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The Civil War of battlefields and plantation houses is nowhere to be seen here. Instead we see the war as an improvised and largely blundering but very bloody feud among neighbors in the border state of Missouri. In this bucolic war zone--more than a little reminiscent of the Balkans in the late 1990s--the Taiwanese-born director Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility) traces the destinies of several young Southern bushwhackers (guerrilla fighters) as they experience violence, the seasons, and different kinds of love. Skeet Ulrich draws the aristocratic glamour role (and top billing), but he's overshadowed by Tobey Maguire as a first-generation American, the magnificent Jeffrey Wright (a shameful oversight at Oscar time) as a freed slave fighting beside his former master, and singer Jewel in a very natural acting debut as the young widow who graces all their lives. The title The Birth of a Nation was already taken, but by the end of this movie you feel it would have applied here. -- Richard T. Jameson
A great story of the Civil War, intelligently cast, well written, and acted.
The divided state of Missouri becomes a land for Confederate and Union Guerillas during the Civil War which allows for destruction, murder, mayhem and disorder.
The film has a great cast- Skeet Ulrich, Tobey Maguire, Jewel, Jeffrey Wright, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Simon Baker, all of them turning out great performances.
Powerful story, brilliant ensemble cast, dramatic, intense and compelling!!!! Directed artfully. This movie is one of the great westerns. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Louis Quetel
A little bloody and violent for my taste, but I wanted it for the historical value as well as the fact that the movie was filmed in the area where I was born and raised. Read morePublished 1 month ago by CEK
Excellent period movie. Maguire et al do a great job.Published 2 months ago by Yellow Rose of Texas