Ride with the Devil (1999)

RIDE WITH THE DEVIL is the satisfying story of a Dutch-born, South-
ern-bred Missouri teen (Tobey Maguire) and his adventures as a guer-
illa fighter during the Civil War.  He (and we) get a grim (though 
accurately detailed) education on the art of ambushing, pillaging, 
and cold-blooded killing.  Conventional warfare (read: hundreds of 
extras) is also covered, as are race relations, regional attitudes 
(Nawth versus South), emergency medicine without the benefit of 
medicine (hint: it often involves amputation), how to hide out in a 
hand-dug cave for an entire winter (good for a Y2K jolt), and what 
happens to single men who orbit around single women with new babies 
(hint: it often involves a shotgun).  The latter occurs in the last 
hour and is a sequence well worth waiting for, both as a reward for 
enduring the 2:20 running time and as a relief to the more dour mo-
ments earlier in the film.  (Though there *is* quite a bit of levi-
ty sprinkled throughout, nothing is as side-splitting as when our 
hero is confronted with a wedding night.)  With Skeet Ulrich, Jef-
frey Wright, Simon Baker-Denny, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, James Caviez-
el, Tom Guiry, Tom Wilkinson, and some singer named Jewel.  Ang Lee 
(THE ICE STORM, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY) directs and James Schamus is 
credited with the screenplay, adapted from Daniel Woodrell's novel 
"Woe to Live On." (Rated "R"/140 min.)

Grade: B+ 

Copyright 1999 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros