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Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Civil War drama may raise questions about history.

Movie PG-13 2013 120 minutes
Copperhead Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

We Still Have Snakes Today

Excellent movie that tells a overlooked story without an emphasis on entertainment. The reviewer makes a big mistake in characterizing the movie as "revisionist" history. Copperheads is the pejorative name given to those in the North who did not support the war. Kinda like calling those who do not support the current President as "Racist".

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Although the topic is fascinating -- few movies have focused on the Northern Democrats who opposed the war -- it's depicted in a way that may not be entirely historically accurate. Director Ronald F. Maxwell is clearly obsessed with the Civil War, having already made the lengthy dramatic features Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. Maxwell is known, through his films, to posit a pro-Confederate view of the Civil War, in which the abolitionists and Lincoln are the bloodthirsty aggressors, and the Southern slaveowners and generals are the true heroes who were merely defending their home states.

COPPERHEAD's story about a peace-loving New York Democrat who doesn't want his son drawn into a war (which is repeatedly called the War Between the States instead of the Civil War) that he finds unconstitutional is compelling. The "bad guy" abolitionist is portrayed as a drunk rabblerouser who doesn't care who dies as long as the scourge of slavery is abolished. And then there's the Romeo and Juliet love story, which is only resolved after a death. It's interesting, but it seems made for the Hallmark Channel, rather than a theatrical release. It's fine for family viewing, but be aware that it's a revisionist rendering of the Civil War's causes and how Peace Democrats acted -- one that isn't supported by academic accounts of either Copperheads or the Civil War itself.

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