never once made an appears in the first 2+ hours, nor was the Northern plight given creedance. The viewer (instead) was hammered repeatedly with the noble plight of the gallant southerner fighting back wicked Northern invaders. What made the original (Gettysburg) great was that it balanced these perspectives and made one empathize with both (regardless where one stands in opinion) – it was the tragic tale of “brother fighting brother”. There was little of that in this film.Casting was deplorable. Love him as I do, Robert Duvall was an old broken-down General Lee with very little spark. Bruce Bosletter as Longstreet after Berringer’s incredible performance in “Gettysburg”? Come on! And using the same actor to reprise a different (pivital) role (Lang – who was striking as Picket, also reprising Jackson) is a bush-league mistake that is never done (for very good reason). It should also be noted that most of the cast who returned to reprise their original roles were 10 years older and looked it in very unflattering ways – and this was a prequel.Believe it or not, I could go on. Suffice it to say, “Gods and Generals” stands in my book as one of the greatest filmmaking disappointments in recent film history.

  • mr-jimmy-jones
    mr jimmy jones

    Not a bad film as Civil War films go, but the character of Stonewall Jackson, a hypochondriacal, anal-retentive, religious zealot as the saintly character played by Steven Lang is a little far-fetched. For example, we know that Stonewall rode with his left hand raised to keep his “humors in balance” and was constantly concerned about his alimentary health. The movie suggests that he rode with his hand raised only to stem the bleeding from a wound. He was a decidedly unpretty man, but the depiction here is of a man who might model men’s work clothes in an LL Bean catalog. His religious zealotry is offered only as a deep and beautiful faith. The canonization of Stonewall is silly. I grant, a clever and courageous General, he deserves all our proper honor. But this film makes him an angel such as he never really was.

  • alicia-pinol-benavent
    alicia pinol benavent

    Remember Gettysburg, one of the most compelling war movies ever made? Brace yourself for a huge disappointment, especially bitter considering the return of director Ronald Maxwell.Gods and Generals, based on Jeff Shaara’s eponymous novel, follows the beginning of the American Civil War and is inferior to Gettysburg in pretty much any element I can think of. Emotional involvement? Yes. Battle scenes? Yes. Soundtrack? Yes. Acting? Yes. Pacing? DEFINITELY YES. In fact, from this point of view, the film is a mess.The source material is a problem – while the novel isn’t bad (although not on par with The Killer Angels, on which Gettysburg was based), it is, like the sequel The Last Full Measure, too sprawling and unfocused for a single movie, covering the start of the conflict and the battles of Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. This kind of material would have been better fit for a series; Gettysburg had the advantage of focusing on a single battle and its key players.Acting is passable but the ponderous tone robs the capable performers of their vitality; missing are, say, the intensity of Tom Berenger and Sam Elliott and the pathos of the late Richard Jordan in Gettysburg.Robert Duvall is solid as Lee but does nothing particularly interesting with this fascinating character. Likewise, Stephen Lang, who was superb as Pickett, is fine but unexceptional as Jackson, who is the closest thing the movie has to a main character. Disappointingly, the script’s portrayal of Jackson mostly overlooks his unusual personality traits – Stonewall was a tactical genius but also quite a strange man, but you wouldn’t know from this film.Even Jeff Daniels, who reprises his role as Chamberlain, looks bored and feels shoehorned in, possibly because Chamberlain wasn’t that significant a player back then. A classic prequel mistake: focusing on someone not because he is important to the story but because he is known to viewers already.Gettysburg was great. Gods and Generals is boring, badly paced and overlong. Pass me a pillow.5/10

  • megan-terry
    megan terry

    Although Duvall resembles R.E. Lee much more than Martin Sheen in “Gods”, Sheen gives a much more personified performance as Lee in “Gettysburg”.I find it interesting how almost no emphasis is put on any commanding Union general in either film, with only about 2 minutes of dialouge between Hancock and Burnside before the disaster at Fredericksberg. It should always be noted that Lee’s early victories can be credited equally on the Union commanders utter incompotence as well as Lee’s exeptional stratigic ability.I’m sure “The last full measure” (the final film of the trilogy) will put a fair amount of emphasis on General Grant as he assumes command for the Army of the Potamac in 1864. I just hope we dont have another 10-year interval between films.They are both great films. They have not been the box-office hits because of their legnth and a lack of hard-core history lovers to pay up at the theatre. I’m sure that “Gods” will be aired on TBS soon in a 2 part “mini-series” format to very good ratings as “Gettysberg” did.

