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Old 12-08-2000, 07:52 PM
Video Capsule "Ride With The Devil" 7/10

"Ride With The Devil" starring Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jewel, and Jeffrey Wright.

Two Missouri boys become guerilla soldiers for the South during the Civil War after one's family is attacked. Jack Bull(Ulrich) and Jake Roedel (Maguire) meet others fighting for the South and become involved in several skirmishes. Winter comes and they hide out until Spring. They spend an uneasy winter with a slave-owner and his slave Daniel Holt, played by Jeffrey Wright. The constant specter of being discovered by Union troops lingers over the group as does the love of a farm-girl (Jewel). Roedel and Wright are followed as they continue to fight for the South but ponder their true role in the war.

I'm still having a hard time excepting Missouri as a "southern" state, but that aside this movie was very well made. It is not the conventional Civil War film. This shows more of a renegade border war rather than the huge formal battles we think of most times. It is brutal and unyielding. Both sides are portrayed evenly; neither side is glorified as is the mistake of most Civil War films. The reluctance of Roedel is captured by Maguire who goes through the movie with perpetual peach fuzz. We also get a heart-wrenching look at a black man fighting with the Southerners and finally being free.

Well worth a rental price. The running time is a bit long at nearly 2.5 hours but if you are a Tobey Maguire fan like me it is well worth a look.
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