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Ride With the Devil (The Criterion Collection)

4.5 out of 5 stars 267 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ride with the Devil follows four people fighting for truth & justice amidst the turmoil of the American Civil War. The action takes us to no man's land on the Missouri/Kansas border where a staunch loyalist (Ulrich), an immigrant's son (Maguire), a freed slave (Wright) and a young widow (Jewel) learn how to survive in a place without rules and redefine the meaning of bravery and honor.

Special Features

  • New director's cut of Ride with the Devil
  • Featuring thirteen minutes of added footage
  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Two audio commentaries
  • New video interview with star Jeffrey Wright
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Godfrey Cheshire

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jewel Kilcher, Jeremy W. Auman, Scott Sener
    • Directors: Ang Lee
    • Writers: James Schamus, Daniel Woodrell
    • Producers: Anne Carey, David Linde, James Schamus, Robert F. Colesberry, Ted Hope
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      R
      Restricted
    • Studio: Criterion
    • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010
    • Run Time: 148 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0035ECHUY
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,432 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Ride With the Devil (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    Thus reasoned young bushwhacker Jake Roedel, (Tobey Maguire) summing up the condition of his native Missouri, torn apart by savage guerilla warfare, as neighbor fought and killed neighbor during the Civil War. This outstanding movie manages to take much the same attitude as it tells the tale of this troubling period that has usually been handled in a much more partisan manner.

    The Civil War in Missouri was particularly terrible, as the loyalties and interests of the population split between the Union and the Confederacy. Few regular troops were committed to Missouri, and most of the fighting was done by roving gangs of Irregulars; Secessionist Bushwhackers and Unionist Jayhawkers. These men more often made war on those who once had been their neighbors and friends than on uniformed troops, and terrible atrocities that were more murder than war were committed by each side.

    `Ride with the Devil' is an incredibly thoughtful and nuanced telling of this sad story. All of the protagonists are bushwhackers, but the movie does not attempt to paint them as pure heroes fighting against evil for all that is good and right. Instead, it manages to show them as young men who had the misfortune to be caught up in the sweep of history and forced into a violent life by unavoidable circumstances. We see the struggle some of them had between the violent actions that had become their life and their own sense of decency, and we see others enthusiastically revel in the murderous mayhem - glad for the excuse the war had given them to be free of the constraints of civilized society. One scene in particular drives home the fact that these warriors were more boys than men. Jake (Maguire) faces his new bride, a young women already widowed by the war (Jewel) in the bedroom on their wedding night.
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    Format: VHS Tape
    This is one of those rare movies where everybody got it right ---from the cinematography to the casting; from the musical score to film editing; from costume design to second unit directing this movie is nearly flawless. The directing by Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility) and the performance by a wonderful ensemble cast put this movie in a league with the great modern frontier movies like The Outlaw Josey Wales and The Long Riders.
    Set on the Missouri/Kansas border during the American Civil War, the movie faithfully recreates the story told by Daniel Woodrell in his wonderful novel, Woe To Live On. The book is worth reading for the dialogue alone and the movie is worth watching simply for James Schamus' magnificent screenplay: But there is much move to love about this movie.
    The tapestry upon which the story of Ride With The Devil is painted is a violent one but, apart from some very graphic scenes, is more about human nature than anything else. Indeed, the depth of the violence only adds to the poignancy of the surprisingly frequent gentle scenes that occur in the movie. Tobey Macguire is perfect in the lead role, Jewel gives a surprisingly intuitive performance, and Jefrey Wright almost steals the show with his low-key, but passionate performance as a freed slave riding with a gang of white bushwhackers. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Macguire's nemesis, has a small part but is death himself. (His final confrontation with Macguire is brief and chilling --- and encapsulates the entire sense and sensibility of the movie.)
    Sadly, this movie will probably go unnoticed by the general public since it seems to have had a limited release in the US and gone almost immediately from the theater to the rental market. Hopefully word-of-mouth will build interest in this truly remarkable American classic. Watch it --- but read the book too.
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    By A Customer on July 14, 2001
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Civil War epic involving the confused guerilla warfare that happened along the Missouri-Kansas border. We learn that this region wasn't exactly teeming with regular armies, but rather was the scene of isolated groups waging local war: Confederate sympathizers were "Bushwackers"; Unionists were "Jayhawkers". *Ride with the Devil* is another brilliant example of the seemingly endless fund of storytelling material about the Civil War that has yet to be fully tapped. With such an advantage, the movie is bound to excite attention. What keeps that attention is the brilliant pacing of the narrative and Ang Lee's deft direction. These young men on the run, hardened beyond their years, enjoined with a very bad cause to start with, experience loss after loss and yet grow immeasurably within, particularly Tobey Maguire's Rodell and Jeffrey Wright's magnificent renegade slave, Holt. (Both Maguire and Wright perform superbly.) I don't know how Ang Lee pulls it off, but we watch Maguire's character harden, toughen, and mature most subtly, without fanfare-of-trumpets setpieces that beat us over the head (e.g., Gibson's *Patriot*.) It's a shock when, late in the film, Rodell gets a haircut that reveals how young he actually is. Quite simply, I cannot praise this movie enough. How on earth *Ride with the Devil* got so thoroughly snubbed by the industry, audiences, and critics is beyond me. The critics, in particular, took a total bath on this one. Perhaps the world wasn't quite ready for Ang Lee's brand of intelligent action pictures. Hopefully, with the groundbreaking success of *Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon*, folks will see Mr. Lee's name on this movie's DVD box and give it a rent. Hopefully, so will you -- you won't regret it. This movie's great.
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