  • christophe-roussel
    christophe roussel

    “Gods and Generals” is a horrible disservice to people trying to understand American history, and to the millions of real people who suffered pain, death, heartache, etc. during our Civil War. I have heard it said that history is written by the victors— and that’s probably true. But who is the victor now? Well, the very VERY rich Ted Turner seems to be one of them. And he seems to have used his power and wealth to re-write history to suit his own self-identity process. He first made the awful “Gettysburg” with its hideous paste-on beards and “high school play” production. Now he has taken his megalomania to new depths with “Gods and Generals”— a thoroughly misleading and trite piece of revisionist crap.Briefly— some rich Southerners (Americans from the formerly slave-holding states, for you folks in other countries) are now claiming that the Civil War was not about slavery. They say it was “states’ rights.” Well, yes— but a scholarly and careful study of the times reveals that the specific “right” in dispute from 1790 or so up through 1861 when the war broke out was the right to allow slavery. Check out the scholarly studies of those times, and it is clear that “states’ rights” meant “rights to own slaves.” The Civil War really was fought on this contention.Note that fighting on the side of the Union did NOT mean that the white soldiers “liked” the Africans, necessarily. Many DID have what modern folks would call a prejudicial and discriminatory view of the black race. But they DID also believe slavery was wrong, and they fought for the right of the federal government to outlaw and ban slavery, because it was un-Christian and otherwise morally wrong. Note also that Huey Long, part of the 1930s power dynasty in Lousiana (senator, governor, etc.) reported that his family refused to fight for Confederacy during the Civil War. He said his family thought, “Why should we fight and die so some rich man could keep his Negroes?” The war was seen then as a slavery issue.As much as we may be uncomfortable with who we as a nation were in those days— isn’t it better to tell ourselves the truth about that? And then come to terms with it? Perhaps the over-enthusiastic flag-waving versions of the conflict we all got in grade school was over simplified and even jingoistic. Maybe our mass-culture story about it shows the situation as being more clear, more “good versus evil” than it really was. But the modern attempts to twist history to suit modern agendas (and plays for personal power) that have come from some black civil rights activists and rich and powerful Southern men like Ted Turner are even more off-base. Given their blatant falsification of historical events, they are even more harmful.Compare this movie with the amazing classic “Glory” (1991-ish). Or Ken Burns masterpiece from PBS, “The Civil War.” Those both showed a fuller and truer picture of what was really going on. There were heroic aspects, angelic qualities, good and bad people, brave and cowardly actions, big and small minds, loving and bigoted qualities to everyone. It was a human time, with flawed humans, but overall it was a struggle to make things right— however imperfectly that might have been achieved. Hey— we’re all still working on it. But Ted Turner and his “b** s***” is disgraceful, and, well… just plain wrong.

  • minna-johansson
    minna johansson

    1st watched 8/23/2003 – 5 out of 10(Dir-Ron Maxwell): Over-produced civil war movie with excellent portrayal of Stonewall Jackson by Stephen Lang. This movie was like a few movies in one. First, it was a majorly complex civil war battle recreation, next, it was portrayals of famous civil wars generals in a very broad way, and lastly a very specific interpretation of Stonewall Jackson of the Confederates. This movie seemed to lean a lot towards the South and portraying them as `real’ people who cared about God’s plans and weren’t just slave traders, and the North as upper-echelon educated men portrayed mostly by Jeff Daniels’ character. The weird thing about the movie is that it drifted back-and-forth between sides allowing us to see the `realness’ of the characters but halfway thru the Jeff Daniels’ character started becoming God-fearing as well. I think there was too much time taken it trying to portray both sides as the same with an unusually bad representation of Abraham Lincoln as a President who was trying to conquer the South rather than trying to keep the union together. I’m glad to have seen a different perspective but it seemed to be rather one-sided favoring the South. The battle scenes were probably the most realistic ever portrayed of the civil war and over-whelmingly long. The best scenes were those with Stephen Lang who deserved top-billing(which instead was given to Robert Duvall in a smaller role) and an Oscar-nomination for his well-rounded excellent portrayal of Thomas `Stonewall’ Jackson as a religious man with an un-moveable focus on his fight for independence for the South. If the movie was only this, it would have been a much better movie. It was extremely bold for Ted Turner pictures to present this 4-hour long movie in the theatres but it probably would have been a better movie at 2 ½ hours. Bold choice that will hopefully pay-off in the video/dvd world since it probably didn’t in the theatres.

  • angela-garcia-md
    angela garcia md

    steven lang was screwed for not getting best actor consideration, particularly given his awesome overhaul from the flawless depiction of pickett in gettysburg a decade earlier. robert duvall is a far, far better lee than martin sheen could ever hope to be. cinematography is incredible, and the scope of the film is extraordinarily ambitious. it seems inconceivable that more than 200 serious votes would give this masterpiece the lowest rating, a mere one, which likens it to seedy B movie trash. the guess here is that when the last full measure, the final film of the trilogy, comes out this group will score a ten regardless how poorly done simply because it will reflect northern rather than southern victories. worth seeing just for lang and duvall, and the supporting cast is just as impressive.

