I give this 2 Icees. This was a movie that had an important message to tell. It’s just a shame that it didn’t tell it better. The reason I give it the 2 Icees is just that; it’s story. It’s vital to understand where we’ve been as a nation if we are going to move forward. However, the director here ruined the chance he was given to tell this story. There were some parts, okay many parts, of this movie that moved so slowly that my mind wandered away. It was dull, boring, slow, or whatever other word you could say. Then there were snippets of great movie drama, great storytelling, moving moments, but unfortunately there were too few and they were too far apart from each other.
This movie starts off during the Civil War and continues through the Reconstruction. Although this movie is quite long (2hrs, 19min), it actually rushed through everything after the war. It’s almost like the producer or director realized that the movie was getting long and so they rushed past some very moving and important events that occurred after the war ended. They could have easily cut 20-30 minutes off the first part of the movie and it would have been just as good (I would argue better) and then could have used that time to really take the time to tell the story of what happened after the war properly.
Matthew did a decent job of portraying Newt and others in the cast did equally as well. The problem is the director seemed to think that a longing look is better when it takes an extra, extra, extra long time to shoot. There were also one or two logic gaps, but overall I think they tied things in well. If the director had done a better job, this movie could have been oscar-worthy. It had that much potential.
As I’ve said throughout this review, this movie had an important message to tell. I just wish they had spent the time to tell the whole story well. As far as what I would tell parents… I would say that this is a movie that can be used to educate your children, but only after they are teenagers and only with someone there to guide them. There is some graphic war violence in the beginning of the movie, lots of usage of the N-word, and some general concepts that you should discuss with your teenager either before or after seeing the movie. I would recommend seeing this, but waiting until you are at home, when it comes to Redbox and not going to the theater. There are too many other good movies to see a the theater. Next week, I plan to watch The Legend of Tarzan, and BFG.