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Plot: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to win the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. Runtime: 139 mins Release Date: 04 Nov 2016
When thinking about war films, it's very hard not to go straight to the classics such as Apocalypse Now, Platoon or Saving Private Ryan. You have to make something very special to be mentioned in the same sentence as films like those and in Hacksaw Ridge, I think Mel Gibson has made one of the all time great war films.Some war films use a particular war from history to tell a fictional story, all three of the above for example however, a war film for me becomes something else entirely when it tells a true story, especially one as remarkable as the story that Hacksaw Ridge is based <more>
on.Desmond T. Doss Andrew Garfield became the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honour even though he refused to kill or even carry a rifle while serving as a medic during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II. Doss' phenomenal story of courage saw him single-handedly save the lives of over 75 of his comrades while under constant enemy fire.Hacksaw Ridge is very much a film of two halves; the first introducing us to Doss, exploring both his personal life and his motivations for choosing to become a Conscientious Objector and serve as a medic, the second depicting the Battle of Okinawa at Hacksaw Ridge, the site of one of the bravest human feats in history. Both tell the story of the determined individual that Doss was and Mel Gibson does a wonderful job in directing the film.Gibson has attracted a lot of bad press over the years but there is no denying that he is a good director, and in Hacksaw Ridge, he may just have made his best film yet. It's the emotional power of the story that Gibson taps into so successfully that makes Hacksaw Ridge such compelling viewing, whether it be Doss' arduous journey through combat training or the visceral war sequences. I was an emotional wreck as the credits started to roll.Speaking of war sequences, Hacksaw Ridge possesses some of the most brutal and harrowing you'll ever see, reminiscent of the opening to Saving Private Ryan. Due to the fact that Doss served as a medic, there are parts where a strong stomach is needed as he obviously has to tend to a number of seriously wounded soldiers. The relentlessness of the sequences is admirable from Gibson and they're wonderfully shot by Simon Duggan.Coming to the performances, Hacksaw Ridge features an amazing lead performance from Andrew Garfield, who wanted to move away from his days as Spider-Man with a chance to play such an inspiring real life hero. I thought Garfield was always one of the best things about the Amazing Spider-Man films but it's great to see him really grow as an actor. His performance as Doss is one of the best of the year and I would love to see him get some form of recognition come awards season.The supporting cast threw me a little but they all play their part in excelling the film, expected from the likes of Hugo Weaving and Teresa Palmer but the film surprised me with how good some of the cast were. Sam Worthington and Luke Bracey were two that come to mind but the real surprise was Vince Vaughn, who I never thought I'd see play a part in a war film, particularly that of an Army Sergeant.Few films this year have hit me emotionally as Hacksaw Ridge did and that's why I have to say it's a most welcome return to filmmaking from Mel Gibson. It's right up there as one of the best films of the year and definitely one to see on the big screen.
Autistic Reviewers Opinion Of This Movie. (by autisticreviewers)
War films can be a bit hard to sit through, with its graphic depictions of key battles in history, strong themes of power, brotherhood and the effect it has among the world but with Mel Gibson's latest war drama 'Hacksaw Ridge' it manages to be something more that we can grasp it.The true life story of Desmond Doss is finally brought to the big screen, Doss was a US Army medic who served during WWII, but coming from a family with a strong religious beliefs and a father that struggled with the aftermath of WWI a veteran himself it lead him to be a Seventh-day Adventist, refusing <more>
