Saturday, September 03, 2005

Great, overlooked World War II movie

Have you ever heard of Saints and Soldiers? I hadn't either, and am not really sure what moved me to put it in my Netflix queue.

My son Matthew and I saw it last night, and we recommend it. Just about everything works: the actors are terrific, the plot is involving and layered, and it moves right along. There are laughs, jumps, chills; there is sadness and joy. It is about a group of soldiers who survive a massacre in WWII, and what they do. It is based on an actual occurrence.

I gather it was made by Mormons, and it appears that a major character is Mormon -- because he doesn't drink coffee and was on a mission. (And I agree -- anyone who doesn't drink coffee is probably a cultist.) (Just kidding.) (Mostly.)

But absolutely nothing is made of Mormonism particularly; the word isn't even mentioned. That he is a devout person is a major plot point, but one would have to try pretty hard to be offended by this whisper of an echo of the hint of possible Mormonism.

There is war violence, vivid, but not excessive, and I wouldn't recommend it for young children. On the other hand, to quote Roger Ebert, "Unlike the characters in modern war movies, they don't use four-letter words, and we don't miss them."

If you enjoy war movies at all, see this one. You'll not regret it.

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