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Miracle at St. Anna
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Miracle at St. Anna More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Major disappointment

Author: david-geldmacher from United States
17 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was a major letdown after all the hype it received. It had a decent plot, but the writing was terrible. It appeared Dir. Spike Lee had no military advisers whatsoever or he chose to ignore them. The miracle was so subtle I didn't know what it was until I read other people thoughts on it online. I'm not completely convinced the statue head was supposed to be part of it because one of the soldiers died while holding it.

One of things that annoyed me the most about the script was Renata's character. When she is first introduced, she is a typical good Italian woman helping the four black soldiers as much as she can. She has a husband who is an Italian soldier and is not around. She is constantly being hounded by the always horny Bishop and it seems to bother her. All of a sudden, wham bam, she becomes a completely different character and sleeps with him; he is the most ignorant character in the whole movie with the exception of the bigot Battalion commander. It totally ruined her image and when she gets caught afterwards she doesn't seem to care. Horrible script! There many other things that didn't make since, but I'm tired of thinking of this movie.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The truth hurts

Author: tjumar2 from Canada
21 April 2009

I was not a fan of Spike Lee, until this movie. But I must say that Miracle @ St. Anna is a great movie, not only touching, but educating as well. There are too few movies out there showing the heroism of black soldiers and other minorities in the 2nd world war. I am very proud of these super heroes and so many others whose stories are yet to be told in our "history" books (and in Hollywood movies) due to our bitter racial past. Truth about our racial past in movies is something many people abhor, hence movies that tend to do so are (initially) rated poorly. However, when the big egos cool off, Miracle at st. Anna shall be given the full merit it deserve. I commend Spike lee for this wonderful movie.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not A Good Spike Lee Movie

Author: shaggyz from United States
28 February 2009

I was expecting a good WW2 movie from Spike Lee. What I saw was an inconsistent miss-mash of a movie. Immediately I was disappointed with the river crossing. Who would blindly cross the river without waiting to see if there was any activity on the other side? Especially when hearing the loud speakers blasting propaganda close by? I just shook my head and continued shaking it until the end of the movie.

I look for accuracy in war movies. The language was not consistent with the era. Modern day slang in a WW2 movie? Teaching Italian kids how to high five? What? The sex scene was totally uncalled for. Could just as well have left it on the cutting room floor.

Spike really missed it on this one.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

I Suspect Racism Clouds the Raters Ratings

Author: halfrocentric1975 from United States
25 May 2009

After reading other reviews it seems to me that racism may be involved. White people don't mind black people to be Step n' Fetchit acting buffoons, and don't mind a good ghetto movie. They don't however want to see dignified Black characters seen through our eyes and not stereotypes. Black people are not given the option of having range as are whites. You're supposed to be stuck in one mode/mold and all Blacks everywhere are supposed to fit that. That's not real life. Take a Psych of Prejudice class or something and learn about someone else's culture.

I don't understand if other people who've rated it low watched the same movie. This was a beautiful movie that I enjoyed very much. I have a feeling many people are used to seeing Blacks in one light. Someone mentioned he thought this was going to be another Glory and I'm so happy it wasn't. It was nice to see the story of WW2 through our eyes, the racism through our eyes, the pain through our eyes. You get tired of seeing everything filtered through a white director or writer and never seeing your own story.

This is emotional and disturbing. The story is solid and the characters make you care about them. I loved the little boy and his Gigante di Chocolato, "Chocolate Giant".He was so innocent and it was beautiful to watch. I'm really upset others couldn't see it. I really liked the fact that Mr. Lee explored the division of Afro-Latinos and Africa-Americans and the fact that many of them don't consider themselves Black and we do. It has to do with the one drop rule of the US that Spanish slave owning countries didn't have. Many Latinos have a reverse one drop rule, where as one drop of white blood makes you white. Our one drop rule says one drop of African blood makes you black. If you are not privy to that info you would have never caught that in this film.

This is in my top 10 list of all time. Please watch this movie with an open mind. Pay attention to the relationships and tap in to the emotion and you'll really enjoy this film. It didn't take any work at all for me to love it.

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Violent, Elementary, Pretentious; In that order

Author: james-iliff from United States
4 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was a huge let down, a diversion from the trailers and, like others have commented, hard to sit through. First, the movie was sickeningly violent when it didn't need to be. I think we know the Nazi's were ruthless. We don't need to see their gruesomeness up close and in extended scenes. Whats the point. Second, the moral issues broached in the movie were handled no deeper than a freshman level human relations course. Even the racial overtones of the movie, usually Spike's forte, were trite and predictable. Lastly, given the first two flaws, Spike Lee's directorial methods, which normally are provoking, seemed overly pretentious.

I read several reviews warning of this movie before I saw it. I paid $10 anyways hoping for the best. I regret that move.

