Mel Gibson comes in from the cold to direct a sweepingly epic war movie that examines the impact of the personal religious principals of a confirmed pacifist.

Hacksaw Ridge is a movie of extreme contradictions. It’s being hailed as one of the most violent war films ever made as well as one of the most honest and reverent portraits of a man who has the courage to stay true to his religious beliefs no matter the consequences. It’s directed with spirit by a man who famously graced the media with bouts of public drunkenness, arrests, and anti-Semitic rants. The same man who created the most successful Christian-themed movie ever, The Passion of the Christ. It’s a fact-based story of a soldier who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery in one of World War II’s most bloody conflicts…all without ever carrying a gun.

Hacksaw Ridge takes place during World War II and the Battle of Okinawa. It stars Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, The Amazing Spider-Man) as Private First Class Desmond Doss, a confirmed pacifist who has sworn to never carry a gun, not even into war. His beliefs initially earn him the scorn and hatred of his fellow soldiers who brand him a coward and try to run him out of the Army. Doss refuses to bend and eventually is allowed to enter combat as a medic. It is here in the height of the madness of battle that Doss finds the resources to rise to levels of heroism that saves the lives of 75 men.

Here’s what some of the critics have to say about the film:

“What’s clear is that Gibson has made a film about family, faith, love and forgiveness all put to the test in an arena of violent conflict – a movie you don’t want to miss.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone (3.5 out of 4 Stars).

“Hope conquers all and unshaking faith fuels Hacksaw Ridge’s gripping narrative.” Brian Truitt, USA Today.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%.

Hacksaw Ridge is playing in theaters now. It’s rated R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images. Be warned.

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