Hacksaw Ridge

2016 | Docudrama | 139 minutes | English

Info

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Desmond Doss enlists in the Army even though he probably could get a deferment as an employee  with a defense manufacturer. In addition, as a Seventh-day Adventist, he would not be able to carry a gun, kill the enemy, or work on Saturdays. This infuriates Captain Glover, Sergeant Howell, and Desmond’s fellow recruits. Desmond is court-martialed. Fortunately, a  solution is reached on how to handle a recruit who will not carry a gun or shoot the enemy. Desmond is assigned to be a  medic. As a member of the 77th Infantry Division, Desmond ends up in the middle of a fierce battle for Okinawa. The Japanese refuse to surrender and the American troops are trapped on Hacksaw Ridge. Although injured himself, Desmond single-handedly manages to rescue 75 American soldiers. Desmond, who was so vilified by everyone during basic training,  is now revered by Captain Glover and his the fellow troops. After rescuing the troops, a wounded Desmond descends the cliff clutching the Bible his wife Dorothy gave him. Deservedly, Desmond, the conscientious objector, the soldier who wouldn’t even touch a gun, the soldier who was court-martialed, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman. 

Cast
Andrew Garfield (Desmond Doss) / Sam Worthington (Captain Glover) / Vince Vaughn (Sergeant Howell)
Why Stream This Film?
What makes Desmond’s heroic achievement so remarkable is that he could have received a deferment. He was employed at the time at a vital defense factory. He was a Seventh-day Adventist that prohibited him from carrying a gun or working on Saturdays. When he was asked why he didn’t take the easy way out, he  simply replied that he wanted to serve his country in its moment of need. Hacksaw Ridge will give you an awareness that military heroes can often be simple, deeply religious, highly principled young men.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 85%
  • Metacritic Score: 71
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Performance by an Actor (Andrew Garfield); Best Director (Mel Gibson)
  • BAFTA Awards: Best Actor (Andrew Garfield); Best Screenplay (Robert Schenkkan)
  • AFI Awards: Winner, Movie of the Year
HACKSAW RIDGE is one of the best films of 2016. And the victory is all the more sweet for director Mel Gibson in that he succeeds on his own terms. After almost a decade being a Hollywood pariah, he comes back with a film that represents not even a hint of compromise. This is pure, unadulterated, go-for-broke Gibson, and what do you know? He makes us all like it.
Mick LaSalle

San Francisco Chronicle

Andrew Garfield delivers a sympathetic performance as a soldier who refuses to carry a gun in this powerful real-life story of heroism during World War II.
Peter Bradshaw

The Guardian

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