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Gods and Generals
A prequel to the film Gettysburg, telling the story of Civil War battles through historical and fictional characters. Beginning in early 1861 and continuing through 1863, climaxing with the stunning...  View more >

Starring Jeff Daniels, Steven Lang, Robert Duvall...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Feb 21, 2003
Feb 23, 2003
A little slow in parts, but still a must see. Gives a lot of insight into the feeling of the south and north before and during the war.
Feb 23, 2003
I saw the film yesterday with my family. Tip: you may want to bring along a hankie.

Afterwards I read the reviews from the professional critics, Berardinelli and Ebert. Their condescending and snoty remarks about the film are certainly clever, but in the end they leave me feeling a little sorry for them both; sorry that they are unable to view history, devotion, and spectical except through the filter of much too obvious influence of political agendas. I am neither a civil war buff nor an insomniac. I don\'t even own a gun. But I really enjoyed Gods and Generals. Its a long movie but for me the time flew by. Because of the outdoor scenic beauty as well as the scope of the battle scenes I recommend you see it now on the big screen.

I get the feeling that our friends the critics didn\'t care for the openly Christian backdrop of this movie and its importance to the life and times of the main character, General \"Stonewall\" Jackson (They must not have noticed the title of the movie when they entered the theater). Ebert makes a federal case out of it taking 70 minutes before we hear a black person speak a line of dialog. What this has to do with anything I\'m not sure, but while watching the movie I was much too distracted by the weight of historical events, development of the main characters, and the solumnity of the occasion to keep an acurate tally of political correctness points.

Of the 2 critics I\'d say Ebert is the more honest. He makes his personal ugly and petty biases obvious to his readers, hates the movie, and gives the movie 1 and a half stars. On the other hand Berardinelli makes his personal ugly biases obvious to us, hates the movie, writes a scathing review but then gives it a full 2 stars! Me, I give it 3 stars and a desire to watch the other 2 chapters in the 3-movie trilogy.

Don\'t worry about gratuitious blood and gore. There isn\'t much by today\'s movie and TV standards. But the scope of life lost, the courage and bravery in the face of certain death, and the devotion to core values may hit you hard. That these issues and these kinds of behaviors are so well documented that, try as some might to rewrite history, the truth still remains. And this is probably what iritates the typical Holywood critic about this movie most of all.
Feb 27, 2003
this movie is almost as long as the civil war itself and only slightly less painful.

i just cant believe that these generals would stand above a battlefield and seromize for an extended time about the impending battle
Mar 1, 2003
Close to four hours of my life I will never get back. Half a handful of mild, robotic battle scenes strung together with overdramatic, posed sermonizing by characters you never get to know and could care less about. There was no depth, no development, no dialogue in this movie...only mini soapbox proselytizing by each character as they passed through.

The best part was the intermission.
Mar 5, 2003
A good movie in some ways, and in others a waste of time. A lot of scenes dragged on forever. I relly like movies of this type, but you would be far better off staying home and renting some of the other civil war movies that have come out in the last couple of years.
Mar 11, 2003
I just came from the theatre from seeing this movie. I have to say that it was great to see some insite from the general\'s point of veiw. The religous aspect of \"Stonewall Jackson\" is refreshing as far as the historical facts of the south goes.

It gives you some facts as far as realism. But as far as a movie goes I blame the director, and the screenwriter for giving us a mediocre aspect of what really happened. The movie dwells to much on General Jackson\'s point of veiw.

I didn\'t read the book so I\'m not as informed to what the book is about. But I know my history, and theres only a couple of thousand interesting storys to tell about this part of history. If your interested in this part of the civil war then go see it. But I know that theres more to tell than general jackson\'s part in three hours and forty minutes.

This movie is interesting as far as both our president Bush, and Tony Blair from England are both devout christians, and relates to our present situation. As far as comparisons goes it\'s interesting to say the the least.
Nov 11, 2003
Even though it was made by the same director, and many of the same actors returned to play their roles again, "Gods and Generals" lacks almost everything that I enjoyed about the first film; "Gettysburg." The one item that definitely is still there is historical accuracy, a point hammered home incessantly on the DVD's special featurettes.

The movie plays out like a melodramatic attempt to make everyone realize how great and just the cause of the Confederacy was. Very little time at all is spent showing the perspective of the North, and what is shown is not very complimentary to say the least. I think the only reason it is presented at all is to provide Jeff Daniels' character his due, as he plays a large part in Gettysburg. To omit him would be very noticeable, and would have reduced the opposing force to a caricature.

I say "melodramatic" because there is quite a bit of sorrowful music and much speech-making by the Confederate officers. It took me until almost all the way through the movie to realize that the center of the movie (I think) is supposed to be General Tom "Stonewall" Jackson. I'm not completely sure that was the intent, as the story tends to wander through its 3.5 hours of length. Some additional editing could have easily reduced the length without sacrificing the quality of the film. Word has it that there is a 5.5 hour special edition DVD planned -- I shudder to think what was edited out, considering what was left in.

While the film had historical accuracy, it left me confused as to where things were happening and how the battles were proceeding. I find films like this intriguing, as my knowledge of American History is a little light, but Gods and Generals did not help me to appreciate these events as well as Gettysburg did.

Whereas I would see Gettysburg again without much hesitation, someone would have to come up with a very good argument as to why I should spend this much time of my life on Gods and Generals ever again.

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