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14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Very disappointing

Author: Roscoe-4 from New Jersey
26 September 2008

The story is all over the map, and not very plausible. A postal clerk shoots a man who comes to his window to buy stamps. That much is clear. The rest is a hodgepodge of flashbacks and disjointed scenes that are confusing and difficult to follow. The movie tries to portray the story of the WWII "Buffalo Soldiers", the horrors of war, racial prejudice, a murder mystery and combines it with mysticism. Some of the acting is first rate, while others clearly need acting lessons. The only thing that saves this movie is the filming and special effects, which are excellent. At the end of the movie, the audience is left wondering the identity of the victim killed at the beginning of the movie was, and what exactly was the miracle that occurred! The sex and more especially the violence makes the movie "off limits" for children under the age of 18.

If Spike Lee was trying to present a movie equal to "Saving Private Ryan", he missed by a mile!

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story complicated mess

Author: SnoopyStyle
17 May 2016

It's Christmas 1983 New York. Postal worker Hector Negron shoots a customer. Police finds the missing Primavera from Santa Trinita, a statute head from a bridge. Reporter Tim Boyle proclaims him the Marble Head Murderer. Flashback to Tuscany 1944. The 92nd Infantry Division Buffalo Soldiers are advancing across a river. The racist Captain Nokes dismisses his own troops' transmission and shells them. Sam Train carries the marble head for good luck. He and Bishop Cummings makes it across the river. They rescue an Italian boy. Later, they are joined by Hector and Aubrey Stamps. The four men and boy reach the town of St. Anna. Meanwhile, Germans are gathering threatening a counter offensive.

The James McBride material may have too many elements and too many twists to be filmed. Somebody else should have adapted it. This needs a lot of simplifying and to get rid some of the clunkier stuff. I hate that the black troops are talking loudly as they try to sneak across an open field. I hate that two black guys find a way to fight over a woman no matter where they are. I hate that nobody throws a grenade in the final battle. The first half is fine but I couldn't understand why they move away from their own lines. The geography needs to be clarified for the audience. Initially, the partisans are as confusing as hell. There are some odd moments. The action is done well but too many times, people jump out into the open to die in the old war action ways. I can't figure out how much of the problems are Spike Lee's fault. The movie looks good. It's the sprawling, complicated script that is mostly to blame.

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Sonny C & the Toll Booth

Author: uusmyth from United States
8 October 2015

This film is about three hours too long.

If you love blood, mayhem, gore, bullets, rifles, bombs, smoke, killing, rotten language, plot confusion, dreadful musical score, mismatched WWII uniforms, overacting, underacting, this one's for you.

Some miracle.

Tarantino must have loved this film. I found the film tedious and wayyy too long.

Having just returned from Seravezza I was looking for landmarks, scenes that would express the quaint and lovely and warm city I saw. Believe it or not the Italians in and around Seravezza really like us Yanks. I hope the film did not run in the city square.

What a waste of $$$. (Checkiung the IMDb score card it looks like the movie lost a bundle. Pity.)

Don't miss this one if you can.

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This Wasn't Much Of A Miracle.

Author: Edward Goldenberg from United States
18 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Set in 1944 Italy, the story of four black American soldiers who get trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII.

Did this movie have potential? Yes it did. But ultimately, through sub-average directing, a below average script, and uncommitted acting, the movie is hardly what anybody would call a miracle. Miracle At St. Anna is overlong, loose, boring, and just plain bad. I did try to like this movie, but it had so man pointless inconsistencies with it, that I just couldn't. As somebody pointed out, there are some inconsistencies, but they are all usually supposed to come together at the end of the movie. In this movie, that didn't happen at all, the opening scene should tell you that, a man shoots another person for no apparent reason, and when we finally find out the reason for it, it still doesn't make all that much sense. Spike Lee tried hard to correctly portray black soldiers from World War II, but he missed it. What's rather hypocritical, is that a few of these soldiers seem to be throwbacks to black stereotypes, which is something that Spike Lee hates to much, so why did he decide to include what seemed so be stereotypes in this movie? Hypocritical?

It's true that African Americans in the 1940's got treated like dirt, but that's probably the only thing that this movie got right. One of the worst things would be the killing of the moods of serious scenes. What I mean by that is that there would be something very serious going on, such as a killing, the next minute? The mood would be ruined by somebody cracking a joke. Killing in war is not something you should be making jokes about. What was the writer thinking when he came up with that concept? And like I mentioned, the opening scene didn't do much for the movie, in fact, we probably could have done better without it, as after that, the first 45 minutes of the movie are riddled with overacting, and not to mention that the blacks are portrayed is silly, cowardly, and shallow to the point that they are unbelievable. I wouldn't have been surprised if the actors in this movie turned out to have been reading off cue-cards. Spike Lee aimed for the target numerous times and nearly every time he fired, he missed.