  • crystal-perry
    crystal perry

    The period detail is impressive and clearly most effort went into its creation, and the actors make what they can of it, but it is far too long, not enough action and sickly sentimental. It did present the extent to which public figures at the time were motivated in their own conscious mind by religion, including generals, but given the fact that the South was fighting to maintain slavery, the message seemed confused. As someone said, just as you do not judge a person by what they think of themselves, you cannot judge an age by its consciousness. Jackson and others may have been convinced that God was on their side, but how exactly did they square that with support for a system that had already been abolished in the British Empire? The United States was the last but one country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery (Brazil being the last). Are we supposed to take their false moralizing at face value, or is this a satire? Hard to tell. It may be an effort to contrast Jackson’s of his grief for the death of the little girl with his apparent enthusiasm for setting thousands of young men to kill each other, but if so, the scene with the girl and the family are far too long to make that point. Jackson appears to be a monster, but was that what the director intended? For all the effort, not half the film which Gettysburg was. Gettysburg concentrated more on the bravery of ordinary soldiers, and in some instances, their equivocal feelings, to better effect.

  • denis-kraljic
    denis kraljic

    Seriously, if you have no idea who Sandy Pendleton is then you have no business seeing this movie. If you are clueless about the Civil War and the 1860-65 period then it will seem downright weird and you won’t like it.Some of the reviews of this picture are hilarious. The person who couldn’t believe the soldiers WALKING or STANDING UP during battle needs a good history lesson. Those who think the dialogue was stilted need to read a few hundred Civil War letters.Those who don’t like the portrayal of Confederate victories for modern political reasons need to stay away from movies about Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, and Mannassas at all times because GASP! the north lost those battles.Ted Turner, as much as I dislike him, put together a straightforward movie that describes the period and the leaders on the Confederate side during this period of Confederate success in Northern Virginia. This is a gift for future generations of Civil War buffs. I am sure that some would love to see a movie made where Joshua Chamberlain wins the Battle of Chancellorsville singlehandedly but unfortunately THAT AIN’T WHAT HAPPENED. The closeup shots of battle at Fredricksburg were extremely well done. The flank attack at Chancellorsville was extremely well done. The Manassas battle was okay. But the overview shots of Fredricksburg and the long range shots of the battlefield were TERRIBLE. The cannon bursts were the fakest I have seen in a while. They attempted to make the fuzzy, poorly drawn, aerial views of the city more realistic by having fake birds fly below your position EVERY TIME.If you are a Civil War buff you will find it interesting. If you are a politically correct “southerners were all devils” type then you are going to detest it. If you are just a movie-goer who really cares nothing about history then you will be bored.

  • bernardo-basile
    bernardo basile

    Stirring, well-acted, and intelligent film about the war. Critics hate it because it doesn’t kowtow to the conventional thought. But for open-minded individuals who like history and well-made movies this one can’t be beat.

  • eric-scott
    eric scott

    If you knew absolutely nothing about the American Civil War you might come away from Gods and Generals believing something like this: A sociopath named Lincoln decides one day in 1861 to raise an army to invade the south because he just feels like doing that. The people of these south, having absolutely nothing to deserve any of this, start their own country to defend themselves and a polite, bearded, General named Lee leads them and this other polite, bearded, General named Jackson is his second in command. Because God is on their side, the kind, virtuous, heroic, men of the southern army prevail in several combat engagements against the godless, sex-crazed, murderous barbarians of the north. Jackson and Lee deftly direct the outnumbered army of Jesus against the unwashed Yankee heathen and wins the war except that he got shot by one of his own men by accident and dies otherwise the south really won.Yep, that’s just what you might believe. If you took history from this film.Gods and Generals is a confused, heavily pro-Confederate, train wreck. It attempts to span two years of the war though the perspective of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, arguably one of the most brilliant field commanders West Point has ever produced. Like it’s antecedent Gettysburg it is of epic length except that Gettysburg actually made sense. This film is all over the place. Focuses on non-pivotal battles and is bloated with nonsensical dialog and close ups of men talking to themselves in archaic,sanctimonious, soliloquies. There are no issues, there are no cassus belli,no internal conflicts, there is only a clumsy even bizarre celebration of the confederacy; depicted as an embattled yet righteous society defending their way of life against their tyrannical northern overlords. There is one mention of Fort Sumter, a passing nod or two to slavery, and the rest is the Lee/Jackson traveling show. Overall a sloppy production which screams lousy direction and lack of focus. I felt the book told the story of Jackson in much more coherent style than this mess.To it’s credit, it does have very graphic and disturbing battle scenes where both sides are, at times, honored and portrayed with equanimity.However, G&G, like Gettysburg (a MUCH better directed film), had potential to evenly instruct and entertain. That’s where the similarities between the two films ends Gods and generals is a ponderous, rambling, confusing, tribute to the CSA. Aside from it’s endless length it jumps around way too much, lacks proper character development and historical veracity, which is far too extensive to get into for the purposes of a review. I will say that Stephen Lang was magnificent as Jackson, but I wasn’t terribly impressed with Robert Duvall as Lee. It is no wonder it bombed at the box office. It’s just not very watchable, at least not in one sitting. It might be of interest to those, like myself, who are interested in civil war films. This one is a grave disappointment.