to bare a firearm and the use of violence against another. His personal choice would affect his country's army and persuaded a court hearing to charge Doss for his personal beliefs and objection to bare arms but despite this, he is given the chance though to fight alongside his 'brothers' in the Battle of Okinawa, a battle which the American forces fought against the invading Japanese in an intense and brutal battle. It is here in this key battle that Doss was recognised as a true hero for his country, as he managed to rescue the lives of 75 soldiers wounded in battle.Gibson returns to the director's chair to helm this true story, giving his touch of humanistic quality, anti-war themes and brutality to the horrors of war to much great detail. The direction is pretty much on point throughout and never goes dull or loses itself during the 2 ½ running time. The first half of the film is about character and what establishes Doss to become a legend that he is known for, while the 2nd half of the film focuses on his role during the Battle of Okinawa and the brutal battle itself. The violence here is given so much detail, not holding back on the horrors of war and the devastating effect it carried on both sides. The production design, sound mixing, editing and scale of the battle is as intense, horrifying and respectful to the details and real life experiences to what we've read in history books, but it is yet filmed with beautiful and yet brutal detailing that echoes much to Saving Private Ryan's D-Day battle sequence. The 2nd half of the film is much darker than the first half and people will need a strong stomach to handle the graphic depictions of violence and deaths we see throughout, but it does get emotional at times and in the last few minutes of the film, though overall the film is emotional with Doss's back-story, his personal lifestyle and the brotherhood that Doss and his army experience and share on the battlefield.In terms of acting, the cast as a whole is incredible with Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Vince Vaughn, Luke Bracey and Teresa Palmer giving the best key performances of the film. Garfield has come a long way to prove himself as a worthy actor, breaking away from his well known role as Spider-Man prior to HR. To describe his role as Doss, he gives a quality that defines him as a simple man with values in his life while facing a few struggles that form his belief of not bearing violence or firearms. Garfield must have given much study and preparation for the role, as his character's journey from a wise simple man to a hero of his army is given so much heart, emotion and bravery to make the journey of Doss so believable.Overall, Hacksaw Ridge is a film that will leave audiences in state of emotion that describes the horrors of war, the bravery of Doss and his army and a sense of thankfulness to our past ancestors who had lived in a time to fight for freedom and peace when the world was divided. An incredible film that will indeed earn its amount for Oscar nominations and wins in 2017 possibly for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Production Design, Music Score, Sound Mixing & Editing and Script alongside other film awards. A must see film if you have studied history at school, have an interest in history or if you love a solid war film that's true to its core. A masterpiece that will not be forgotten so quickly or never will, we both highly recommend it.5/5 Autistic Reviewers
Hacksaw Ridge: an emotional journey alongside the war-hero, Desmond Doss. (by gregorysmith-82520)
Hacksaw Ridge is not a film for the feint-hearted. Right away the opening scenes portray the horror of war, and the emotional journey is only beginning as the audience is led through the story of war-hero Desmond Doss. One of the great feats of storytelling from Mel Gibson director and Andrew Garfield leading role, Desmond Doss is to lead the audience along Doss' journey with a feeling of having experienced the journey as Doss, and experiencing the wide range of emotions endured by this heroic character along his journey.Neither war itself nor violence are glorified in the film, yet <more>
they also not derided. The elements of conflict that draw the storyteller – the heroism of overcoming adversity, the bonding of soldiers, and the brave resolve on which soldiers must rely to perform their duty amidst such chaos and terror – these elements are all present, but they placed alongside the horror, the madness and the terror of war, and used to draw in the audience for Doss' journey. The lasting psychological impact for those who survive conflict is well told by Hugo Weaving's portrayal of Doss' father, whose lines could serve as a mouthpiece for many veterans.The supporting roles add depth, with both script and performance making very few, if any, of the supporting characters two dimensional. Vince Vaughn's excellent turn as Doss' training sergeant provides both humour and pathos to bring laughs and pause- for-thought at well scripted points of the tale, allowing the audience to gather their breath.By the end of the film, audience members will leave the cinema feeling tired, worn out by having experienced Doss' journey of hope, innocence, love, confusion, anger, faith, and courage. Hacksaw Ridge is in no way a popcorn-lazy-Sunday-afternoon film; it is a journey.
