Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Gripping historical drama about wartime friendship.

Movie PG-13 2022 139 minutes
Devotion Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 8+

Great true story!

I had read the book, and as an Air Force officer, I had some perspective on the military. They cut out the back stories of the men but something has to go to make the movie timing work. Of course I knew the background so I felt it was fine. Even shortened, it is a wonderful example of friendship, courage, and well, devotion. This is a good history lesson for children and adults both. Highly recommended!
age 12+

It lacks being inspiring and gripping but it does have some good moments

Devotion I was somewhat hyped into it, but since knowing it was a war film I was not all too eager to see it, but since it said it was based on a true story, well I was like: "why not give this a chance." But it hardly delivered anything I wanted from it, while also being uninspiring and not really being much in the end (while, it did though deliver some sentimental moments). I saw this film with my dad and my older sister, and both of them loved it. But me, the harsh critic I am, thought that the movie was so uneven with the pacing and so uninsipring that I was more than willing to get seconds for popcorn. It just felt lack-luster in a lot of ways, and when we got to the war attack in the airplanes, it wasn't all that excited. I thought it would be some big dog-figh, but not really. Even the fights fell short of my standards and was too short. The pacing was also a big problem of this movie! At times it could be slow with a lot of boring moments then the next moment it is some high-exciting war flying, then we cut to some more boring moments so the pacing was really off in this film. I question if the people behind this movie knew what they were doing with the pacing. The main characters for the most part stood out, but really the best thing about this was Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick). I guess it was because I just knew him, and I enjoyed his last acting from Maverick, but he was the best part about this film! I understand that this film was trying to be inspiring, and moving but it did not work for me. The sentimental moments never really cutted for me, while I could barely care what they were talking about. The ending was fine enough, but by the end of the movie: I was ready to go. 2 hours and 20 minutes of my time almost wasted. It pains me to stay, but it failed in making me feel awe in the movie and trying to make it emtional and inspiring. It aims high, but falls below the standards of mine. I feel like it struggles to balance out not only the cast they had, but the plot, and the pacing. I mean, it never felt everywhere all at once, but it just didn't hit right for me. Also, another thing that already got this below the line is that I don't really enjoy war films. They just aren't my thing, and war films that follow off true stories are even harder for me to watch (although Hacksaw Ridge was amazing). They just disinterest me because in reality, I could care less about seeing war film and rather seeing something more exciting or more intense. This narrative rue-based movie lacks short in my opinion in more than one way. It fails to aim the way it should have, and it drives from a bad pacing and not being inspiring enough. Glen redeemed some of the movie while the rest I just forgot what I saw!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (6 ):

Majors and Powell's performances elevate this biographical war drama about the United States' first Black Navy pilot into a touching character study. Working from Jake Crane and Jonathan Stewart's adaptation of Adam Makos' award-winning military history book, director J.D. Dillard creates a memorable tale of two heroes of the Forgotten War. While the movie can't capture all of the book's details, its nearly two-and-a-half-hour runtime does provide the highlights of Brown and Hudner's unique relationship, their shared devotion to duty, and the institutional racism that Brown faced in the desegregated military. Both Majors and Powell do excellent work, as does Jackson, who lights up every scene she's in as Jesse's sunny, supportive Daisy. Majors' portrayal is one of quiet intensity, of keeping his rage in check, of not being able to share the emotional load of being the only Black man in the crew with any of his mates. Thomas Sadoski stands out as the squadron's division leader Commander Dick Cevoli, and Canadian actress Serinda Swan memorably plays Elizabeth Taylor, whom the sailors meet while on leave in Cannes.

Although Devotion is a trifle overlong, the third act is tautly woven, with pulse-pounding action sequences -- including the climactic situation that's the main reason Brown and Hudner's story has survived for 70 years. The movie is reminiscent of an episode of the acclaimed limited series Band of Brothers, but with a narrower focus on two men and, to a lesser extent, their squadron mates. Because of his isolated status as the United States' first Black Navy fighter pilot (the Tuskegee Airmen were in the Army), Jesse is understandably uncomfortable being depicted by military press as the Jackie Robinson of the Navy. He just wants to serve his nation and return to his girls. Hudner, meanwhile, is depicted in his interactions with Jesse as at times conflicted and well-intentioned, but also clueless -- until he finally starts seeing Jesse as a whole person. Chanda Dancy's powerful score is accompanied by a touching original ballad, "Not Alone," from Joe Jonas (who co-stars as Marty Goode, another member of the 32) and Khalid. Brown was undeniably alone as the sole Black pilot in his squadron, but Hudner had his back and refused to let him go without a fight.

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