  • eugene-garcia
    eugene garcia

    `Gods and Generals’ plays less like a movie and more like a three-hour-and-49-minute long lesson in Civil War history. Grueling and plodding, the film is almost the antithesis of `Gone With the Wind,’ in that while both films are epic tales told from the viewpoint of the defeated South, `Gods and Generals’ (unlike the earlier film) has been essentially drained of all emotion, drama and characterization. `Gods and Generals’ may be a more `realistic’ war film than `Gone With the Wind’ (what wouldn’t be?), but it’s not nearly as entertaining.`Gods and Generals,’ which begins right after the firing on Fort Sumter and ends shortly before the Battle of Gettysburg, is the first part of a planned trilogy. Despite a handful of `name’ players in the cast (Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Mira Sorvino and even Ted Turner in a ludicrous cameo appearance), writer/director Ronald F. Maxwell is unable to bring a single character in his film to convincing life (with the possible exception of `Stonewall’ Jackson, who gets to carry the burden of what little drama the film has almost single-handedly). In lieu of dialogue, the actors spend most of their time looking wistfully up to heaven or scanning the mist-shrouded horizon while delivering endless homilies about the rightness of the cause and the place of God in human affairs. To keep it all palatable for more enlightened and egalitarian-minded modern audiences, the filmmakers are quick to have the Southern characters declare that, even though the South is forced to fight against the North to protect its God-given right to sovereignty, they, as individuals, are all personally opposed to slavery as an institution and firmly believe that their resident blacks will be freed someday as a matter of course. Hell, the Northerners in this film seem more prejudiced against black people than the Southerners, who just can’t say enough good things about their sycophantic slaves. The battle scenes, though well staged and appropriately graphic in nature, are strangely unmoving, primarily because we have no emotional stake in any of the characters we see doing the fighting. Without anyone for us to focus on and care about, the audience becomes little more than curious bystanders, passive and unengaged observers of this brutal display of ritualized slaughter. Although the visuals are splendid throughout, the musical score, except in a few places, is like a thick, heavy syrup poured over the entire film.By providing subtitled identification of the principal people, places, dates and battles, `Gods and Generals’ does provide a service as a history lesson of sorts. As a drama, however, the film is woefully lacking in every way imaginable. `Gods and Generals’ may thrill the heart of the diehard Civil War buff. The rest of us will have to stick to our dreams of Scarlett and Rhett, and of a romanticized vision of the South that only a Golden Age Hollywood mogul would have dared come up with.

  • tatjana-ukic
    tatjana ukic

    It amazes me that the people who made this film could not see what a mind-numbing, boring turkey they had produced. Actors carefully reciting lines obviously drawn from letters, and thus speaking like nobody ever speaks; long, boring scenes where nothing happens (we do not go to films to see T.J. Jackson in bed with his wife or Joshua Chamberlain lecturing his brother on 19th-Century politically-correct terminology for blacks); endless numbers of soldiers being hit by bullets and falling down…). There is no sense of strategy or how the war is going, no feeling for the ebb and flow of battle, nothing but endless vignettes. Jackson would be better represented by giving some idea of why he is considered a great soldier (the Valley campaign) rather than being shown as primarily a sentimental, but simultaneously bloodthirsty, religious crackpot (“hoist the black flag… kill everyone…”). The film also tried to do too much: Gettysburg also has its very boring parts, but is unified by concentrating on the major stages of one battle. And, IMHO, the General Lee in Gettysburg is a much more real character than the one in G&G (who, however, gets little screen time). This movie deserved to fail, and, though I am in some ways sorry that “Last Full Measure” will therefore not be produced, I am apprehensive what these filmmakers would have done with it. It may be just as well.

