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on 9 September 2017
The best film in the series of the American Civil War.Well acted by the superb cast, even better than Gettysburg.Highly recommended.
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on 17 September 2017
good watch.
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on 11 August 2004
Setting aside the obvious ageing of the actors since we first saw them in "Gettysburg", the interminable speeches and the "domestics"; for me this film tried to cover too much and too many events to be dramatic.
"Gettysburg" focussed on a relatively short span of time showing how events unfolded over three days to build up to the shattering conclusion of Pickett's charge. This film covers too much time, too many battles and can't make up its mind whether it is a documentary on the early part of the ACW or a biopic of "Stonewall" Jackson. Some parts are memorable - the tragic encounter between the Union and Confederate Irish Brigades at Jacksonville for example - but they are lost in lots and lots of boring detail.
Same applies to the books. The difference between the father's book "Killer Angels" and the son's sequel and prequel is that the latter are crammed so full of detail that the drama of the story gets swamped. They are an OK read if you're interested in the ACW but they lack the drama and interest that makes the first such a good read.
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This should have been the first in the trilogy however the much acclaimed 'Gettysburg' which actually
followed events depicted in 'Gods And Generals' was made and released first....sadly because for whatever
reason this film didn't do so well, the third 'Last Full Measure' was shelved...shame.
''I never thought i'd live to see the day when the President of The United States would raise an army to invade his own Country -
'General Robert E Lee'
A war that would deepen division throughout a nation in the hope of uniting it, a war that would set brother against brother, a
war that would create far too many widows and fatherless children, a war in which both sides believed their cause to be just.
The film starts with 'General Robert E Lee' (Robert Duvall) rejecting the invitation to lead the Union-Army against the Southern
states rebellion, and resigning his post, as a southerner he is only too aware that his home state of Virginia could and almost
certainly would join the conflict to try and repel the invaders.....He was destined to be the commander of The Southern army.
The film does try to see the conflict from both sides though centers it's attention on Confederate General 'Thomas Johnathan
'Stonewall' Jackson' a religious man, yet brilliant military man, who would lead his troops to many successes during the first
half of the war-years.
There were indeed many battles, both sides achieving victories...the film depicts three of them, two in 1862 'Manassas'
'Fredericksburg' both Confederate successes, and in 1863 'Chancellorsville' during which, though a Confederate success, saw
'Stonewall Jackson' accidentally mortally wounded by his own troops whilst out riding at night with his staff planning the next
days events.
The battle that would, though the war was only half way through, almost certainly turn the conflict in the Unions favour was
but a few weeks away - Gettysburg
The film i feel was unfairly criticised by many.....
With prolonged and well-staged and brutal battle sequences the film i feel captures the high's and lows of battle and it's effect
on loved ones, along with the despair experienced by civilians as their homes became under siege.
A well made historical film...though only telling a small portion of the overall story
(Reviewed after re-watching the theatrical-version i own, however realising there were significant additions including the build-up
and indeed September 1862 Battle of 'Antietam' in the extended-cut, i have since added this to my collection - worth considering)
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on 19 March 2017
Fantastic Film, as good as Gettysburg, some of the reviews on here talk absolute rubbish.
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on 27 October 2016
Even better than the first (Gettysburg). This movie is outstanding, and definitely on my top-5 list. It was far cleaner than the first (no bad language here, whatsoever). The budget seemed higher, and the historical accuracy was immense. Comments have been made about the pacing of the movie (here in the directors cut - it is long), but I would say, that it keeps you riveted throughout.The gore was kept to an absolute minimum too, without feeling unrealistic.
Top marks to a triumph of a Movie!!!
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on 25 October 2016
An excellent movie even though it is 4 hours long. This provides the prequal to the marvellous film Gettysberg. The additional Director's descriptions are particularly interesting and moving. I would suggest watching them first to get a better feel for the background of the movie. The battle scenes are particularly poignant and very realistic. The use of reenactors who are well used to the US Civil War scenarios make this such a realistic movie. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 31 December 2016
Like the movie Zulu watched before Zulu Dawn. I wish that I had seen Gods and Generals before Gettysberg. But in saying that this is a good movie and fairly accurate.
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on 23 June 2012
Based on the book Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara, son of the late Micheal Shaara, whose Pulitzer Prize winning book The Killer Angels was the influence for the movie Gettysburg which was made a decade before this prequel, both movies written & directed by Ronald F. Maxwell with financial backing by Ted Turner. Stephen Lang who played the eccentric Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett in Gettysburg is given the privilege to play the great General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Some may recall Lang from previous films due to this eccentric acting style, in films such as Avatar ,Conan the Barbarian or The Hard Way. Here he is playing a more restricted style of eccentric, with a religious twist.

Gods & Generals tells use the story about what motivated the war, the rise of the confederacy under General Robert E.Lee, with the life & experiences of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson taking center piece to it all. As an American Civil War enthusiast, and Jackson being a General of the period that i really respect, for his tactical ability & great leadership. This film was an interesting insight into a side of him i never knew existed before, his strong religious beliefs. Stephen Lang's performance was great, and the highlight of the film for me was the fight in the Wilderness, where Jackson's corps catch the Union 11th corps with their pants down. Robert Duvall does a very competent job filling the shoes of Martin Sheen as General Robert E. Lee. Other actors from the previous films do appear in order to keep continuity, like the impressive (especially in the first film) Jeff Daniels who reprises his role as Lt. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. While with it being 10 years between them, real life events effect the availability of the original cast members.

G&G's may not be full of action compared to Gettysburg, but the action sequences are well done & none the less a particular highlight when they appear, albeit not quite as exciting on the whole. As you'd expect with a historical film, it does rely heavily on the famous quotes used at the time, as you can see the cogs turning in the actors minds as they recite them word for word.

In conclusion, God's & General's is a nice historical insight into the build up of the events prior to Gettysburg, following General Jackson's carer. Civil War enthusiasts will get more out of it, as it may lack the constant action, along with it's quite slow pace with lots of dialogue with only a few well done action set pieces to break it up. Recommended.
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on 4 April 2017
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