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Gods and Generals

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Ronald F. Maxwell

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About the Movie

A sweeping epic charting the early years of the Civil War and how campaigns unfolded from Manassas to the Battle of Fredericksburg, this prequel to the film Gettysburg explores the motivations of the combatants and examines the lives of those who waited at home.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 121
  • Fresh: 10
  • Rotten: 111
  • Average Rating: 3.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: What the filmmakers fail to recognize is that history on the page is quite different from what it needs to be onscreen, namely alive and visceral. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Nov 24, 2006

Rotten: It's a plodding, episodic film, reverent and sanctimonious, and its pro-Southern viewpoint -- a time-honored Hollywood tendency -- makes Gone With the Wind look like a Northern polemic. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Jul 30, 2003

Rotten: An inert pageant of waxen figures that fails completely as drama even as it insults the sensibilities of anyone not clinging to rosy memories of the slave-era South. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: A shameless apologia for the Confederacy as a divinely inspired crusade for faith, home and slave labor. – John Anderson, Newsday, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Mr. K

Gods and Generals is one of the best Civil War Movies out there. Jeff Daniels does an accurite iterpietation of Col. Joshua Lawerence Chamberlin. Also Stephen Lang captures the personality of "Stonewall" Jackson perfectly.

Could have been much better.

This film's decent, and possibly suited to tranquilizing a class of fourth graders when their history teacher's hung over. By and large the writing is contrived, the historical events skewed and taken out of context, and the labored, plodding story line limps along uninterestingly. It totally lacks the adventure quality of The Patriot, as well as the interest and meticulous attention to detail of Master and Commander, other historical military period pieces. Both examples take liberties, but are better films. To call this an 'epic' is only to acknowledge the fact that it's hugely long, and if you don't vomit straight away during the execrable opening titles, the hideous accents, soundtrack, and dialogue will induce nausea on their own. Ambitious, but falls very short of its potential. The acting quality and cinematography are nothing short of terrible, and not something we should expect from such an important and interesting subject.


I concur with the first reviewer. I was a extra in the movie and thought it could have been much better. Maxwell likes to tell these long drawn out sagas and eventually loses you about midway until the action picks up again at the end of the movie. Battle sequences could have been longer but instead we get summarized versions of what happened so he can go back to tell the individual stories of the characters. I really think another director should have been used, especially with a $50 mm budget. Like Elvis sang..."a little less conversation - a little more action please..."

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Gods and Generals
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2003

Customer Ratings