  • anyeongmi
    anyeongmi

    This is an epic film based on novel and writings credits by Jeffrey Shaara and screenplay and direction by Ronald F. Maxwell. The Shaara’s Pulitzer prize novel to be adapted as a three parts by producer Ted Turner(TNT) and directed by Maxwell, and pending the third part. This is a correct adaptation of the historical and personal deeds surrounding famous battles American Civil War which are realistically staged by thousand re-enactors and the painful reflections of the fighting men. The film centers about General Stonewell Jackson(Stephen Lang) and relationship with his wife(Kali Rocha) and Lt Col. Chamberlain(Jeff Daniels) and spouse(Mira Sorvino), besides General Robert E. Lee , among others. It deals about the bloody battles , covering the years 1961-1963, and the events leading up to Gettysburg.Features thousand of reenactors battling over the real ground, through the decisive battles First Manassas, Frederickburg and Chancelorsville . The full scale recreation along with Getttysburg is believed to be the greatest period scale sequences shot from D. W. Griffith’s Birth and of nation. The all cast concentrates on presenting the human cost of war with Stephen Lang ,Robert Duvall and Jeff Daniels especially noteworthy. The picture is pretty spectacular but the wrong issue is that plot is plenty of overlong speeches from Latin sermon with Julius Caesar invocation and moan, thanksgiving to God and Bible’s dreary monologue. In the movie appear noted Generals and officers played by famed players, such as General Lee(Robert Duvall substituting to Martin Sheen from Gettysburg), Major General George Pickett(Bill Campbell, in the role of Stephen Lang who performed in Gettysburg), Lt General Longstreet(Bruce Boxleitner substituting to Tom Berenguer), Major General Jeb Stuart(Joseph Fuqua, acting in both movies), Major General Burnside(Alex Hyde White), Major General John Bell(Patrick Gorman) and Lt Colonel Joshua Chamberlain(Jeff Daniels, repeats role). Besides talented secondary cast, as Jeremy London, William Sanderson, C. Thomas Howell, Frankie Faison, among them. The picture displays an emotive and sensible musical score by Randy Edelman and John Frizzel, as impressive as the Gettysburg’s classic score. The story is well directed by Ronald F Maxwell, though lacks the epic sense and good pace he proved in Gettysburg.

  • lucy-mcgill
    lucy mcgill

    All I should have to tell you about this film is that Ted Turner plays George Patton’s grandfather. If that doesn’t raise some flags I don’t know what would. The problems this film has are myriad. For one, all the foot soldiers are old men who are so obviously re-enacters that the action scenes have no weight. I don’t recall seeing one fit, young man among the foot soldiers. When a group of people who are obviously senior citizens are “Charging” (more like hobbling) into the breach well…let’s just say it doesn’t float. Because of a lackluster, sappy, script and horrible editing, this film wastes an absolutely top notch performance by Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson. As a historian I was constantly baffled by how little military strategy is a part of the film. Major engagements are quickly glossed over with little explanation. How you could make a movie about the greatest tactician of the War and not examine his strategies in depth is a mystery to me. This is just a Ted Turner vanity project that should have been made for TV. If you ask me, you’re better off watching documentaries about the civil war.

  • aud-boe
    aud boe

    The film “Gods and Generals” is essentially a biographical film about General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson of the CSA. Those who have no idea, or interest, as to who this man was should probably stick to such heavyweight box-office competition such as “Agent Cody Banks,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” or “Daredevil” instead. “Gods and Generals” is well-made, old-fashioned film that gives an absorbing view of the U.S. Civil War and one of its leading figures. The portrait of Jackson is accurate from the big issues (his profound religious faith) down to the trivial (his fondness for lemonade). Characters both Northern and Southern are portrayed even-handedly, and the historical and social aspects of the film are authentic. Characters quote poetry from memory and sometimes speak in almost biblical cadences, in the same way that Lincoln’s speeches were deeply influenced by the language of the King James Bible. It is a beautiful film to look at, with great feeling for the often-wild landscape of the era; in this respect, it gains immeasurably from being seen on a full-scale theatrical screen. Two criticisms of the movie have been made repeatedly: (1) it’s “too long”; and (2) it doesn’t accurately portray the horrors of war. On the first score — too long for what? It is the right length for its subject matter. It’s the right length to give an earnest and thoughtful account of a great general’s life and a turning point in American history, even world history. (Many believe the Civil War might have gone differently had Jackson survived.) It IS too long if you have Attention Deficit Disorder or have been raised upon television sitcoms and the constant jump-cuts & meritricious visual razzle-dazzle of TV commercials and music videos. On the second score — no one will ever walk away from this film eager to see war in real life. Men line up with their rifles (in a mode of combat no longer practiced), blast away at each other nearly face-to-face, and drop en masse like bags of bloody meat. In one memorable scene, Col. Chamberlain [Jeff Daniels] sleeps on the nighttime battlefield using his fellow soldiers’ corpses as bedding; come daylight, he uses those same corpses to absorb flying enemy bullets once the battle resumes anew. Apparently what some critics actually desire are cool special effects, with exploding bodies and mangled limbs flying across the screen. “Gods and Generals” is a movie of great integrity and power — one made by adults for adults.

