why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy



Starring Jonathan Pryce, James Wilby and Jonny Lee Miller
Written by Allan Scott
Directed by Gillies MacKinnon
No Website

IN SHORT:  The British take on war flicks. Well made, but not for Americans.

Let's be honest for a second. Even if you weren't doubled over in emotional pain (like Cranky) from Saving Private Ryan, you'll probably agree that a new benchmark has been set for war movies. Whether that's for better or worse is up to you. That being disposed of, let's take a look at the difference between British and Yank War flicks. We'll use for comparison, the-set-in-WWI Regeneration.

The British like to talk about war. They like to show it's horrors, symbolically. Americans like to see bodies explode. Next.

That may not be fair, as the central cast members of Regeneration actually existed and, as far as I can read press notes, the historical facts are correct. Briefly: Sometime in 1917, upper class medal wearing officer hero, the poet Siegfried Sassoon (James Wilby) decides that the War is wrong, having changed from a "War of Liberation" to a "War of Aggression," and publishes a pamphlet saying so. Had he been from East London, he would've been shot as a traitor, but being an upper class officer, he's shipped off to Craiglockart, a military hospital, to be "persuaded that he is wrong". There's nothing wrong with him, of course, and this is noted by resident psychiatrist Dr. William Rivers (Jonathan Pryce) who represses the contempt he feels for this officer. Rivers himself is on the verge of shell shock of his own kind, having treated thousands of soldiers in the previous years. Other significant characters include the real life Wilfred Owen (Stuart Bunce) who hero-worships Sassoon and wishes to be a poet, like his hero, and lower-class officer material Billy Prior (Jonny Lee Miller) who is mute from his experiences in the battle trenches of France.

The difference between American war movies and British is that the Brits think a wee bit more than we do. Regeneration isn't a blow up the enemy flick, all the characterizations in the movie (indeed, the suggestion of poetry as a manly occupation) are extensions of their love of language. They also have a very well defined class system that is alien to us, and this system a good amount of material for the actors to utilize. The lower budget also means that a great deal of thought went into portraying the horror of the Great War (as it was called) and that culminates in a flashback scene involving a human eye and a human hand that is far more grotesque and upsetting than almost anything in the American movie mentioned above. There's also a very painful to watch demonstration of a "100 per cent cure" of battlefield mutes by the use of electro-shock therapy. You'll recognize John Neville in the role of the doctor who uses pain to repair the broken "fighting units".

Would be Actors can gleam some knowledge here, watching Miller portray the man who's validation is taken away by the medical establishment. And you may try to find the balance between the world of the military and the civilians that surround the hospital, but that would be a difficult task. Other than that, Regeneration is a terribly slow time in the theater. The stories are lost underneath the filmmaker's art. The production values are fine. The opening panoramic view of a battle field is sobering, but Regeneration has the feel of a an elaborate novel crunched into movie time, which it is. All the viewers I sat with checked catches on the way out.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Regeneration, he would have paid . . .


I chose to see it because I like Jonathan Pryce's work. But Regeneration moves so slowly and carefully that its 95 minute running time felt like well over two hours. I can't even recommend waiting to rent. It will sink on the arthouse circuit.

buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.