Hacksaw Ridge

Director Mel Gibson recounts the life of Virginian Desmond Doss (played by Andrew Garfield), the conscientious objector who volunteered for military service after Pearl Harbor but refused to fire weapons due to his religious convictions. Raised as a devout Christian, Doss is more than willing to do his part as a medic but once boot camp begins, his superiors insist otherwise, threatening him with court martial while his fellow recruits tag him as a coward. Gibson unleashes the hell of the Battle of Okinawa as the trudge through blood and mud breaks better men, showing Doss as dedicated to his principles under near catastrophic conditions. In reality, he rescued 75 injured soldiers and became the first pacifist to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. The story of a hillbilly pacifist sharpshooter inducted into WWI was the basis of Sergeant York, and Garfield captures that sense of decency and moral certitude that earned Gary Cooper an Oscar. Add in the Blazing Combat brutal grit as Doss wins the respect of guys named Ghoul and Chief and Sarge, and an amazing performance by Hugo Weaving as Tom Doss (Desmond’s alcoholic, abusive dad), and this is powerful filmmaking!