Customer Reviews: For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada
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on June 1, 2012
This is an excellent film, but read no further if you are concerned about "spoilers"....

As explained by Steven Greydanus,"The 1917 Mexican Constitution included harsh anticlerical provisions that went unenforced until the regime of Plutarco Elías Calles....In 1926, Calles introduced legislation -- the 'Calles Law' -- specifying penalties for violating the constitutional prohibitions: Clergy could be imprisoned for criticizing the government, fined for wearing clerical garb in public, and so forth. Calles also moved to seize Church property, close Catholic schools, seminaries and monasteries, and deport foreign priests" (National Catholic Register, 5/29/2012).

I particularly enjoy historical films and have grown accustomed to learning that certain characters in these films can be composites or created for dramatic impact. I guessed incorrectly with this film: "At the center of director Dean Wright's sprawling epic stand two remarkable figures: retired but restless military hero Gen. Enrique Gorostieta (Andy Garcia), a religious skeptic who becomes the unlikely commander of those taking up arms in the name of faith, and Jose Luis Sanchez (impressive newcomer Mauricio Kuri), a saintly adolescent volunteer in Gorostieta's forces who, decades later, was beatified for his role in the struggle....Out to defy the government by peaceful means is another real-life character, also since beatified, Anacleto Gonzalez Flores (Eduardo Verastegui). A pacifist lawyer, Gonzalez is sometimes referred to as `the Mexican Gandhi'" (John Muldering, Catholic News Service)

Greydanus speaks to what will be this film's enduring relevance: "Visiting Mexico earlier this year, Pope Benedict XVI highlighted ongoing restrictions on religious freedom in Mexico's Constitution. In the United States, the U.S. bishops have made a top priority the defense of religious freedom against encroaching federal tyranny....The magnitude of the conflict around religious freedom today is something no one could have predicted when production began on For Greater Glory. Some might call the film's timing providential" (National Catholic Register, 5/29/2012).

It was largely because of that "providential" connection that my wife, myself, and two friends chose to respond to a call to see "For Greater Glory" on its opening night. Including ourselves, it was disappointing that there could not have been more than 20 people in the theater of our suburban multiplex (Interestingly, the six middle aged men sitting behind us later confirmed that they themselves were priests.). I will pray that the poor showing does not signal a poor interest in the topic of religious freedom.
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on July 26, 2012
I went with my husband to see this movie twice at the theatre! It is based on truth, an action-packed spiritual, uplifting, inspiring, deeply moving historical drama that is A MUST-SEE!!
The acting is impeckable!! Not a flaw throughout. It keeps you interested at every minute, and it is 2 1/2 hours! The story line is very clear, and you know WHO is WHO, because the faces are very distinct from one another and nothing is confusing at any point.
I would recommend this movie of course for everyone (not for young children though).

Please surprise yourself wonderfully by seeing and supporting this most excellent movie!!
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on June 4, 2012
I saw the movie in the theater on Saturday, June 2, just after the June 1 release. I have been waiting a long time for this movie to be released. The story of the Cristeros has finally come to the screen. This much forgotten and much ignored part of Mexican history is finally remembered.

I can look at the movie from two perspectives. First, the film has a huge religious, inspirational impact: fidelity to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Faith, acts of heroism and love, martyrdom under terrible persecution run throughout the entire film. Secondly, as a long time movie fan, the film is incredibly well done with superb actors.

The critics hate this film because it is not PC and it defends principles that myopic, closed minded ideologues will not even discuss.

Many films depict the horrors of the holocaust, and rightly so. The Catholic Church has had many holocausts throughout history. The brutal persecution of the Catholic Church by President Plutarco Calles is just one of them. It is a story that must be told and studied so that it does not happen here.

I found the movie especially moving, because I have lived in Mexico for six years. I have exercised my ministry in many places where the movie takes place. I was particularly moved by the film's superb depiction of the martyrdom of Jose Sanchez del Rio.

