Ride With the Devil

 (1,167)
6.72 h 18 min1999R
Director Ang Lee presents the Civil War as it happened in Missouri and Kansas - young friends join a rag tag band with Southern sympathies and wage brutal guerrilla war against Union loyalists.
Directors
Ang Lee
Starring
Tobey MaguireSkeet UlrichJewel
Genres
WesternDramaAdventureRomanceActionMilitary and War
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Jeffrey WrightJonathan Rhys-MyersJim CaviezelJimmy JewelSimon BakerJonathan Rhys-MeyersJames CaviezelThomas GuiryTom WilkinsonJonathan BrandisMatthew FaberStephen MailerJohn AlesZach GrenierMargo MartindaleMark RuffaloCelia WestonJonathan Rhys Meyers
Producers
Ted HopeRobert F. ColesberryJames Schamus
Studio
UNIVERSAL PAY TELEVISION
Rating
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

1167 global ratings

  1. 73% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Chris C.Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good, Thought-Provoking Movie
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Good movie. I think it is more for the thinker rather than the action junkie, although there are plenty action scenes. I don't see this movie as something that was meant to garner sympathy or support for the "protagonists," per se. I did feel somewhat sympathetic for them at times, but both sides are presented as ruthless and devoid of much feeling or emotion as they go about their atrocities. And I would assume that was the case in this "guerrilla warfare zone." Neither side were saints. And to make matters worse, there were many involved simply for plunder, personal gain, or because of their outright sadistic nature. The movie does a good job of pointing out what blind allegiance to a cause--any cause--can do to people. There were several lines in the movie that really chilled me and I think have relevance in today's liberal/conservative "war." In fact, I question whether the screenwriter actually intended those lines to be a modern-day observation about blind allegiance and how generations of people are "programmed" to think a certain way.

It was interesting to me that perhaps the worst of villain characters (one of the southern bushwhackers), who was so filled with hate, rage, and nastiness in the early stages of the movie, was by the end of the movie depicted as a defeated, deflated shell of his former self with no fight or grand cause left in him and was essentially committing suicide.

Overall, the movie depicts the war at the personal level. You may well hate the confederates, but what do you expect a peaceful resident of what was the south to do when a federal army comes in and blows his/her family away? As I said, there really weren't any saints in the movie--mostly people reacting to personal/family crisis and being dragged into the "greater cause."

My one criticism would be the stilted dialog at times. It certainly was not the fault of the screenwriter and I have no doubt that the vocabulary was somewhat genuine for people of the time. However, as an actor trying to deliver lines in a foreign language, they are bound to sound stiff and contrived. I'm not quite sure what the director could have done about this. Nobody in our day is used to talking as they did in 1860. Because of that, the actors are going to sound stiff. And of course, although the people of the time did indeed use this vocabulary, they almost certainly wound have sounded more natural in flow as we do today with modern English. Some of the actors were better with the archaic vocabulary than others. I actually thought Jewel did a good job with the lines. And sometimes, the actors who were having a bad time with it did sound more natural at times. But, that is a minor complaint and I'm just glad the movie makers did what they could to try to get the feel of the times right, including the language. Nothing worse than a movie set in the nineteenth century with the actors using modern trashy slang.

Ultimately, as I said, if you are a thinker, this movie will have you considering the conflict, stances, and justification or lack thereof for both parties involved in this particularly heartbreaking aspect of the civil war. My mother's family lived in that particular area (Missouri) at the time and I'm sure their lives were torn apart by the conflict.
40 people found this helpful
Verified Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great historically accurate on the Civil War
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Great movie! Very accurate historically about how most of the Civil War was actually fought. Most people have no idea. Even though this was put out in 1999. A great line in it about the foreshadowing of what is happening today in the country. In reality why the good guys did not and will not again come in first. “ because we do not care how They live their lives just so long as they do not encroach on us and our freedoms. However that is ALL they are about. Changing everything and everyone to what they want!!! So until you are ready to push your agenda on them you will Lose!!!! It is an amazing quote and so very true! For the future of the once again divided Nation.
9 people found this helpful
Rami E.Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
The final Civil War Film of the 20th century is a magnificent and thought-provoking one
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This is a review of the HD digitally restored Director’s Cut “Criterion Collection” Blu-Ray version of the film:

This film came out all the way back in 1999 yet the Criterion Collection version of this film rivals modern-day 4K upscales in terms of the film’s visual and auditory quality! Most Blu-Ray versions of “older” films that I have are annoyingly grainy and just seem to be glorified DVD releases. That was definitely not the case with this Blu-Ray version of the film which is leaps and bounds ahead of its DVD version.

