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Customer Review

on 20 July 2004
Possibly. But even if some people disagree, there is no denying that it is a fabulous movie. It moves along with a grace and ease that many films of this genre cannot manage. While it is Tobey Maguire and Skeet Ullrich who share the top billing, starring as two teenage boys who become Bushwhackers (Guerilla soldiers who fight for the southern cause along the Kansas and Missouri border during the American Civil War) after Ullrich's father is killed and his house burnt down by Northern Jayhawkers, this is really Maguire and Jeffery Wright's film. Maguire's character is of German descent, a thing out of the ordinary amongst the White Anglo-saxon Protestant southerners, and as such is viewed with suspicion (and in one case downright hostility) by many of the men he is fighting alongside, something that his German Father warned him would happen. He also harbours his own prejudices however, especially against a freed Negro (Wright) who is fighting with them, but as the film moves on Maguire begins to look at events through a different perspective. The acting by all the leads is exceptional, but it is Maguire and Wright who must take most of the plaudits. They are both outsiders, thrown together fighting for a cause, that by all natural laws they should be fighting against. Their changing relationship, from suspicion on Maguire's part to acceptance and then finally to deep friendship is the core of the movie. Ullrich, Jewel (who plays a young widowed southern women romanced first by Ullrich and then Maguire) Jonathon Rhys-Meyers (as a psychotic Jayhawker) and Jim Caviezel (as a southern commander) all turn in first rate performances, but it is Maguire and Wright who really drive the movie along. It is an intelligent, thought provoking, moving, amusing, uplifting and sad movie. Basically the kind of movie that mainstream Hollywood tends to shy away from, and unfortunately, the kind of movie that mainstream audiences tend to pass over. This is a great pity, because Ride with the Devil deserved to take a bucketload of Oscars and a barrowload of Dollars at the box office, which it did neither of.
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Product Details

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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