“What I’m fighting for is to prove I’m a better man than the others. There’s many a man worse than me, and some better. But I don’t think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. And that’s why I’m here. I’ll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. ” – Sergeant ‘Buster’ Kilrain
Number of Times Seen – 2 (17 Apr 2006 and 25 Jun 2017)
Brief Synopsis – Biographical account of the major Battle of the Civil War that both sides knew would help propel the winner much closer to winning the war.
My Take on it – This is a film that is truly breathtaking to watch.
Yes, its 4 and a half hour runtime is a bit draining by the end, but it’s still such an amazing experience to have.
It remains engaging throughout it’s entire runtime and despite knowing who will win the battle, there is so much tension felt because you aren’t quite sure how that will actually happen in the end.
The cast is spectacular and I don’t want to waste much space listing all the names, but the biggest standout is Jeff Daniels who should have at least gotten numerous nominations for his portrayal here because it feels like the most realistic of them all.
That shouldn’t detract from the rest of the performances because if ever there was a film with such a large cast that all made the story feel realistic, this would be quite high on that list.
They do a wonderful job of telling the story from the various perspectives of the men who made the decisive decisions as this battle waged on and those who needed to carry out those orders.
The narrative itself is a bit unbalanced between the sides of the North and the South and seems to favor the perspectives of the Confederate High Command, but this actually gives us even more insight into how this battle was fought and more importantly why part of those actions were decided upon.
This is truly one of the greatest epic films ever made that due to its length is able to give us a much broader scope of everything that happens than most films are allowed.
It’s unfortunate that more films like this are not made largely due to the fears of film makers that they will have trouble making back their budget, but this film is proof that it can and should be done.
Bottom Line – Amazing story that despite its length and scope stays engaging for its entire 4.5 hour runtime. Cast is spectacular and it does a great job of telling us so much about the men making the major decisions and those who need to carry out those orders. The narrative is slightly unbalanced between the two sides because it focuses more on the Confederates, but we still understand so much about the strategies and actions taken due to that fact. Truly an epic story that due to its length manages to give us so much scope of such a decisive event in history from numerous perspectives. It’s too bad that more movies like this aren’t made due to fear of not being able to make money. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – At 271 minutes, this is officially the longest American film ever made. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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