Reel Reviews | For Greater Glory

by Tim Gordon

A sprawling epic chronicle of a bloody war to fight religious oppression in Mexico is at the root of the inspirational drama, For Greater Glory.

Based on the true story of the Cristeros War, in which a group of determined patriots stood up against the Mexican government’s attempt to secularize the country in the most expensive film in the country’s history. Atheist and Mexican President Plutarco Calles (Ruben Blades) sets off a bloody and violent firestorm when he begins the persecution of Roman Catholics and places a ban on their public religious practices.

A group of rebels who called themselves Cristeros, or Christ the King decide to fight for their religious freedom. Initially, this make-shift army largely sustained through the efforts of large groups of women and children decided it needed more established leadership and turns to retired war hero, Enrique Velarde (Andy Garcia) whose extensive military background and strategy effectively unites his people and their cause.

Boasting an all-star cast featuring Eva Longaria, Bruce Greenwood, Peter O’Toole, Garcia and Blades, screenwriter Michael Love manages to capture the spirit of the rebellion and the lives of the valiant men, women and children who all played small parts in its ultimate success. Any film dealing with religious oppression is bound to be loaded with spirituality and director Dean Wright’s story does have clichéd moments that works for the audience largely depending on their faith. Garcia, stands out as a reluctant officer, who finds his purpose fighting a cause initially he doesn’t believe in. “Between Heaven and Earth, Light and Dark, Faith and Sin, Lies My Heart, God and My Heart.”

This story of heroes and villains, saints and martyrs just asks you to have a little faith and an open mind and you will be rewarded!

Grade: B+