movie review: glory

Being a film major, I figured I’m wasting my wealth of expensive knowledge by not doing movie reviews on here. So, at least once a week I’ll start reviewing a movie that I watched. Deal?

This week I watched “Glory.” I got it by accident; the kind of accident that happens when you neglect your Netflix cue. I’m trying to watch as much as I can on Netflix until September when rates go up. I digress.

This film was released two years after I was born, in 1989. It stars Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman. My dad had been telling me this movie was great for years, but I always put off watching it. There’s just too many new movies for me to watch a war movie from the 80s when special effects were so, well, 80s. But once again, Dad was right and I was wrong.

During the course of the film it quickly climbed the ladder of my favorites for several reasons: one is that I’m a HUGE history buff. I’m also incredibly patriotic, almost to absurdity. The final reason is I’ve always had a particular interest in race relations within our country, which obviously dates back to the beginning, including the Civil War.

A few things about the film that made it great were the lack of gore and closeness with the characters. While there were only a handful of characters, they were extremely well-drawn and really gave you a connection to them. The gore was believable, but minimal. Remember when “Saving Private Ryan” came out and people were puking within the first ten minutes? Well, all that was thankfully missing. A man’s head does get blown to pieces within the first few minutes, but such is war. The final thing that made this a new favorite of mine was

that they didn’t win. I don’t like when the good guys always win. It’s inauthentic. There was no way that troop of men, fighting a steep uphill battle was going to win. When the confederate flag was flown at the end I was saddened, but had a feeling that was how it would end, and it did. The good news is that in the end, the union won, and we now have the free United States of America.

I highly recommend this movie if you (a) like war movies (b) like movies that deal with the character of people and the development of them as well (c) like seeing the little man win (d) can handle, or enjoy, not-so-happy endings (e) want to see a good, serious film that makes you think “What would I have done in that situation?”

I give it a 4.5/5 (the special effects held it back from being perfect).


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