Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review
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Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson, is a war drama film that was released in 2016. The film tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a combat medic who served during World War II and refused to carry a weapon due to his personal beliefs. The film received critical acclaim for its depiction of war and its exploration of faith, courage, and sacrifice.

The film stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss and features an ensemble cast including Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, and Vince Vaughn. Hacksaw Ridge was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and won two for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing. This article will provide an in-depth review of the film, analyzing its themes, cinematography, performances, and overall impact on audiences.

Desmond Doss: A Hero’s Journey

Desmond Doss: Unlikely Hero, Overcoming Adversity. These are the two phrases that best describe the main protagonist of Hacksaw Ridge. The movie tells the story of Desmond Doss, a young man from Virginia who enlists in the army during World War II. However, unlike most soldiers, Doss refuses to carry a weapon or kill anyone due to his religious beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. Despite being ridiculed and ostracized by his fellow soldiers and superiors for his pacifist stance, Doss remains steadfast in his convictions.

The first half of the movie focuses on Doss’s struggle to overcome adversity as he undergoes training at Fort Jackson. Here, he is subjected to brutal hazing and physical abuse by his superiors and peers for refusing to participate in rifle drills. However, through sheer determination and perseverance, Doss manages to win over some of his detractors, including Sergeant Howell and Captain Glover, who come to respect him for his unwavering courage and selflessness. This sets the stage for the second half of the movie where Doss is deployed to Okinawa as part of the 77th Infantry Division, where he puts his faith into action by saving numerous wounded soldiers during one of the bloodiest battles in American history without firing a single shot.

War And Violence On Display

Desmond Doss’s journey as a conscientious objector serving in the US army is a remarkable story that inspired the movie Hacksaw Ridge. The film captures his courage and unwavering faith in the face of adversity, portraying him as an unlikely hero who saved countless lives without firing a single shot. His determination to serve his country while adhering to his beliefs is both admirable and thought-provoking.

However, the movie also depicts the gruesome reality of war and the toll it takes on soldiers. Hacksaw Ridge showcases intense battle scenes that are difficult to watch, highlighting the brutality and violence of war. While these scenes are necessary to tell Doss’s story, they raise ethical implications about glorifying violence on screen. The impact on society of portraying war in this way is worth considering, as it may desensitize viewers to the horrors of conflict rather than promote peace and understanding.

The Power Of Faith And Belief

The power of faith and belief is a central theme in the film Hacksaw Ridge. The protagonist, Desmond Doss, is a devout Christian who refuses to carry a weapon due to his religious beliefs. Throughout the movie, we see how Doss’s unwavering faith gives him strength and helps him overcome various obstacles. It is through his spirituality that he finds the courage to serve his country as a medic during World War II, despite being labeled as a coward by his fellow soldiers.

Doss’s faith also plays a crucial role in his heroic actions on the battlefield. As he tends to wounded soldiers under heavy fire, he repeatedly prays for strength and guidance from God. His belief in a higher power is what drives him to continue saving lives even when it seems impossible. Through Doss’s story, Hacksaw Ridge offers an inspiring portrayal of how spirituality can give individuals the resilience and determination needed to overcome adversity.

Cinematography: A Feast For The Eyes

The Power of Faith and Belief in “Hacksaw Ridge” is undoubtedly one of the key elements that make the movie stand out. However, it is not the only factor that contributes to its success. The film’s Cinematography: A Feast for the Eyes is another aspect that deserves recognition.

Visual storytelling is a crucial element in filmmaking, and “Hacksaw Ridge” excels at it. From the opening shot to the closing scene, every frame tells a story. The camera work captures the emotional intensity of the battle scenes while also highlighting the beautiful landscapes of Okinawa. The use of slow-motion shots during combat scenes creates an almost surreal effect, emphasizing the chaotic nature of war. Additionally, cinematographer Simon Duggan’s use of lighting and color adds depth to each character and enhances their emotional journey.