  • berta-baez
    berta baez

    This a decent movie and a wonderful tribute to a fine, fine man in General “Stonewall” Jackson, but I didn’t rate it higher only because it’s not a film I would watch many times. The lulls are just too long for a film that goes over 3 1/2 hours. For those who enjoyed the even-longer, but better “Gettysburg” this is must-viewing. I think a third movie would be in order to complete the Civil Story story.What’s very impressive about this movie was (1) not overdone violence; (2) beautiful cinematography; (3) an unusual and refreshing reverence for God, the Bible and Christian thought and (4) a better portrayal by Robert Duvall of Robert E. Lee than Martin Sheen’s version in “Gettsyburg.” On the point 3, all it was – to those atheists/agnostics who were offended by Jackson’s reverence – was showing an accurate portrayal of how people thought and believed back then in the south. That’s simply the way it was and the way people viewed everyday life, though Biblical standards and language. So kudos, to the filmmakers here for at least giving us an accurate description of the times, even though they probably don’t share those beliefs. Of course, the critics – almost all of them secular – hated the film.One thing I did miss from “Gettysburg” was a bigger role from Jeff Daniels, who was so good as “Col.Chamberlain.” His role here in that capacity is limited.In summary, an accurate film with ideals and worthy of anyone’s collection, particularly if they are Civil War buffs, but a movie that needed more punch to it to be more “watchable.”

  • begona-arevalo-leiva
    begona arevalo leiva

    For the first time, I am very disapointed with the vast majority of reviews on a movie on IMDB. Actually, I was shocked that the movie I just saw was in no way, the movie that so many people called out right disapointing. Though this movie does have it’s flaws, it is one of the most moving war pictures I have ever seen. Actually, it is more of a character study than a war film, and appeals to many different audiences. Many have commented on the long running time, and the lengthy, and I’ll admit, at times superfluously long speeches, but to tell you the truth, I was so engaged with the performances of Steven Lang, Jeff Daniels and Robert Duvall, that the close to 4 hour running time felt like a regular 2 hour movie. It was definitely nice to see more of the aspects of the war for the Confederate and Union people that you don’t read in your regular high school history book. I won’t make this a political commentary because frankly, one thing everyone can agree on is that this was without a doubt, our nation’s darkest time, and both sides lost far too many brave young souls, that were robbed of their chance at life. Both sides were full of young people, many of which did not fully understand their cause, nor why they were thrust into this horrible war, but both sides knew one thing…that they were fighting to preserve their very livelihood. But, I will say that the film did depict a more truthful nature of both sides, especially with the issue of how slaves were treated, and the ideologies (that are sometimes conflicting on the same side, as we see in a scene between Daniels and C. Thomas Howell) between both sides. To be honest, what you read in the history books in school is only partly true, and is in fact biased. And the film does portray the fact of the matter that it was a hard time for everyone, and the U.S., even the world, had a much different view on life, liberty and even the horrible slavery of others. It was a time of the birth of a new nation and the death of its people, a coming of age for this great country, and is a theme that is portrayed wonderfully throughout.This film also depicts the role of prayer, and shows how God’s Will, to those who search for it, can work wonders. Now, whether you are a Christian or not, the very morals derived from the prayers ought to be an inspiration to everyone, and if anything, was an accurate representation of the men portrayed. Chamberlain, Jackson and Lee were all, indeed, devoted followers of God, and it is almost poetic how Gods and Generals shows how their devotion enabled them to have the insane bravery that they did. I found it very moving, and I know many others will too.All in all, there have been few films that have touched me as much as this movie did. The dialogue is incredible and the battle scenes are very well choreographed. I do have to agree though with another viewer that at times, the music seems a bit out of place…for instance we hear a thundering choir similar to the famous charge of Fort Wagner in the movie Glory, but, though a great piece, it seems almost tacked on in a way. There are other instances of a sad love theme throughout that are not needed, but all in all, that is my only major complaint. The film is long, and I really thought I’d be bored as hell throughout. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how the movie flows. Yes, there are jingoistic, drawn out speeches, but they all are moving, are performed masterfully, and flow nicely. There were very few moments of ‘dead time’ where the movie just stopped at a stand still. I would recommend this movie to anyone, considering it isn’t just a war movie junkie or Civil War buff movie. It has appealing elements for everyone, and is one of the most realistic portrayals of such a sad time in our history that I have ever seen. Like Schindler’s List, this movie should definitely be seen by everyone so we do not forget the horror of a country at war with itself, and take the extra steps in order to ensure that it never happens again. I had low expectations going into this movie, and honestly thought I would get bored during the non-war scenes, but I was wrong, this movie was a very pleasant surprise, and probably got a bad rap from the same people that teach the history that all Southerners mistreated their slaves and that the only Union cause was to free said slaves. Both sides had a cause willing to die for, and both sides are sympathized for equally. Gods and Generals shows that there are no heroes in war, and that through all of the madness, humanity will always survive. Highly recommended. I rarely give this, but this movie deserves it, and it was truly touching…10/10 stars.