A film that is as courageous as its subject and as violent as the war it portrays. (by trublu215)
Hacksaw Ridge is the latest film from the infamous Mel Gibson and it is as electrifying as one would come to expect. Telling the story of Desmond Doss, an Army medic that refused to carry a weapon through the hell fire of battle in Okinawa at the height of World War II. The untold story of Doss is one that is of the finer war hero stories that anyone could tell. Starring Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington and Teresa Palmer, Hacksaw Ridge is a beautifully acted and viciously portrayed war film that will stick with you from the minute the film starts until the second the end credits <more>
start. It will leave you clawing your seat, wiping away the sweat from your palms as we see Garfield's Doss save as many lives as he possibly can while dodging bullets and hand grenades. The film starts in the most somber of times in American history, the second world war. Desmond Doss, the son of a PTSD-riddled alcoholic Army man Hugo Weaving who served in World War I, is also as much as a devout Christian as he is a patriot, leading him to join the fight against the oppressive Japanese military. Doss is in love with a small town girl Dorothy Schutte Teresa Palmer who is scared that she'll never see Doss again, especially after the persecution he is sure to face. When in training camp, Doss refuses to touch a gun and is actually court marshaled for his refusal. This leads to a trial in which he is allowed by his superior officers to go into Okinawa with no fire arm to protect him. Much of the film is steeped in realism, something that Mel Gibson specializes in when it comes to violence. While the story and plot line may sound very traditional, the way it is portrayed is a fresh burst of life into a tired genre such as this. That, coupled with the amazing true-life story of Desmond Doss being portrayed on screen, makes Hacksaw Ridge a wild and brutal trip down the path to Christianity and the power that faith can give a man. Gibson, a devout Catholic himself, would be the director to bring this story to life. His religious views seep through his very being, especially through his films and this film is no exception. The film settles in the idea that God is literally protecting Doss, not only physically but spiritually as well. Doss is constantly tested throughout the film, almost needing to take a life which is the ultimate sin to him in many scenes. The fact that this man did not fire a single round and saved as many men as he did is astounding and the film really does an amazing job at showing the harsh realities of war but also showing the good that can be brought out in a man through his faith. The film itself, is one of Gibson's less preachy works which makes it more accessible. Even if faith-based films are not your thing, you can appreciate the craft that went into making this film. Hacksaw Ridge displays war as atrocious as it truly is. There is blood, there is gore and there are a couple wounds that will cut even the strongest of men down. This is an extremely violent film but it is extremely violent in the sense that there is enough going on around us to never make us truly settle in the violence which would take away a lot of the impact that Gibson is trying to portray. The film is paced very nicely and does feel more like a traditional war film without it really being the traditional World War II film. The filmmaking is traditional but the story is unique and is definitely the driving force to run out and see this film. The performance from Andrew Garfield is amazing. He sheds any sort of preconceived notion and really embodies the roll of Doss quite well. He is far from a revelation but he is on the right track in delivering a very fine performance. The screenplay is tight and taught. Like I said, there are scenes that are heart pounding in this film. Personally, I found myself holding my breath during some of the action sequences. It was THAT intense at parts. While I do have great things to say about this film, I will say, I was a bit disappointed in the performances all around. While I thought Garfield did an amazing job carrying a film that was not Spider-Man, I wish he was a little better. I felt the same way with the rest of the cast. The melodrama that is portrayed very early on in the film is something that does begin to corrode the realist efforts of everything else. However, once the action starts, so does the really great acting on everyone's parts. Gibson is an actor that revels in the moments of pure chaos and he expects the same thing from his actors. It makes for some intense scenes that are elevated by the pure realism that the actors portray. You actually feel as though you are watching these people go to war. It is a testament to Mel Gibson as a director. He really knows how to put you in the moment and Hacksaw Ridge just solidifies his talent. Overall, I felt Hacksaw Ridge was an extremely brutal and visceral war film that brings up questions of warfare, humanity and religion while displaying Gibson's excellent eye for technical accuracy and assaulting imagery. Say what you will about Gibson as a person but as a director he is sharp, gritty and a master at what he does.
As someone from Sydney, Australia I was proud at the way this was filmed. Using the Hollywood model, there would have been lots of sets but using actual buildings allowed a lot of warmth to come through in the natural light. Gibson is a fine director, I was impressed with his framing, he shoots very closely for the acting stuff more head and shoulder which is quite interesting on the eye. Using more natural light it is quite beautiful. I suspect Gibson will not yet have been forgiven for his personal life to get the recognition he deserves.This movie could have been another Forest Gump, it <more>
could overly sentimental, instead, carries an appropriate amount of sincerity. The backstory is a major part of the movie. Doss is portrayed as uneasy with the girls who fell for the first pretty thing he saw. This could have been so Forest Gump-like but strikes a nice chord.The cast was excellent. Hugo Weaving was perfection. He carried the first half of the movie as the battle-fatigued PTSD WW1 vet father. Some may complain that the women are poorly portrayed as are the Japanese, who are largely like ants coming from their mound or canon fodder.As brutal as the second half is, I am sure it could not convey how truly gallant Doss was or brutal it was in reality.
