You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

For Greater Glory

Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused "For Greater Glory" plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length.

Cast:
With: Andy Garcia, Ruben Blades, Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Santiago Cabrera, Eva Longoria, Peter O'Toole.

Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused “For Greater Glory” plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length. Even worse, from a commercial point of view, the restrictive R rating (for violence) likely will keep away some of the potential aud for a pic about a 1920s civil war in Mexico waged because of government-sanctioned restrictions of religious freedom. Limited theatrical play should be fleeting, though the handsomely produced period drama might find converts in home-screen platforms.

Andy Garcia strikes the right poses and gives rousing speeches as Enrique Gorostieta, a retired and much-decorated military mastermind who’s reluctantly drawn into leading a ragtag army of Cristeros, Mexican insurgents inflamed by the forced-secularization policies of President Plutarco Calles (Ruben Blades).

Unfortunately, however, scripter Michael Love and f/x wiz-turned-helmer Dean Wright turn their attention away from Gorostieta for long periods in order to focus on a wide variety of less compelling characters.

Among the supporting players, only Blades, Bruce Greenwood (as a skeptical U.S. ambassador) and, fleetingly, Peter O’Toole (as a frightfully vulnerable priest) register any sort of impact amid repetitious scenes of wary bonding, bloody battles, political maneuvering and melodramatic speechifying.

Still, the subject is interesting enough that there may well be an audience for even a deeply flawed pic dealing with it.

Time and again, “For Greater Glory” emphasizes president Calles’ hostility toward the Catholic Church, which manifests itself here with merciless attacks by soldiers on priests and their parishioners, and frankly indicates that Vatican reps and/or sympathizers actively supported armed uprisings by the Cristeros. It comes as no surprise when, during the closing credits, the filmmakers reveal that, decades after the fact, some of the characters depicted in this drama were canonized by Pope John Paul II.

For Greater Glory

Production: An ARC Entertainment release and presentation in association with Dos Corazones Films of a New Land Films production. Produced by Pablo Jose Barroso. Directed by Dean Wright. Screenplay, Michael Love.

Crew: Camera (color), Eduardo Martinez Solares; editors, Richard Francis-Bruce, Mike Oden Jackson; music, James Horner; music supervisor, Deva Anderson; production designer, Salvador Parra; costume designer, Mariestela Fernandez; sound, Dane A. Davis; assistant director, Rene Villarreal; second unit director, Alvaro Curiel; casting, Dianne Crittenden, Karen Rea, Manuel Teil. Reviewed at Edwards Greenway Grand Palace, Houston, May 22, 2012. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 143 MIN.

With: With: Andy Garcia, Ruben Blades, Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Santiago Cabrera, Eva Longoria, Peter O'Toole.

More Film

  • Robert Hawkins, Variety Rome Correspondent, Dies

    Bob Hawkins, Longtime Variety Journalist in Italy, Dies at 93

    Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused “For Greater Glory” plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length. Even worse, from a commercial point of view, the restrictive R rating (for violence) likely will keep away some of the potential aud for […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: Tyler Perry's 'Boo 2!' Tops Downbeat Weekend With $21.7 Million

    Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused “For Greater Glory” plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length. Even worse, from a commercial point of view, the restrictive R rating (for violence) likely will keep away some of the potential aud for […]

  • Aida Begic Director Aida Begic poses

    Antalya Festival: Aida Begic on ‘Never Leave Me,’ Shooting Movies with Kids

    Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused “For Greater Glory” plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length. Even worse, from a commercial point of view, the restrictive R rating (for violence) likely will keep away some of the potential aud for […]

  • Antalya Fest Opens with Walken, Syrian

    Antalya Festival Opens with Walken, Syrian Refugee Crisis-themed ‘Never Leave Me’

    Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused “For Greater Glory” plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length. Even worse, from a commercial point of view, the restrictive R rating (for violence) likely will keep away some of the potential aud for […]

  • Interview With Carla Simón, director of

    ‘Summer 1993’s’ Carla Simón Talks About, Summer, Kids, Oscars

    Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused “For Greater Glory” plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length. Even worse, from a commercial point of view, the restrictive R rating (for violence) likely will keep away some of the potential aud for […]

  • Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

    Turkish Cinema: The New Generation - Kivilcim Akay, Director ‘I am Also Here'

    Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused “For Greater Glory” plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length. Even worse, from a commercial point of view, the restrictive R rating (for violence) likely will keep away some of the potential aud for […]

  • Turkish Cinema: The New Generation -

    Turkish Cinema: The New Generation - Su Baloglu, Producer ‘The Island’

    Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused “For Greater Glory” plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length. Even worse, from a commercial point of view, the restrictive R rating (for violence) likely will keep away some of the potential aud for […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content