  • maruska-bellini
    maruska bellini

    Great Civil War film that DOES NOT WHITEWASH slavery. One of the best things about this film is that it does not follow the PC slime that is so prevalent in society. Don’t take my word for it but this movie followed the lives of these people with great attention to historic detail. I think the biggest mistake that people make when watching something like this is that they are thinking with 21st century minds. When you see this you have to understand that this country, both northern and southern states, was very different. I’ve read other reviews for this and have noticed that people have’nt read their history. This movie accurately shows the events leading up to the war. Yes slavery was a cause, but not THE cause. Most of these people like Lee and Jackson loved the Union Army and were not seccesionists. Lee himself said “I believe that seccesion is unconstitutional and I believe that slavery is an immoral and political evil in any society”. These men were fighting for their homes and what they believed in. When you watch the film, try and keep that in mind and don’t listen to these doorknobs who claim that everybody in the northern states were all righteous and pure and wanted to liberate the black slaves in the south and that all southerners were racist traitors, dry that out and you could fertilize Central Park in New York. You be the judge, but honestly if history and the Civil War are not your thing then don’t see the movie. However for those who love history and have an open mind then this is the movie for you. The acting is top notch, most noteably Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson. Also Jeff Daniels and Robert Duvall as General Lee. The costumes and sets were very believeable and historically accurate. The sound and special effects were well done, and it gives you the feel that you are there in 1863. Wonderful classic 9/10 stars.

  • riitta-lindholm
    riitta lindholm

    My View in Summary: Overall, I enjoyed the movie (despite some of its apparent flaws), and I plan to see it again in the theater, as well as purchase the extended version when it comes out on DVD. I liked Gettysburg and the novel “Gods and Generals” better. I am fairly confident that the majority of Americans will not like nor support this film due to its overall pro-southern emphasis. What I liked about the movie: I thought Lang did an excellent job portraying Jackson. I was deeply moved by his final scene in the film. The attention to detail was good; overall it was historically accurate–with some exceptions.The costumes looked good.I appreciated the show of how Christianity influenced many in the Civil War, such as Jackson and Lee.I liked the fact that many from Gettysburg reprised their roles in this film, although there were some who couldn’t, which was a little disappointing.What I didn’t like or wished was better about the movie: The fake beards were more than obvious in this film, with the exception of Jackson’s and Lee’s, but this is relatively minor to the overall film.I thought, with maybe the exception of the Fredericksburg battle, the depiction of the battle scenes were not nearly as well done as in Gettysburg; but to be fair, there were more battles to cover in this film. Gettysburg only had one, meaning more time could be given to the details of the battle.The battle of Antietam was not in the movie at all, not even mentioned, which is very disappointing given its significance and effects.Some of the CGI is poorly done (i.e., very obvious), but, again, this is a small part of the movie and in my opinion neither makes nor breaks it.Some of the speeches were a bit stiff and seemed contrived, particularly Chamberlain’s speech before the battle of Fredricksburg.Not enough time was given to developing the characters of Lee, Chamberlain, and Hancock, all of whom are important in the novel. In fact, in contrast to the film, the novel gives most time to Lee, not Jackson. To be fair, however, novels usually are better than their film counterparts given the constraints of time.My thoughts on some of the common complaints about the movie: Some complain there wasn’t enough realism as to the carnage of war. To that I say there was enough to get the point across, and for myself, it is refreshing from time to time to see a movie that doesn’t rely too heavily on blood and guts. This is not meant to be a blood and guts movie. The novel is even less bloody. Anyone who wants to see a blood and guts war movie should buy or rent Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill, the Patriot, Braveheart, etc.Others complain that there were too many poetic speeches. Indeed there were many speeches, but that was also true of Gettysburg, which most view as a good movie. I didn’t mind the speeches so much other than they sometimes truncated the character in such a way that the audience fails to see their visceral humanity. As stated above, the only speech I thought was a bit over the top was Chamberlain’s before the battle of Fredricksburg. It seemed forced, showy, and odd that the whole regiment would stand motionless and quiet for so long to hear him go on and on. Clearly it was intended to be a poignant moment showing historical parallels between the American Civil War and Roman history. But the whole scene ends up feeling staged and apathetic.Others complain about the strong emphasis on religion. As stated above, I found this emphasis refreshing, for certainly Jackson and Lee were very devout Christian men. Christianity was a part of the ethos of this country at that time and affected many in both north and south.Still others complain about the pro-southern perspective being so strong. While I admit there is an imbalance between the northern and southern perspectives, which clearly favors the southern view, I also think this only stands to reason, since the overall focus of the film is clearly on Jackson, a southerner. And given the fact that many other movies often underplay the southern perspective (i.e., it was fought over State’s rights) or ignore it altogether, some will find this movie’s emphasis a refreshing change. On the other hand, the clear downplay of the role and effect of slavery in this film will no doubt trouble many Americans.Finally, others complain that the movie is too long. But I find this to be a misnomer. What most really mean by this is that the movie is not entertaining enough to justify such a length. This is not the first long film in cinematic history. Other films were very long and yet praised as wonderful (Terms of Endearment, Dances With Wolves, Gone with the Wind, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, etc.). The real issue here, I believe, is that this movie for many is too “slow” or “mundane” in their estimation. This, I think, is a result of our becoming so accustomed to roller coaster rides at the movies. If it isn’t constantly exciting or humorous or action-packed, it needs to be short. I suppose that in a TV age wherein we are accustom to pure entertainment compacted into ten-minute blocks of time separated by pithy, entertaining commercials, this complaint ought not surprise us, given the historical orientation of this film. But I think such a complaint is evidence of a deeper cultural problem, which should concern us all.My opinion who will like this movie: many Historians, Teachers, and Homeschooling parents; most southerners; Civil War reenactors; many Christians.My opinion who will not like this movie: Most northerners, most African Americans, many Liberals, most in Hollywood.My opinion on how the movie will fare: It will likely not last long in the theaters. Most critics will hate it. It will come out on DVD/Home video sooner than most movies. It will likely not rake in as much money as it cost to make. However, I hope to be proven wrong here. Though not without flaws, I believe it is worth seeing and discussing.