At The Very Center Of It All (by littlemartinarocena)
We knew already that Mel Gibson is a filmmaker with a powerful vision and the craftsmanship to go with it. Extraordinary battle scenes. Violence, Gibson style, which means Peckinpah plus, because here there is such a personal intention that makes every frame, utterly compelling. The only drawback and I have to say it, Vince Vaughn. Why? In the moment he appears, this extraordinary film becomes a movie. It took me completely out of it. When you look at him you see an actor, acting. On the other hand, Andrew Garfield. Sublime. He makes totally believable a character that could be fictional. The <more>
humanity in Andrew Garfield's eyes makes everything real. It tells us, in no uncertain terms, that at the very center of it all, there is love. Love!
I was lucky enough to sneak into a cast & crew screening at the Newtown Dendy cinema. I thought 10.30AM on a Sunday was too early for a Mel Gibson movie, that I might be in for something along the lines of the heavy-handedness of THE PASSION OF THE Christ, and the adrenaline pumped brilliance of APOCALYPTO.I was proved wrong because after the first thirty minutes I wasn't sure if this was a Mel Gibson film when I was placed into a comfort zone, with its melodrama set in a small Virginia town during the Forties, a schmaltzy romance, and the cliché violent drunken father who survived a <more>
brutal war. The performances were maybe a little let down by the clumsy dialogue, but all directed safely with a natural sense of storytelling.By the 2nd act, I was put on high alert in the military training with our protagonist, Desmond Doss Andrew Garfield who I at first felt was wrongly cast, but he really came through in the end . It was here when the true purpose of the story began to evolve, that of Doss' moral and internal conflict with using a gun! What he had to endure and stand-up for was a courage I greatly admired. It was also in this phase of the film that the dialogue and characters began to shine. Maybe it was the introduction of Vince Vaughn's character. We all know how Vaughn is notorious in ad-libbing, and it seemed to help because the other actors bounced off it well.Now the story had me in their pocket because by the 3rd act I was with our protagonist and his platoon when they got to the battlefield graveyard of Hacksaw Ridge. You thought the horrific situation in WE WERE SOLDIERS was brutal, well this was captured so vividly that you felt you were there. It was almost on par with the brilliance of GAME OF THRONES; BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS.Now I felt I was in a Mel Gibson film. As with Braveheart, the battle scenes in Hacksaw Ridge didn't hold back. Maybe a notch better because of today's CGI and I didn't even notice the effects! . The scenes were unflinching, haunting and in your face. Possibly showing you the true horror of war. Definitely not for the squeamish.The religious aspect of the film was relevant to the story, so as a non-believer I thought it was an integral part of the protagonist and had to be told, so it didn't bother me as much.Overall the technical aspect of the film was brilliant, but then again I didn't really notice it because I was too distracted by the story and the characters, and when that occurs, I know the film has succeeded.
