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Copperhead is unlike any Civil War movie to date. A story of the violent passions and burning feuds that set ablaze the home front during the Civil War, Copperhead is also a timeless and deeply moving examination of the price of dissent, the place of the individual amidst the hysteria of wartime, and the terrible price of war. Based on the extraordinary novel by Harold Frederic, which the great American critic Edmund Wilson praised as a brave and singular book that "differs fundamentally from any other Civil War fiction," Copperhead is the story of Abner Beech, a stubborn and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 21%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"So much taste and intelligence went into these finely wrought costumes, props and sets in order to tell a story of such tedium."
‑ Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
"Sluggish drama ... defines this morality lesson about the unimpeachable virtue of loving thy neighbor."
‑ Nick Schager, Village Voice
"Maxwell and Kauffman merit praise for acknowledging historical complexity, but the film's moral and aesthetic limitations keep Copperhead from entering this realm."
‑ John P. McCarthy, America Magazine
"I wish "Copperhead" were better, because it tells a story we haven't seen before, and creates a world that films have rarely shown us."
‑ Matt Zoller Seitz,
"Its budgetary limitations show. Many scenes could have used additional takes to polish the performances, and the often-poor sound recording is a shortcoming, particularly with stylized period dialogue. The leads show surprisingly little range."
‑ Frank Lovece, Film Journal International
"Though the tale, based on a novel by Harold Frederic, remains relevant to our time, the film is too self-conscious and tedious for the message it delivers."
‑ Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
"Less like a peering examination of the turbulent political environment than a reenactment of a Ken Burns documentary-or a museum tour."
‑ Matt Patches, Time Out New York
"There's a good story to be told somewhere in here, but they just couldn't get at it, choosing to stretch out and suffocate what good material they had, resulting in a bland and tedious tale that would fail to engage even the most avid history buff."
‑ Jeff Beck,
"For this audience, Ron Maxwell's film will prove entertaining and though-provoking, at the very least. For the rest, it is unlikely to provide much dramatic sustenance."
‑ Christopher Schobert, The Playlist
"Civil War drama may raise questions about history."
‑ Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
"If every war has more than one side, this story of one man who dares to stand against the tide of history has a contemporary relevance that remains uncontested."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"Aside from the PBS-re-enactment music, the film's primary problem is that it lacks a clear central plot."
‑ Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic
"As both politics and entertainment, it's lacking."
‑ Justin Stewart, Film Comment Magazine
"A work every bit as turgid and baldly sentimental as the centerpiece lecture at a convention of historical reenactors."
‑ Brent Simon,
"Despite good performances throughout the film, the pacing of Copperhead is slow, with many long takes and establishing shots that seem a bit over-indulgent."
‑ Christine N. Ziemba, Paste Magazine
More reviews for Copperhead on Rotten Tomatoes