  • gowrgen-kostanyan
    gowrgen kostanyan

    I’ve seen Gods and Generals twice, and I’ve enjoyed it both times. The critics I’ve read seem to object to the piety, the length, and lack of political correctness. It seems to have escaped them that the Civil War was fought in Victorian times, and that the Victorians were extremely pious and sentimental, not to mention hypocritical. However, this did not stop them from efficiently making war on their enemies. The movie caught this perfectly, with Jackson’s assumption that God’s will is his will — the scene before the battle on Sunday, the contrast between his sentimental love of children and his ‘Kill them all’ about his enemies, the constant references to Bible verses ripped out of context. Regarding the length of the movie, all I can say is that I wasn’t bored at all, or restless, just fascinated with what was happening on screen. I’m sure for MTV critics any movie over 90 minutes is epic.Regarding the lack of political correctness, which in my opinion is our modern version of hypocrisy (we can do anything we want as long as we call it by another name) I would like to point out that this is an attempt at a historical movie and that the Civil War was NOT fought to free the slaves, nor were many people in the North comfortable with the concept of a franchised Negro. And some slaves in the South were relatively well treated by their owners, not that they probably didn’t want freedom, but they didn’t particularly wish their masters ill. The system was set up so that everyone involved, slaves and masters, had something to lose by destroying the status quo, and that’s a very difficult thing for people to do. It’s easy for us now to say ‘they should have freed the slaves’ but if you knew that to free your slaves would beggar your children, would you be able to do it?As with Gettysburg, the battle scenes were impressive and awe-inspiring. And they made the strategy and tactics clear to the viewer which is a monumental achievement, not to mention showing the pure courage on both sides, going to probably death or dismemberment without flinching. I would have liked more about the Northern command struggles to balance the picture but I can see how tempting it was to show the Southern victories to balance the horrible defeat at Gettysburg — and this picture is meant to be one of a trilogy. I can only hope that word of mouth defeats the critics and gets this movie the audience it deserves.

  • jindrich-kolar
    jindrich kolar

    Gods and Generals (despite the ravages of many critics) is a very good film. The acting, writing, cinematography are all of top quality. Billy Crystal once said, “We know where we would be without the critics, but where would they be without us?” This film is historically accurate, deeply moving, and with outstanding acting by all concerned. Stephen Lang’s performance of Stonewall Jackson should be remembered at Oscar time. Some critics condemn it as being sympathetic with the Southern cause. Jeff Daniels and others give their side in eloquent dialogue for their feelings on the conflict. I suppose Gone With the Wind would be criticized the same if released today. Since the story revolves around Stonewall Jackson it will obviously give his point of view on the subject also. The religious overtones given by the characters of both sides conformed with the religious feelings of the times that is lacking today and as such it gives the critics something else to condemn. And the moving scene with human emotions between Jackson and the little Corbin girl brings the human touch to the character. What is wrong with the critics….they must have slept through most the film. They say it is pro-slavery. There are at least three fine speeches by Martha, Jim Lewis and Lawrence Chamberlain bringing out the wrongness of that issue. Even Jackson says that slavery should be abandoned. Such is a great movie trashed by the critics and they miss the whole reason for this masterpiece. I give it ten stars. See it, and decide for yourself about this film. Every minute of it’s close to four hours is worth it. Yep. Yep. And Yep.