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Ride with the Devil

Where to Watch Ride with the Devil

R
1999

Ride with the Devil is a 1999 American war drama film directed by Ang Lee. Featuring prominent actors such as Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, and the singer-songwriter Jewel in her film debut, the film provides an enthralling depiction of the American Civil War, specifically its lesser-known Western Theatre.

Set against the backdrop of the Kansas-Missouri border war known as Bushwhackers War or "Bleeding Kansas," we follow the lives of the young Southern bushwhackers who opt to stand with their beliefs and fight for their cause. From family feuds, spiraling violence, romantic entanglements, and ideological battles, Ride with the Devil unfolds a striking narrative that captures the authenticity of the era and provides new perspectives on the Civil War era.

Tobey Maguire shines in his unique role as Jake Roedel, the son of a German immigrant, showcasing his acting prowess. While he's the son of a Union-sympathizing immigrant from Germany, his friendship leads him to enlist as a Bushwhacker, guerilla fighters loyal to the South. Maguire masterfully portrays a young man's intense journey through the brutal conflict and his struggle with identity.

Skeet Ulrich plays Jake's best friend, Jack Bull Chiles, a passionate defender of the South and the son of a Missouri plantation owner. The interpersonal dynamics between Jake and Jack provide a unique lens into the complexities of friendships tested in war times. Ulrich's performance brilliantly encapsulates the determination and fierce belief of his character.

Jeffery Wright plays the role of Holt, a freed Black man loyal to Jack's family. His uncommon circumstance and conflicting affiliation put a spotlight on the intricate social predicaments the war instills. Wright delivers an illustrious performance, epitomizing the moral and ideological dilemmas imposed by war on various levels of society.

Famous folk singer Jewel's unexpected debut as the vivacious Southern widow Sue Lee Shelley adds a captivating dimension of romance, posses an exciting plot twist, and showcases her potential as an actress. Her engaging performance enriches the plot, bringing a touch of tender humanity amidst the ravages of war.

The screenplay which is based on the novel "Woe to Live On" by Daniel Woodrell, is written by James Schamus. The script splendidly fuses both historical records and fictional elements, effectively transporting viewers to the period of the Civil War.

Ang Lee's direction makes Ride with the Devil a compelling watch. Known for his ability to depict intricate human emotions, Lee perfectly portrays the internal struggle of the characters alongside the external chaos of the era. He brings to life the harsh realities and circumstances of the war, presenting a striking and detailed image of a torn nation and the ripping impact it has on friends, families, and communities.

The film's aesthetics are a key element that reinforces the authenticity of the narrative. The cinematography adeptly recreates the bleak mid-19th century warzones and the rural simplicity of the era. The sweeping landscape visuals combined with the coarse grittiness of the battlefield densities and townscapes expand the scope of the film and provide an immersive viewing experience.

Ride with the Devil, despite being a war film, brilliantly captures the period's social drama and individual emotions. It offers an introspective look at personal loyalties, comradeship, love, and the price individuals pay in times of war. Beyond the battlefield, the film delves into the personal lives of its characters, their growth, transformations, and the intricate relationships they share.

The soundtrack also plays a significant role in setting the film's tone. With its haunting and melancholic melodies, it enhances the mood, providing a deeper emotional resonance to the narrative.

Ride with the Devil is not just another Civil War film. It's an insightful, well-constructed fusion of war, history, friendship, and romance. While it offers a different perspective on a well-tread historical period, it goes beyond the war, touching upon the human element of survival, morality, and personal growth amidst tumultuous times. It's not just about gun smoke and charges; it perfectly narrates the saga of those who chose to ride with their convictions, even when that ride takes them through the devilish course of a civil war.

Ride with the Devil is a Drama, War, Romance, Western movie released in 1999. It has a runtime of 138 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 69.

How to Watch Ride with the Devil

Where can I stream Ride with the Devil movie online? Ride with the Devil is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Ride with the Devil for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.7/10
69/100
Director
Ang Lee
Stars
Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Jonathan Brandis, James Caviezel, Jewel
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