This is a *must-have* for fans of the film and it’s even worth an upgrade if you already have the VHS/DVD version of the film! It’s an entirely different experience with Ang Lee’s sensational camerawork and Mychael Danna’s timeless score being taken to the next level!

Not to mention that this also happens to be the original Director’s cut of the film which also comes with new interviews and a Director’s commentary recorded a decade after the film’s release!

Now, on to my *SPOILER FREE* review the movie:

The final Civil War film of the 20th century was certainly the greatest! I've already mentioned this before but Ang Lee's love of nature was truly the cinematic highlight of this film! If you're into escapism, then this film will certainly throw you right in with Phil Roedel, Jack Bull Chiles, Daniel Holt, and the rest of the gang!

This film isn't set in one week or even one month but over the span of a few years! You can really feel the dynamics of the characters' relationships change as they get to know one another better or when the unpredictable Civil War thrusts them into intimate situations that none were ready for.

There is a heavy emphasis on character development in this film and how the Civil War slowly but surely affects their outlooks on life but never once is it boring as it has just as much wonderfully choreographed action to compensate!

Despite being told from the perspective of the Confederacy, this film has a brilliant and bold motif for the Bushwhackers during its action scenes (Confederate militia) and historically accurate traditional southern music for the rest of its scenes. Because after all, every group are the heroes of their own story!

Unlike most films that deal with the topic of racism, this film is not too blunt nor is it flat-footed as it deals with a controversial issue. This film implicitly shows the audience throughout the film how merely being exposed to a member of another race can ultimately shift your perspective of that race by getting to know them as a fellow human being.

This is wonderfully demonstrated by Ang Lee's use of Holt (emotionally played by Jeffrey Wright) as an emerging protagonist. He is originally introduced as the sidekick of a secondary character before an arbitrary series of events thrusts him into the forefront of the rebellion. You'll have to watch this film for yourself, but overall it is just superb subtext and visual storytelling that skillfully conveys this film's messages and themes.

Every single performance here is absolutely phenomenal too, and it made me realize why Tobey Maguire is such a compelling lead actor despite his usually mild-mannered and shy demeanor. Even at the age of 23 (as he was at the time of this film's release), Tobey is able to convey a plethora of emotions just through his facial expressions, particularly through his luminescent blue eyes. Uncertainty, fear, happiness, confusion, and anger are all immediately knowledgable on his face whether it be on the passionate or subtle spectrum of emotion.

