What price would you pay for freedom? An impassioned group of men and women each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country, as General Gorostieta, the retired military man who at first thinks he has nothing personal at stake as he and his wife watch Mexico fall into a violent civil war.Yet the man who hesitates in joining the cause will soon become the resistanceÂ’s most inspiring and self-sacrificing leader, as he begins to see the cost of religious persecution on his countrymen . . . and transforms a rag-tag band of rebels into a heroic force to be reckoned with. The General faces impossible odds against a powerful and ruthless government. Yet itÂ’s those he meets on the journey Â– youthful idealists, feisty renegades and, most of all, one remarkable teenager named Jose Â– who, reveal to him how courage and belief are forged even when justice seems lost.
Genres:War, Drama, Foreign Running Time:2 hours 23 minutes Release Date:June 1, 2012 MPAA Rating:R (for for war violence and some disturbing images) Distributor:ARC Entertainment
Cast And Credits
Andy Garcia, Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Santiago Cabrera, Eva Longoria
For Greater Glory an old-fashioned, Hollywood-style epic that overlays thundering hoof beats with a humid layer of piety, remembers the Cristero War, a bitter 20th-century conflict in which persecuted Roman Catholics rose up against the anticlerical Mexican government.
Largely played down by history books, the war, waged between 1926 and 1929, cost about 90,000 lives. Pope John Paul II later canonized more than two dozen saints and martyrs who fought on the Catholic side.
The movie is a much softer echo of fervent 1950s blockbusters with religious themes, like â€œThe Robe,â€ set at the dawn of Christianity, in which humble true believers who are ready to sacrifice their lives for their faith stand up to their godless oppressors. The best of those quasi-biblical movies still have the power to stir the blood and elicit tears. Mel Gibson has more recently made angrier and gorier versions of the same thing.
Dean Wright, who directed â€œFor Greater Gloryâ€ from a screenplay by Michael Love, was the visual effects wizard behind the â€œLord of the Ringsâ€ trilogy. This movie, which was filmed on many of the actual sites of the conflict, is impressively spacious. The expansive scale and brisk but unhurried editing keep â€œFor Greater Gloryâ€ from stumbling over itself and becoming a bloated, grandiose exhibition of righteous saber rattling. The symphonic score by James Horner confers an inspirational mood that is uplifting without being syrupy.
Even if â€œFor Greater Gloryâ€ is considerably more sophisticated than some of its forerunners, its characters are clear-cut saints and sinners. To its credit, the film acknowledges the political history leading up to the war and the bargaining behind the scenes. Bruce Greenwood plays Dwight Morrow, the United States ambassador to Mexico, dispatched from Washington to protect American oil interests while brokering a peace.
Mr. Garcia, who sheds copious tears over the boy, is a solid and convincing hero humanized by the attachment. The movie also portrays Gorostieta as edging toward Catholic conversion without actually making the commitment.