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Reviews & Ratings for
Copperhead More at IMDbPro »

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Gorgeous film with a great message

Author: jedimastercheryl-173-135766
28 June 2013

This film is a treasure. It touches on themes that are as relevant today as they were in 1862 and whilst the tone is somber, the story is uplifting.

Well acted, beautifully filmed and not too long with a great deal of depth. This is a film everyone should see for both the overt and underlying messages regarding political fanaticism and the reprisals of not 'loving thy neighbor.' We agreed that this is by far the best film we've seen all year. Hopefully the Academy will take notice.

If you only spend your money on one film this summer - and are the type who wants to come away from the theater really pondering what you've just witnessed - this is the film for you.

9/10 (I would give it a 10, but I don't ever give any film a 10 as I have heard that IMDb doesn't count the 1's or the 10's in the meta-scores.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Great Piece of American History - Well Worth Seeing

Author: Peter Schaeffer from Sugar Land, TX
8 July 2013

My daughter and i saw this movie a few days ago. We loved it. It is a great period piece exploring Northern opinion during the Civil War. One town in the North (upstate New York), is divided between Southern sympathizers and fervent abolitionists. Note that this is not a war movie in the traditional sense of the phrase. No great battles are depicted and no leading generals are in sight. This is a political and emotional story of the war on the homefront.

All of the characters are well drawn and express their views without restraint. The movie is built around a love story between a boy (Casey Thomas Brown as Casey Brown) whose father (Billy Campbell as Abner Beech) opposes the war and a girl (Lucy Boynton as Esther Hagadorn ) whose father (Angus Macfadyen as Jee Hagadorn) is a religious abolitionist fanatic. The boy volunteers to join the army, along with many other young men from the town. With the young men off at war, conflicts threaten to tear the town apart and in some respects do.

The war itself is far away, but shows up as casualty lists are posted in the newspapers (and eventually as the dead and wounded return). The scenes of family members scanning the lists of dead, wounded, and missing looking for their sons, brothers, fathers, etc. are as sad, as they historically accurate.

The battles in the town end with both tragic and positive consequences. The movie if beautifully filmed and well acted. A great piece of American history. Well worth seeing.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Copperhead is an important historical film with unforgettable performances that focuses on the relationships that can get ripped apart by war.

Author: BreakawayDaily from Canada
11 July 2013

Copperhead is visually stunning, and unlike any other Civil War movie that has ever been made before. The scenery, sets, and costumes present a peaceful environment that stands in stark contrast to almost all other war movies.

Director and Producer Ron Maxwell has solidified himself as one of the leading cinematic visionaries of the American Civil War with his previous works of Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. With Copperhead, Maxwell looks at why good, honorable, ethical men chose not to go to war. He brings the audience not to the battlefield, but to the homefront, and looks closely at the relationships that can get ripped apart by war. Maxwell's fresh angle on the Civil War era highlights how the war affected those who remained at home when their sons, friends and lovers left to join the army.

Even if you are not a big war buff, you will enjoy this film. It puts the spotlight on many issues, not just about war, but about life. It has an interesting story, fantastic dialogue, topnotch performances and is visually exquisite. The film serves as a valuable history lesson on life in that era, and portrays the historical events from a viewpoint that is often ignored. It is a very thought provoking piece of filmmaking and should be considered an instant classic.

Read my full review at Breakaway Daily ( There you will also find exclusive coverage of the Copperhead premieres and much more!

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The best Civil War movie to come out in a long time. Has the feel of North and South but to me this was better.

Author: Tony Heck ( from United States
7 March 2014

"Springtime 1862, that's when the war came home and nothing was ever the same again." Abner Beech (Campbell) is a Copperhead, a northern Democrat who is against the Civil War. He tries to raise his son Jeff the same way. Like most kids do he rebels and decides to join the army and marches off to war. When the war begins to escalate the town, led by Jee Hagadorn (Macfadyen) starts to fully turn on Abner. Things only get worse for him from then on. I am a huge history buff and love Civil War stuff. I was a little leery about this going in though. For me the Civil War movie peaked with Glory and hit an all time low with Gods and Generals (which is easily one of the worst movies I have ever seen). Since this was a lower budget movie I was expecting to be bored with this. I was very wrong. This is a different type of war movie. While it takes place during the war this one deals with the families and those left behind rather then the soldiers. This really shows how the war affected everyone, and the neighbor vs neighbor or brother vs brother aspect is really shown here. I do have to say though that this would have been better as a mini-series rather then a movie. Overall, the best Civil War movie to come out in a long time. Has the feel of North and South but to me this was better. I give this a B+

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

good civil war era movie and better yet if you are a fan of those period movies

Author: bcheng93 from ny ny
8 April 2014

before i watched this movie, i knew already that the director of this movie had also directed 2 very well known civil war movies, 1.gettysburg 2.gods and generals. both of those movies are very well known and focuses mostly on battles and strategies. this movie focuses totally on the civilian side and thoughts on the war. there is not one drop of blood spill in the making of this movie.

