Ang Lee’s Ride with the Devil is an intimate, harrowing look at a country torn in half, an American Civil War film from a daringly unorthodox perspective. Set during 1862’s Kansas-Missouri border war, the film stars Tobey Maguire as Jake, who joins his friend Jack Bull (Skeet Ulrich) with the Confederate-sympathizing Bushwhackers after the latter’s father is killed by marauding Jayhawkers. Yet Ride with the Devil is also the story of their unusual ally Holt (an astonishing Jeffrey Wright), who’s fighting for the south despite being a former slave. A rumination on identity and loyalty, both political and personal, Ride with the Devil is a provocative challenge to preconceptions about America’s bloodiest conflict. It is presented here for the first time in its complete director’s cut.
Born in 1954 in Taipei, he graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975 and then went to the United States, where he studied theater directing at the University of Illinois and film production at New York University. After winning awards in 1985 for his student work (while at N.Y.U., he also worked on Spike Lee’s acclaimed student film, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads), Lee spent the next six years working on screenplays, eventually making his directorial debut in 1992 with Pushing Hands. A comedy about the generational and cultural gaps in a Taiwanese family in New York, it won awards in Lee’s native country. His next film, The Wedding Banquet (1993), further explored cultural and generational differences through a gay New Yorker who stages a marriage of convenience to please his visiting Taiwanese parents. The film met with widespread acclaim, winning a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and a Best Director prize at the Seattle Film Festival, as well as… read more
An interesting story of the Civil War as it was experienced by the people of Missouri. But my god, was it painful to watch. The battle sequences were decent, but I just feel that this could have been done with a better cast overall, and far less of that generic mood music in every scene. Jonathan Rhys Meyers gets top honors for unbearable acting and strutting around like an 80's hair band singer. Why, Criterion!?
As the aficcionate I am for the American Civil War, I will watch any movie about the subject that presents to me. However this one didn't convinced me. Surely It has some good moments and Rhys Meyers rose in my consideration, but in the end I didn't liked it as I thought I would. The worst, still, is not knowing what to blame.
Josef Braun: "Ride with the Devil (1999) was dumped into the marketplace over a decade ago with only the most meager fanfare, a magisterial
A film way ahead of it’s time, it seems to more pertinent to modern day sensibilities and social complexities involving race relations than it would have even as little as 11 years ago, when it was… read review