one of the most violent sensory assaults that can be experienced in a cinema (by CineMuseFilms)
Good war-films can be very disturbing to watch. The dramatic realism of modern digital effects spares little and many audiences will find Hacksaw Ridge 2016 one of the most violent sensory assaults that can be experienced in a cinema. If it were not a true story that celebrates an unusual hero the film could have been accused of a gratuitous display of unrelenting carnage and military triumphalism.The film plays in two halves: the early life and romance of Army Medic Desmond Doss Andrew Garfield and the actual Battle of Hacksaw Ridge. Raised in bible best Virginia, Doss had a troubled <more>
upbringing under an abusive father. A devout Seventh-day Adventist, he swore never to commit violence or even carry a weapon but felt duty-bound to enlist in the Army. Not long after meeting the one love of his life, nurse Dorothy Schutte Teresa Palmer , he enlisted with the belief that he could serve his God unarmed and without killing enemy soldiers.Branded a coward and bullied to leave, he was eventually granted conscientious objector status and became one of the troops sent to capture Hacksaw Ridge in the Battle of Okinawa of May 1945. While the assault was forced to retreat under overwhelming enemy fire, Doss remained behind and single-handedly evacuated 75 casualties, lowering them by rope from an escarpment over 100 metres high. The Ridge was eventually captured and Doss became one of the most decorated heroes of World War II.The heroism depicted in this story is of such an extraordinary magnitude that it can easily overwhelm any consideration of the film's merits. With an uncomplicated and factual narrative arc, the story rests on two pillars: acting and filming. On both scores, this film deserves high praise. While the early life and romance chapter drifts towards melodrama, Garfield is cast to perfection as the wide-eyed and straight talking man of unshakeable principle and Palmer convincingly plays his adorable emotional anchor. Together with a strong support cast that includes several big-name stars, this is a powerful ensemble that carries the story convincingly.The most outstanding element of this film, however, is its powerhouse hyper-realistic cinematography and spectacular set constructions that relentlessly convey the brutality of war. While it is an outstanding technical production, giving spectacle precedence over narrative is the film's Achilles Heel. One or maybe a few helmeted heads shredded or bodies bayonetted can convey much, but twenty deadens the senses. If ever there was a case where less could have been more, this is it. Otherwise this is a gripping film with forceful storytelling about a remarkable war hero.
Mel Gibson returns behind the camera a full 10 years after his last directorial outing in Apocalypto 2006 . Mel Gibson has proved to be a master when it comes to direction particularly when he is constructing a battle scene. However, being a full 21 years after Braveheart 1995 I myself was a little worried that Gibson had gotten a little rusty. Regardless of this, when I heard he was going to direct another war film I was very excited to see him back behind the camera. But the question remains. Has Gibson lost a step in his 10 year hiatus from directing? The answer is NO. Mel Gibson has <more>
proved that he has perfected his craft and in my opinion he is the best when it comes to crafting a battle sequence. The action is gritty, violent, realistic and most of all, it is absolutely terrifying. The battles in this film resemble a horror movie and a few times I even jumped. The intensity is constantly cranked up to 100% through out the second half of the film. Notice that I said 2nd half, that is because through out the 1st half this film is about the Character of Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield The Amazing Spiderman, 99 Homes , struggling to stay true to his beliefs and attempting to prove to his peers that he is no coward. There is also a very heartfelt love story between Doss and his girlfriend Dorothy, played by Teresa Palmer Lights Out , their relationship in no way feels forced and feels very authentic. I was very shocked when during the first hour there was little to no violence considering this was a Mel Gibson picture, but don't make the mistake of thinking he is only skilled at directing battle scenes because the character build up portrayed by Gibson is enthralling and allows you to invest in the characters as actual people so you care about them when it all goes down. So all in all, Gibson has proved that he is without a doubt one of the top 5 directors working today and he has no doubt earned, in my opinion, an Oscar nomination for Best Director.The acting in this movie was something I worried about and again, I was proved so wrong. Everyone gives an outstanding performance most notably, Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving The Matrix, V for Vendetta , Luke Bracey Point Break, The November Man and Vince Vaughn Wedding Crashers, The Lost World . Andrew Garfield proves that he is more than just Spider-Man and he deserves the Oscar for Best Actor or at least a nomination. I have no doubt that he will win several awards and more importantly, his performance will go down as one of the best in recent memory and he truly blew me away. Luke Bracey gives the most surprising performance I have seen this year, maybe not an Oscar worthy performance but definitely a good, solid performance as a soldier fighting alongside Doss. Hugo Weaving gives maybe the best performance of his since The Matrix and is a possible candidate for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Doss' abusive, drunk father after serving in WWI.Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn, Teresa Palmer and really all others involved give great supporting Performances.I can safely say Hacksaw Ridge is the best war film since Saving Private Ryan with brutal, terrifying battle sequences, beautiful cinematography, and incredible performances. Hacksaw Ridge deserves multiple Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture. This will go down as a classic and one of the best war films of all time and I strongly recommended you go see this in theaters ASAP. 10/10