if you are a fan of movies with all dialogue and beautiful country scenery and also a period piece then you are in for a treat. this movie does not have any A-list actors or actresses and is an ensemble piece, but there was not one bad piece of acting in this movie.

the movie happens far far away from the battlefields and is instead situated in a town in upstate new york during the culmination of the American civil war. it showed that not everybody in the north share the same feelings about the war. in fact the title of the movie itself " Copperhead " means a person living in the north that is opposed to the war for whatever reason.

very very good ensemble acting, with one powerhouse scene done by the young actor Augustus Prew. what a remarkable young actor...he's one of the main characters in this movie but it was like he was there but not really there and i don't want to spoil it but he made the whole movie. the movie would have been good without him, but he put the oomph into the movie. what he did in the end is pure cinema magic and remarkable for so young an age. Augustus plays the son of the crazy preacher and brother of the schoolteacher Esther.

i am surprised this did not get any Oscar consideration...but then again not, because the director is not one of Hollywoods darlings even though he makes really real and good movies.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Good acting but lacking appeal overall

Author: RTTerry from United States
23 July 2013

Copperhead offers an alternative to movies of late, which are inundated with CGI special affects and machine-gun pacing. It is a welcome departure from the current Hollywood format; however that alone does not make it as appealing as it could have been.

Copperhead's storyline development is more suited as a TV mini-series drama, with a strong emphasis on the dialog and drama–period. The acting alone does not save the film, despite the fact the script is exceptional well done and true to the period, as is expected from director Ron Maxwell. After an hour and a half of character development and setting the stage, the final thirty minutes of the movie leaves you wishing there was more to it. The movie ends as it started–relaxed and waiting for something more.

The acting and cinematography is worthy of note, but the screenplay-pacing is not enough to propel the film. A little extra effort and this could have been a classic film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully filmed, but somewhat elegiac in pace for some

Author: Deimos3 from Kansas City, MO, United States
10 January 2015

"Copperhead" is a very thoughtful film, lovingly photographed in the lush upper New York countryside with an authenticity that is worthy of a documentary. It is a story too often ignored--that of those in the North who opposed the Civil War and the effect it had on their communities. Slow paced and deliberate, to some it may seem too lacking in action or drama for a film about the American Civil War. If you want sentimentality, see "Gone With the Wind" and if you want action see "Glory," both fine films. But if you want a sincere look at the Union home front and a look at those who opposed the war and why, see "Copperhead." Now we need a good film about the Southerners who opposed the war, for there were many of them, my ancestors included.

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Wasted potential

Author: Erin N.
28 January 2016

As far as elements go, Copperhead had everything that it needed to become successful. It was very historically accurate and provided an insightful look at the other side of the Civil War, showing how the divisions created were not as simple as North and South, and that the war affected everyone, at home and on the battlefield. Still, it seems that this film was missing something quite large. Despite its well aimed angle and interesting storyline, it became boring at several interludes. The actors also could have done a better a better job and parts of the script seemed incredibly cheesy, detracting from the film's genuine quality. Nevertheless, it was an interesting watch that cushioned education and historical accuracy with an entertaining and fantastical story.

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Educational and Emotional

Author: Emily Odell
29 December 2015

Copperhead gives a look into the life of a small town in the North during the time of the civil war. The town is bitterly divided into political parties, the Republicans who are pro-war and the Democrats, or Copperheads, who are Northerners against the war. In a Romeo and Juliet inspired scenario, the daughter of a Republican falls in love with the son of a Democrat. To gain the blessing of her father, the boy goes off to fight in the war, against the will of his own father. Though the story is historical fiction, many aspects of the time and of the war are portrayed accurately, with an abundance of historical details. Whether you're a history lover, a student, or just bored, you'll love this romantic yet heart-wrenching film.

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For and against the war

Author: Emily5898 from United States
3 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Seeing the difference between how those acted who agreed or disagreed with the actions of the war was quite interesting to compare. Depending on how you felt also affected your interactions and feelings of others, which makes sense. But also then families had strict rules with interactions between children. Enlisting I'm the army was a common thing, but also heartbreaking to families during this war to see the goodbyes that took place was saddening, families, parents, significant others leaving. As many kids do, the child of the "Copperhead", rebels and joins the army. The differences between Democrats and republicans seem very extreme. After a devastating disaster and this time it wasn't the death of a soldier, the families become even more heartbroken. "War is a fever." The acting in this movie was well done and the setting fit well for the time period, also helped to better understand what was going on then. Living in Upstate New York, it's interesting to see what where I live might have looked like during the war. The music in the movie was an excellent representative of what Army bands played while marching. The storyline does not focus on the lives of the soldiers and the bloodiness of the war, but those at home, how the war affected the regular citizens, in the north.

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