Furthermore, “Hacksaw Ridge” showcases technical excellence in every aspect of its production design. The sound design immerses viewers in the battlefield with realistic gunfire sounds and bomb blasts. The editing seamlessly weaves together different timelines, creating a cohesive narrative structure that keeps audiences engaged throughout. The production design accurately recreates 1940s America and Okinawa, adding authenticity to the film’s setting.

In summary, “Hacksaw Ridge” delivers both powerful storytelling through faith and belief as well as impressive technical excellence through visual storytelling. It is a cinematic achievement that leaves a lasting impression on those who view it.

Stellar Performances From The Cast

The cast of Hacksaw Ridge delivers stellar performances that bring the characters to life on screen. Andrew Garfield leads the pack with his portrayal of Desmond Doss, a man who stands firm in his beliefs and refuses to bear arms in World War II. Garfield’s performance is nuanced and emotional, capturing both the vulnerability and strength of Doss as he faces the horrors of war. It is a testament to his talent as an actor that he manages to convey so much through subtle gestures and expressions.

The supporting cast also shines, with standout performances from Vince Vaughn as the tough-as-nails Sergeant Howell and Teresa Palmer as Doss’s love interest, Dorothy Schutte. Each character is given ample time for development, allowing the audience to become invested in their stories. Behind the scenes, director Mel Gibson worked closely with each actor to bring out their best performances. The result is a film that feels authentic and emotionally resonant, thanks in large part to the talented cast.

The exceptional performances from every member of the cast elevate Hacksaw Ridge into something truly special. Through careful character development and behind-the-scenes collaboration, they have brought these historical figures to life with authenticity and heart-wrenching emotion. This film serves as a tribute not only to Desmond Doss but also to those who fought alongside him, reminding us all of the power of human resilience in times of great adversity.

Impact On Audiences: Emotional And Thought-Provoking

The stellar performances from the cast in Hacksaw Ridge are not the only aspect of this film that stands out. The impact it has on audiences is emotional and thought-provoking, leaving many with personal reactions that cannot be easily put into words. This movie tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who served as a medic during World War II and refused to carry a weapon. As viewers witness his unwavering faith and determination, they are forced to grapple with their own beliefs about war and violence.

Hacksaw Ridge also holds societal relevance, particularly in today’s world where conflicts continue to arise. It raises important questions about duty, sacrifice, and the value of human life. Throughout the film, we see characters struggle with these issues as they are faced with difficult decisions that ultimately shape their futures. By shining a light on such topics, Hacksaw Ridge prompts audiences to reflect on their own values and consider the impact their actions have on those around them.

Final Verdict: A Masterful Piece Of Filmmaking

The art of storytelling is a craft that requires a delicate balance between captivating visuals and compelling narrative. Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson, is a prime example of this balance executed to near-perfection. The film tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who served in World War II as a medic and saved the lives of 75 men without ever firing a weapon. Gibson’s direction, combined with Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan’s screenplay, brings this hero’s journey to life on-screen in an emotional and impactful way.

Behind the scenes, Hacksaw Ridge boasts an impressive team of filmmakers who have all contributed to its success. Cinematographer Simon Duggan captures the brutality of war while highlighting the stunning natural landscapes of Okinawa, Japan where the film was shot. The score by Rupert Gregson-Williams adds depth and emotion to each scene without overpowering it. And, finally, lead actor Andrew Garfield delivers a standout performance as Desmond Doss that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. All these elements come together seamlessly in Hacksaw Ridge, making it not only a great film but also a masterful piece of filmmaking that will leave audiences moved and inspired.


Desmond Doss: A Hero’s Journey is beautifully depicted in Hacksaw Ridge. The war film portrays the brutality and violence of World War II, while highlighting the power of faith and belief in oneself. The cinematography is a feast for the eyes, with stunning visuals and raw emotion captured on camera.

The performances from the cast are stellar, with Andrew Garfield delivering an outstanding portrayal of Doss. Hacksaw Ridge leaves a lasting impact on audiences, evoking strong emotions and provoking thought long after the credits roll. Overall, this masterful piece of filmmaking is a must-watch for anyone looking for an emotional and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

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