The best scene in the movie would be where a German officer has a gun pointed at an African American soldier, and what does he do? He spares his life, and then gives him the gun. Seriously? In real life, in addition to Jews, the Nazis also hated blacks, and had this scenario actually occurred, the German would have shot the soldier dead. All in all, this movie is one of the most disappointing experiences that I have ever had. Spike Lee is not entirely to blame, as a director can only do so much with the screenplay, so James McBride should be blamed as well for his writing. In an attempt to end on a more positive note, I will say that the cinematography and scenery were beautiful, and the music is well scored. Unfortunately, on the whole, Miracle At St. Anna is overlong, poorly written, and not to mention, a huge letdown.


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The only sleeping man I know is Spike Lee: he can't see that this movie is so-so

Author: ironhorse_iv from United States
2 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I praise the real Buffalo Soldiers for what they did during World War 2, but I don't praise this movie. I feel for Sant'Anna di Stazzema, but I don't feel for this movie. The reasons why are clear. It wasn't that good. There was so many things wrong about this film, and so little good. The Spike Lee film opens in 1983 in NYC, where a aged Puerto Rican WWII vet Hector Negron (Laz Alonso), a bank clerk has just shot a customer at work. How on earth, did Hector was allow to bring a gun to work, and second off, what the odds of him keeping a old gun with him, just in case, he sees a old enemy in the past at a bank. The odds are very high, but with the movie title Miracle At St. Anna. I guess it can happen. A reporter Tim Boyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) ask Hector, why he did, and the story finally goes after 10 minutes in to WWII Italy, where Hector is part of the Buffalo Soldiers patrolling a Italian field while Axis Sally is ringing their ears from a loud speaker telling them the wrongs about United States and why they shouldn't fight against the Nazis. This was pretty interesting, and reminds me of somewhat of Jesus getting tempted by Satan in the desert with the role of Jesus as the soldiers. After a miserable river battle scene, where it showed most of soldiers just standing still getting blown up like idiots. Three survivors including Hector are catch behind enemy lines being lead by 2nd Staff Sergeant Aubrey Stamps (Derek Luke)- the smartest of the bunch. While Stamps is the only realish black soldier in the film, as the others are just amateurs actors acting like soldiers. I don't even think the actors even know anything about the military in the way they shot and act in the film. The real buffalo soldiers were not that stupid, they would have starting hauling ass to cover and set up a plan, these fools went around clueless shooting without being a team. The real buffalo soldiers were so disciplined, and well trained. In this movie, they question orders, not only from their white commanders, but between each other. Aubrey Stamps would be a better character, if only he wasn't allows fighting with Bishop Cummings (Michael Ealy), a walking racist stereotype who question everything, I mean everything. Not only that he is also a womanizer and very unlikeable character. Rather than trying to survive the war, the two of them are all after a Italian woman Renata (Valentina Cervi) they find, and fights each other on who get to sleep with her. Renata agrees to allow the four men to hide in their house in the village from the German, under the protector of the partisans lead by Peppi 'Butterfly" Grotta (Pierfrancesco Favino). While they are there, one of the soldiers Sam Train (Omar Benson Miller) saves and befriend a local child Angelo. Train is a lovable character, but I can't see him being a real soldier as the actor can barely move under his huge weight. Not only that, he's carrying around a heavy old Renaissance Marble head around as if he is Bart Simpson holding around Jebediah Springfield's head around. Angelo gives him, the nickname 'Chocolate Giant' and the relationship between them is charming as the boy believes in Miracles like the highly religious Train. Without giving it away, the ending to the film is emotional and it somewhat works within the plot-line. While the movie has a good story, it suffers from too many subplots with unexplained and barely development scenes. The language in the film isn't historic right. The slangs don't match the time period. Perhaps Spike Lee and author James McBride didn't see eye-to-eye on some things. While it's a fictional film, it's suffers from historically inaccurate. Saving Private Ryan is a great film largely because it has something to say."We all have a duty to something bigger than us." St. Anna doesn't do this. It has no central theme that is universal and true to the story. All it has is a bunch of scenes that say different things that are on because director's mind. St. Anna isn't suppose to about Spike Lees opinions. I agree with his opinions, but this wasn't the film that he shouldn't have made. Lee made them into overly presented stereotypes by having ignorant black soldiers, and arrogant and militantly racist whites. I don't think all blacks were ignorant, and all American whites were racist. A better, less racist director would have focused more on the actual story than his own agenda. I don't think this movie help overcoming the gap with racial tension in United States. I think it made it worst. I think he hurt, future filmmakers who'd love to see more Black American depictions in WWII movies by this film. That's why Private Ryan is and will always be the measure that WWII films try to reach, weather they admit it or not. If you want a good movie about African-Americans in World War II, watch The Tuskeegee Airmen or the documentary "Inside Buffalo'

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