Overall, the best war film I have ever watched and a film that I would recommend to anyone!
Andy WaitstillReviewed in the United States on June 24, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
3 1/2 Stars - Good But Overwritten and Miscast
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A young group of pro-Confederate men join together to fight Federal forces in Missouri near the outbreak of the Civil War. Along the way, they are aided by like-minded civilians who risk their lives and property to shelter and feed them until there is nothing left to fight for. I admit that this is a dismal summary of the film but there is a reason for this. The battle scenes are sweeping in their grandeur - the production values are quite superb - and the acting is quite good. One problem, though, is that the writing is overly ambitious. It introduces story lines and minor characters and then drops them. Battling between a war epic and a frontier romance saga, it never really becomes either one. Instead, it dabbles, making the film feel overly long and creating distance between the characters and the audience. The only exception is Jeffrey Wright's character, a pro-Confederate former slave who acts out of loyalty though he knows full well that his "kind" are viewed with contempt. Wright is one of the more underrated consummate actors out there and his performance here is characteristically visceral and deeply affecting. One the other hand, Tobey Maquire, who plays the lead role, seems out of place. He pours himself into his character but his performance is off. Maguire has a knack for playing awkward, sensitive types and he does that here and does it well. But he's off - voice, mannerisms, etc.. He doesn't fit and it's alienating, a classic miscasting. The other actors appear more comfortable in their flesh but it basically doesn't matter. The lead fails to engage and this affects the entire film. Still, this is not a bad movie, not by any stretch. Its small pieces are quite good even if they never add up to an engaging whole.
8 people found this helpful
lynGReviewed in the United States on August 21, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
I always liked this movie
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I always liked this movie, & this expanded version is certainly the one to have. The Kansas/Missouri border war from 1861-65 was a vicious little war inside a war, where mercy on either side was seldom shown to their opponents. But at least Mr. Ang Lee showed the major cause for it all, in showing the vicious Kansas Jay Hawkers & their brutal raids of plunder & murder throughout Western Missouri, & the bands of Southern Missouri guerrilla's that rose to the fore in brutal eye-for-an-eye retaliatory raids & tactics of their own. Sadly, as this film shows, there were psychopaths on both sides as the films main character, Jake Rodell would encounter one in the form of guerrilla Pitt Mackason. Though fighting on the same side together against the Kansans & union army, the atrocities of the war between the states in this theatre turned Pitt into a raging, out-of-control homicidal sociopath. Col. Quantrill, who led the guerilla raid on Lawrence, Kansas in August, 1863, for the most part, kept his men in check, & restricted their wrath to the men of the city, avoiding harming the Kansan women & children. But as the war progressed, the fighting got more & more merciless, with Quantrill's Lieutenant, Bloody Bill Anderson, breaking away into his own separate company, attracting the more lawless of the guerilla's into his band. Almost as often as not, this outfit robbed & killed Southerners as well as Unionists, all in the name of plunder. Such was the mentality of Pitt Mackason. The movie has a romantic twist as well, with Rodell falling for the beautiful widow of two fallen Rebel guerillas who later married her, after a stormy start, & ended up raising a fallen comrades child as his own. The first half of the film has many action scenes of the war, but the last half got a little draggy, as Rodell & a wounded comrade make a slow recovery from wounds from the Lawrence raid. This film is based on the book "Woe to Live On!" by an author whose name I don't remember, but was about the viciousness of the border war, where things on both sides got so terrible, that men literally lost the will to live on. A film well worth seeing, as Quantrill & the Missouri guerillas are seldom shown in Hollywood as anything but cut-throats. This film shows the true causes of the rise of the most effective guerilla warriors in American history, and why they did the things they did.
17 people found this helpful
J. BlakeReviewed in the United States on July 2, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
RwtD is the best film concerning the American Civil War and most accurate ...
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RwtD is the best film concerning the American Civil War and most accurate in terms of personal conflicts and what life was like during this time. Gettysburg is the best in terms of depicting a battle. The one big flaw I came across being an Historian is the filmmaker should have explored that a large number of men folk at Lawrence were Jayhawkers who had terrorized Missouri for years, butchering men, burning farms and abusing the women there, and how the Jayhawk leaders showed their true colors as cowards by running into the fields to hide rather than organize a resistance even it meant death, to defend their town and homes.
13 people found this helpful
liberty manReviewed in the United States on June 4, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Quite good.
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I have no idea why this was such a bomb at the box office. I found it to be a very good pic. It bears watching a second time to get the fine points.IT DOES HELP if you k'mow some of the background IE the situation in Mo. during the war,the characters( Quantrell). and an idea of the area the raid is in =LAWRENCE KANSAS a hot bed of MASS. ABOLITIONISTS
IT ALSO helps to know that the UNION JAYHAWKERS were commiting depredations as bad if not worse than the BUSHWACKER GUERILLAS did.
My southern bred spouse objected to the uneducated method of speaking by the main characters who were obviously not from lower class families. Sees this stereotyping as an anti SOUTHERN meme in movies. I pointed out that the author is local to the area and may be trying to capture a local idiom of speech. SHE liked the black character but I felt it was some happy negro southern bs. THIS seems an unlikely situation to.me.
I found the period settings to be very authentic and the period dress also. THE BATTLE sequences were very authentic and I have rarely seen so many horsemen used to good effect. IN this regard it was excellent.
I am amazed that this movie did so poorly in the theatres.
3 people found this helpful
lorraine blackReviewed in the United States on August 29, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Has it all. A great watch.
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Love this movie. This extended version is not too long, but just right to tell the story as it should be told. Many familiar faces. Acting by all was excellent. Sweeping scenes of the country with extensive and realistic battles. This is a story about the Bushwackers of the Civil War. Southern men/boys that are not regular Rebel soldiers of the south, but young men that had banded together to protect "their" homeland and neighbors from the Union soldiers plundering. Like in all wars, the good, the bad, and the ugly happens. This movie tells the Bushwackers story from a more personal point of view. Note: If you enjoy great (horseback) riding, this movie has some of the best.
4 people found this helpful
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