For Greater Glory
By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Epic tale about religious freedom gets very bloody.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's core message is that you must stand up for what you believe in, as that's the only way to live in peace with yourself. Also, faith can see you through the toughest of personal and physical challenges.
Positive Role Models
There are many heroes in this movie, but Jose, a teenager, tops them all, standing up for what he believes in despite ridicule, danger, and death.
Violence & Scariness
For Greater Glory has an inspiring, courageous message, but the war violence is relentless. Countless people -- including women, men, and children; old and young; and characters viewers will be attached to -- are stabbed, shot point blank, hung on telegraph poles (with the camera lingering on them as they swing from rafters), and tortured in scene after scene. It almost never lets up.
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Very infrequent use of "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink liquor at social occasions and while alone, pickling their worries in tequila and sorrow.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that For Greater Glory, which sheds light on one of the bloodiest moments in Mexican history, doesn't shy away from depicting war-related carnage: Children and the elderly are beaten and shot point blank; countless others are seen with nooses tied around their necks and then hung from ceilings and telegraph lines, with their corpses shown motionless for many scenes. And that's just the beginning. That said, aside from some drinking, there's not much else of note, content-wise -- there's no sex, hardly any swearing, and plenty of acts of heroism. Bottom line? It's an inspiring story, but one that's sometimes hard to stomach.
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Where to Watch
Based on 9 parent reviews
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Great Movie about Religious Freedom!
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What's the Story?
Between 1926 and 1929, Mexican president Plutarco Calles (Rubén Blades) waged a war against Roman Catholic priests and bishops and their flock, shutting down their churches and sending soldiers to hunt, maim, and kill anyone who dared defy him. Tens of thousands of citizens -- including a young boy named Jose (Mauricio Kuri), who developed a strong faith thanks to a kind-hearted priest (Peter O'Toole) -- banded together to defend their religious freedom in what is now known as the Cristero War. It was a gory and heart-wrenching battle, leaving thousands of Mexicans dead, the countryside littered with their bodies. Leading the charge is a retired army general (Andy Garcia) who confronts his own questions about God as he fights to restore everyone's right to believe.
Is It Any Good?
Sweeping in its scope and epic in its storytelling, FOR GREATER GLORY makes no apologies for aiming high. It has an important tale to tell, and it will tell it with as much gravity as it can muster. And it's this earnestness that protects the drama from some of its weaknesses -- clunky dialogue, for starters -- and turns it into a shockingly affecting, thought-provoking watch. Bring tissues, because some of the characters, especially Jose, will break your heart.
But while it's understandable that the filmmakers wanted to make clear how brutal this moment in history was, there's an overdose of violence. It's almost enough to cause post-traumatic stress disorder. No one is spared, not the child at the heart of the story, and not viewers, either, who must suffer through one assault after another. Is all the carnage necessary? It's highly debatable. Had they edited some of it out, For Greater Glory would have been a leaner, meaner, and still affecting revelation.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the Mexicans defied the government to honor their faith, even when threatened with imprisonment or death. Why do you think they did that? Teens: Have you ever fought hard for something you believed in?
Talk about For Greater Glory's many brutally violent scenes. How does this kind of violence compare to what you might see in a horror movie? Which has greater impact?
Which characters would you consider role models? Why?
- In theaters: June 1, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: September 11, 2012
- Cast: Andy Garcia, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Eva Longoria
- Director: Dean Wright
- Inclusion Information: Latinx actors
- Studio: ARC Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: History
- Run time: 143 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: war violence and some disturbing images
- Last updated: November 17, 2022
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