Viva Cristo Rey!
Father James Farfaglia
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church
Corpus Christi, TX
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on June 2, 2012
This film is excellent and the fact that it is true makes it even more so. It is interesting to note that all the major networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, were silent in reviewing this film from the films coming out on June 1st. Perhaps they felt it would be wrong to show the people of Mexico in a good light. Perhaps the attack on the Catholic religion is, at this time, too close to home. The story of the fight to stop people of faith, by a government without faith, not only restores one's beliefs but shows to what extent people will go to to defend their beliefs. Several of my Mexican relatives had no idea of what had happened under the evil rule of Calles. They have been in United States too long and forgotten their Mexican roots. Many of them came across the border to escape the tyrany of a corrupt government. Hopefully they will not encounter such corruption here. This is a film worth seeing.
Richard Fandel
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on July 20, 2012
A truly inspiring and deeply moving account of the events and characters struggling for Faith and Freedom in the little known persecution and Christero's War in 1920's Mexico. Superp cast and excellent production values. A must for people who believe that the real "Super Heroes" are not found in comic books but in the Grace, Faith and Courage of ordinary human beings who respond to the assault on their God Given Rights, and live and die for values that transend their mundane needs and desires.
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on June 2, 2012
Today I went to the theater expecting a good lesson in Mexican history from the 1920's. I had no idea that I would see what may have been the very best, and moving, film of my life. Andy Garcia will no doubt be nominated for an Academy Award, as will be 'For Greater Glory'.

I doubt that there was a dry eye in the theater. Whether you are Catholic, Mexican or not, makes little difference. The message is clear with this period of history, that 'freedom' of religion may be taken for granted...until it is taken away.
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on July 31, 2012
My Father and all of his brothers were Cristeros, one of them was killed. But the goverment hide all about this horrible truth. I am glad that finally came out and people knows about it. This is a wonderful one of many, but many terrible things Calles did.
I am proud to be from a family of Cristeros.
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YOU must see it. Everything is so impressive. REAL PEOPLE,REAL EVENTS, REAL MEN WITH GUTS. A CALL for everybody conscious. Your life won't be the same after you watch this movie. The FAITH AND COURAGE OF AN INNOCENT BOY, will take you no another perspective in life. Is safe for kids to see it, this is nothing compare with what unfortunately they are exposed now days in the media. No words can explain the emotions that this movie brings.
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on August 24, 2012
Historical true story (Mexico, 1926-1929) about uprising of Cristeros movement after President Calles attempted to enforce a small clause in constitution banning religion. Catholic churches were forbidden to hold services, priests who disobeyed were brutally killed. The actors & actresses who performed in this movie (Andy Garcia, Peter O'Toole, Oscar Isaac, Ruben Blades, Mauricio Kuri, Santiago Cabrera, Catalino Sandino Moreno, Eva Longoria to name a few) gave the most soulful performances I've ever seen. The casting director who selected these actors/actresses for their respective roles deserves an academy award. The story as told was rivoting. Audience was talking during previews, but once the movie started, dead silence throughout the theater. Setting (filmed in different regions of Mexico) was spectacular. If you want to see a true, historical, adventurous story and be delivered back in time during a fulfilling 2 hour movie, enjoy the ride. I am not Mexican nor Catholic (Jewish), but there is something in this movie that touched me deeply like no other. So much so, I saw it (not making this up) 16 times at the theater - now on DVD waiting list. There is some violence but not at all gory/graphic, no sappy love story, no nudity - no reason children couldn't see it. It is the finest cinematographic work of art. The professional movie critics, who I usually heed their advice, rated this movie poorly. Disregard their reviews, sorry to say, they missed the mark. This movie, if you let it, will inspire you.
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on June 9, 2012
It's not possible that the producers of this film could have known when they began the project that religous freedom would be under attack in the US at the time of release. The movie chronicles TRUE historical events in Mexico in the last century. The Mexican government decided to attack religious liberty under the guise of preventing foreign intrusion in Mexican affairs. The people responded with both non-violence and violence until the government abuses were ended. The film is well acted with well known actors as well as the newcomer playing Blessed Jose, the twelve year-old Cristero. The film is violent, but not gory. The 1926 Mexican story could not be more relevant in 2012 in the US. A must see.
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