The jamming together of so much history and melodrama makes for a handsome movie that is only rarely gripping.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
"For Greater Glory" is at times so heavy-handed that the movie itself seems at war. Unfortunately, the enemy is not just a repressive administration, but the audience.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
The scenes just plod along without much to help distinguish them. It's not an epic movie so much as an epic run-on sentence.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
It is plodding, lazily filmed, gassy with James Horner's score, and pads its runtime only by way of tolling repetition.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
When its passion connects with several strong performances, it transcends a heavy piousness.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
It is well-made, yes, but has such pro-Catholic tunnel vision I began to question its view of events.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
As generic as the title, this historical drama spares no cliche in depicting Mexico's Cristero War of the late 1920.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
If Michael Bay woke up one day and said to himself, "I need to make a movie about religious persecution in 1920s Mexico," I imagine it would look something like this.
Tom Horgen - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The result is pretty much as forgettable as the Cristeros War.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Director Dean Wright and screenwriter Michael Love fail to develop compelling characters or to construct a coherent plot.
Kerry Lengel - Arizona Republic
Despite enough good intentions to pave a four-lane highway, the ardently sincere but dramatically unfocused For Greater Glory plays like a multipart miniseries that has been hacked down to feature length.
Joe Leydon - Variety
The sometimes painfully sincere and slow-moving "For Greater Glory" clearly aspires to be inspirational, but history won't cooperate.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
It's the stuff of real life, and of high drama, but Dean Wright's directorial debut translates little of that latter quality to the screen.
William Goss - Film.com
This historical drama about the little-known Cristero War in 1920s Mexico is more educational than involving.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
Ultimately a stodgy, overblown and repetitive slog.
Robert Abele - Los Angeles Times
For Greater Glory takes what should have been an involving, even shocking hidden part of history and turns it into a needless epic
James Luxford - The National
"For Greater Glory" takes its cues from a bygone era of Technicolor Golden Age epics and delivers a sprawling political drama steeped in old-fashioned Hollywood romanticism.
Justin Craig - FoxNews.com
The compelling archival footage, which literally made me gasp aloud, and the incredible, disturbing photos are amazing. Unfortunately, you'll see them only during the end credits of 'For Greater Glory.'
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
It's the kind of now-obscure subject matter that could be fascinating if done well, but here just feels like an obligation. And yeah there's going to be a test, so good luck at not falling asleep in class.
Dave White - Movies.com
The story deserves a better movie than it gets here ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
An interesting historical drama that only mildly entertains
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Curiously, rookie director Dean Wright can't seem to make a struggle for one of the most basic rights all that interesting.
Dan Lybarger - KC Active
The film's length and muddled message will likely keep it from reaching much of an audience, even within the presumed Latino faith-based target.
Mark Olsen - Boxoffice Magazine
Solemn and fervent,delivering an educational history lesson that defeats itself because of its R-rating.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
For Greater Glory serves as a timely reminder of just how fragile religious freedom can be.
Christian Toto - Big Hollywood
Epic tale about religious freedom gets very bloody.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
You'll be forgiven (on earth if not in heaven) should you find yourself humming "Onward, Christian Soldiers" as you exit the theatre.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
It is a scattered mess, as earnest as a folk song, but like a folk song that goes on for two hours and 23 minutes.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
It's a powerful, visually elegant picture from first-time director Dean Wright.
Soren Anderson - Seattle Times
There's a hagiographic tone to the film, which...strains for epic sweep but gives itself over to historical oversimplification and pious melodramatics.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
[It] seems to last longer than the Mexican conflict itself. I saw the movie a month ago, and I'm not entirely convinced that it's ended yet.
Brett Michel - Boston Phoenix
Takes its cues from the Mel Gibson School of Screen Martyrdom, making sure this education on Mexican history carries significant ugliness.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Admirable but flawed attempt to enlighten and entertain film audiences by dramatizing an important but long-hidden 20th-century Mexican war. Succeeds as a history lesson, but fails rather glumly as entertaining and/or gripping cinema.
Shirley Sealy - Film Journal International
If you want to understand what's happening, you might want to read up on the Cristero War before you go.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Ultimately the movie has too much going on to be primarily a campy pleasure.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
A seemingly three-year drama about a three-year war.
Matt Pais - RedEye
If you're making a movie aimed at people of a particular faith, you might want to cut it below an R-rating. And if you're going to attempt an epic, you need to spend more money than this.
In spite of its R rating and sometimes horrifying imagery, For Greater Glory seems to belong in the classroom of a lazy Sunday-school teacher rather than a movie theater.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
This movie either needed to be longer, to expand the storylines that were lacking, or shorter, cutting all the stories and characters that weren't fully developed.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
A bit -- okay, a lot -- more back-story probably would have been beneficial, as would have been a greater understanding of who characters are and what makes them tick. (Full Content Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Andy Garcia, Oscar Isaac, and Genesis Rodriguez bring some depth and dignity to a script that is sincere but clunky.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
A sweeping, handsome epic with strong performances, solid production values and magnificent locations across Mexico.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
This drama styles itself as a cinematic epic, but its substance is as flimsy as a Jack Chick pamphlet.
Sam Adams - Time Out
The film is awash in blandly brown-toned cinematography, action scenes more violent than rousing, and a whole host of bathetic subplots.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
A stirring, even epic dramatization of an actual war in Mexico pitting a brutally anticlerical government against forces fighting for religious freedom.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve