Overall Rating: 4/5
November 4, 2016
Dir. Mel Gibson
R (for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images)
This film has been thought of, in a way, as a return to form for director Mel Gibson. I have enjoyed every one of his previous films, and I’m glad to say that I not only enjoyed this one, but also I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of film here even with high expectations.
Nominated for six Oscars this year including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, Hacksaw Ridge has been universally well-received.
This is a powerful film with themes of loyalty, courage, and duty to one’s nation, but the theme that rings loudest is the importance of sticking to one’s convictions. The story presented in this film is hard to believe but is, in fact, based very closely on true events and is probably one of the best war stories known. Having said that, the story is also quite simple which causes the film to feel a little flat considering how closely it follows the primary narrative. If not for the talent involved in front of and behind the camera and for the fact that these events actually occurred, I think this film would have been received quite differently.
Hacksaw Ridge expertly imparts an important and under-recognized story of war, and this film should definitely be viewed for that reason if for no other.