Parents' Guide to


By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Slow, too-long Civil War romance has violence and gore.

Movie PG-13 2018 135 minutes
Union Poster Image

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Somewhere in the wreckage of this movie is the nugget of a compelling story that could explore complex issues about love and gender, but unfortunately it falls far short on just about every level. The biggest problem with Union is its pace, which is unbearably slow and makes 2 hours and 15 minutes seem like forever. There are so many unnecessary scenes, and they only further confuse the story. Which brings us to the second-biggest problem: All the jumping around in time and place that makes it hard to figure out what's happening when, or even who many of the people on the screen are.

Apparently, it's a sequel to a 2005 movie called My Brother's War, so it's possible that watching that movie first might clarify some of the characters and timing of events. But it wouldn't help the slow pace or missed opportunity to meaningfully explore gender in the context of war, romance, or comparing indigenous and colonial conventions. It's too bad this movie leaves so much unexplained, poorly explained, or just plain not explored, because it's a fascinating topic that's well worth exploring in a more compelling and historically accurate context.

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