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JLFM's Movie Reviews (152)

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Glory (1989) 
Powerful History Lesson
3/4 stars

I want to make it clear that the score I am giving Glory means little to nothing. The reason for that, is because I honestly have no idea how to score this movie. I don't feel like this is the kind of movie that's made to entertain. It's made to make people appreciate what 54th Regiment did. It's a powerful movie, but I didn't find it to be very entertaining. I repeat, I don't think this movie was made to entertain. It exists as a history lesson, albeit, a very powerful one.

Glory takes place during the Civil War. Robert Gould Shaw has been asked to lead an army of black men, the 54th Regiment. Finally getting a chance to do something important, many black people volunteer to be a part of this. Glory is the tale of the 54th Regiment's long, hard journey to battle.

Glory has very good production values, that much can be agreed. Very good cinematography, impeccable acting, etc. Glory is extremely well made and really does the story of the 54th Regiment justice.

The battle scenes (there are three in all) are initially shocking. Not knowing much about how these battles were fought, it was a surprise seeing the action onscreen. The opposing forces merely marched to the other all at once, firing shots as they go. It's nothing like I expected, but it was extremely interesting.

The score (composed by James Horner) was, to be honest, a bit bland. Much of the music sounded the same, with little variety. It works well as background music, but taken away from the screen, it would almost certainly disappoint.

The acting is top notch, some of the best I've seen. Matthew Broderick playing the lead as Robert Shaw impressed me the most. Denzel Washington won an academy award for his performance, and it seemed well deserved.

I recommend Glory, but I can't seem to give it a score that seems fair. While the film held my attention, I wasn't very entertained. The production values are here, and it's a powerful movie, but it's not the kind of film I'd see again. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I repeat: Glory, I feel, wasn't made to entertain. It was made to allow us to understand the sacrifices and achievements of the 54th Regiment, and it succeeds.


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