The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Hacksaw Ridge (2/28/2017)

Rated R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images.

Starring Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn

Directed by Mel Gibson (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ)

Todd's Rating: Worth Buying

Dynamic ImageIf you can handle the violence, this is a must see movie.

The extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss [Andrew Garfield] who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Say what you will about Mel Gibson, the man makes incredible films. In Hacksaw Ridge Mel Gibson effectively shows the brutality of war and the inspiring sacrifice of American soldiers in WWII…and especially one brave young man who refused to carry a gun.

The opening scene reminded me of Saving Private Ryan’s opening scene. I wasn’t prepared for what I was seeing and even now as I sit and think about those images, it’s difficult for me not to become emotional. So many young men sacrificed so much and endured things I can’t even imagine.

Ironically, the film tells the story of a peaceful, conscientious objector named Desmond Doss. Doss was an Army medic who refused to pick up a weapon. He suffers abuse from superiors and from his fellow soldiers… but never gives up. He was a man of bravery and valor, and Andrew Garfield does a superb job of portraying him.

I’m still confused why Vince Vaughn was cast as Doss’ sergeant…I mean it’s Vince Vaughn. On the other hand, I did like Sam Worthington as the Army captain. He’s steady and believable.

When they finally get to war, Gibson’s eye for brutal battle scenes shines through. Like Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ, the violence is graphic and relentless. The sounds of bullets flying, the sights of bodies burning, limbs being lost in the cold mud of Okinawa. His portrayal of war is horrific, as it should be.

The film delivers an incredibly powerful story of faith, convictions and sacrifice. I loved every minute of this movie…it’s “Worth Buying.”

As much as I want teenagers to see this, the violence is really graphic.

  1. How did the men in Doss’ company respond to him and his decision not to carry a rifle?

  2. How did their impression of Doss change by the end of the film?

  3. Why do you think it changed so drastically?

  4. What are some convictions that you have that people don’t understand or ridicule you about?

  5. Read 2 Timothy 2:15

      Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

  6. How did Doss live out this verse?

  7. How can you do your best to present yourself to God?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

Rate This Article!
*Email:  What is Gravatar?  


click here for more

© 1999-2017 The Source for Youth Ministries           Site Disclaimer