Hacksaw Ridge (2016)


Biography | Drama | War


Mel Gibson


USA | Australia


Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Corr, Teresa Palmer, Rachel Griffiths, Richard Roxburgh, Luke Pegler, Richard Pyros, Ben Mingay, Firass Dirani, Damien Thomlinson, Matt Nable, Robert Morgan, Nathaniel Buzolic


It tells the story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), the conscientious objector who served at the Battle of Okinawa refusing to kill people and that eventually receive the Medal of Honour for his bravery.


I am no fan of war movies and I don't particularly like Mel Gibson either. "Hacksaw Ridge" though was acclaimed both by critics and public, so I made the sacrifice to sit through this two hours and twenty minutes long war film. And it paid off.

To my big surprise, Mel Gibson not only delivered a solid war film but one of the best I've seen in a long time. A raw, violent, real and emotional war movie that manages to stand out from the genre because of its story.

It isn't just another fictional story like it usually happens. Instead, it is based on the true story of a remarkable man, Desmond Doss, who volunteered during World War II not to kill the enemies but to save lives. In order to do that, he refused to even carry a rifle. So this is not only a story of war, but a story of bravery that shows how much a determined individual can do.

What I liked the most about "Hacksaw Ridge" is that it can be divided into two parts. The first one is slow paced and deep and takes all the time not only to introduce the main character and to explore his motivations but to develop the supporting characters as well. The second part is fast paced, it is about the Battle of Okinawa and that's when Gibson does a wonderful job portraying war as it is through blood, corpses, destruction, explosions and more. And he does it in a quite detached manner which gives the film a documentary vibe, and the use of a realistic cinematography and spectacular sets really help to capture the brutality of war.

Then, of course, the film wouldn't be the same without its lead. Andrew Garfield gives a terrific performance as Desmond Doss as he brings to the character so much heart to make him feel believable. No less important is the supporting cast among which Vince Vaughn stands out giving an unexpectedly excellent performance as Doss's sergeant. Who knew he could play such a deep role in a war film? I sure didn't. 


  1. I hated the first half of this movie but I cannot deny the back half, when they got to the battlefield was nothing short of technical genius.

    1. Sorry to hear that; I loved the first half.

  2. I am so with you on Vince Vaughan. He hasn't been that funny since Wedding Crashers, and then he gave that amazing dramatic performance in the second half, and I didn't even know he was capable of it!

    1. I know. When I saw his name on the opening credits I was like "what the hell is he doing here? I hope Mel Gibson doesn't try comedy" but he was such a pleasant surprise. Kinda like Jennifer Aniston a few years ago with Cake.

  3. I really want to see this movie. It sounds like a movie I would really love since I love war films probably because both my parents were in the war. Your review just makes me want to see it even more

    1. If you love war movies you're definitely going to love this. It's fantastic and I can't believe I'm saying this but Mel Gibson really did an outstanding job.