Devotion

The harrowing true story of two elite US Navy fighter pilots during the Korean War. Their heroic sacrifices would ultimately make them the Navy's most celebrated wingmen.

  • Released: 2022-11-23
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, History, War
  • Stars: Ava Michelle Thompson, Alexander Goldstein, Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell, Christina Jackson, Thomas Sadoski, Joe Jonas, Joseph Cross, Daren Kagasoff, Serinda Swan, Nick Hargrove, Boone Platt, Matt Riedy, Logan Macrae, Spencer Neville, Kenneth Trujillo, Adetinpo Thomas, Emily Brinks, Aleks Alifirenko Jr., Elizabeth Harlow
  • Director: J.D. Dillard
 Comments
  • zdworkin99 - 13 January 2023
    Read the book
    I remember 6 years ago I read the book On Hollow Ground. The part of the book that went over Jessie and Tom brought a tear to my eye. As I read, all I thought to myself was "wow if this story ever gets a movie they better get it right"...I really wish they did. The movie should have focused more around the connection between the grunts on the ground and the pilots. The movie did not express how absolutely crucial it was for close air support and the terrible conditions it was for troops in combat. One of the main reason Marines in the Chosin Reservoir were able to hold out and eventually make it back to the sea was because of Men like Jessie. That connection did not seem present in the movie.

    Please if you are reading this then take my recommendation and read the book. I promise you will be satisfied.
  • derekreidy77 - 12 January 2023
    An "ok" movie about a real group of heroes
    I wasn't aware this was a true story until the end of the film. Right off the bat, it feels like some things were left on the cutting room floor. I honestly feel this movie should have been longer. A lot of things felt rushed.

    As far as the film goes, the acting was very good. When I originally saw the trailer I was concerned because the CGI looked bad. And yes, there are a few scenes that are very obviously rushed blue screen. But overall I think it was very good. It is definitely worth a watch. The soldiers of the Korean war are unfortunately overlooked due to WW2 and then Vietnam. The part of this movie regarding the soldiers in the Chosin Reservoir was very short. And that's sad because the actual events were horrific. Everyone there is a hero.

    TLDR; It's a good movie and worth the watch.
  • mfrostbusiness - 12 January 2023
    A good film that could have been great
    This movie was worth watching. However, it is a bit schizophrenic in its storytelling and I suspect this is due to poor editing. As they say, there's the movie you write, the movie you shoot, in the movie you edit.

    Regardless, there's a significant number of scenes in the movie that one wonders why they're even included? As an example, I didn't see the need to have the Elizabeth Taylor arc included at all. It added nothing to the character development.

    And then there are the scenes where they seem to cut to another scene either prematurely or on a lagged basis. Sometimes the facial expressions did not match the emotions that were supposedly being portrayed.

    And distracting technical oddities like putting out a gasoline fire with a few handfuls of snow. At times the CGI was laughable. Babylon 5 was better and that was 30 years ago.

    Like the title of my review says, this was a good movie and it's worth seeing, but it really could have been a GREAT movie. The producers could not decide what they wanted it to be. Personally, I liked the "human story" very much, and it's a shame the writers and producers didn't believe it more.
  • rgnfgt - 12 January 2023
    Award Worthy
    This is a beautifully crafted war story that needed to be told. Dillard's directing was refreshing to see and delightful to experience on the big screen. I hope the studio supports the film when it comes to nominations for the Academy Awards in best, Director, Editing, Cinematography, and Script Adaptation. It was even worth watching the credits just to see the original pictures of the characters in this film.

    I thought this is going to be another "Tuskegee Airmen" movie. That is why I waited so long to see it. If you can't see it in the movie theater, then be sure to view it on demand. It will be well worth your entertainment dollars.
  • xmhunter - 12 January 2023
    Generally movie is just pushing 2020 agenda
    First I thought that maybe my disappointment is bias and unfair. But then I've read the caption of it here and understood that my opinion is legit.

    You see I came up on this movie back when it was in the making in an aviation community, where people were hyped to get a good movie with aviators and war planes in a centre of it. People were more excited about this one then over Top Gun.

    Caption says it's a move about pilots going into fight. Fits the expectations doesn't it?

    Well the problem is, out of... 2 hours and 19 minutes the "action"/war/piloting/planes - take - about 19 minutes tops.

    And the other 2 hours are not about storytelling ether. It's whining about how hard is life of black aviator. Don't take me wrong, I have no doubt it was nightmare, but is it really what you want person to be remembered? For his life being hard? And for whining about it? Not "no letter the obstacles he became an elite", not "no matter what he did his job and therefore he's hero". No. Whining. "It was hard for him so nothing special came out of him and then he died".

    Image of main character is rubbish, not controversial, rubbish. First he is presented as an expert fighter wish his view on how things should be done and has no problem bending rules a bit to make sure he and one's around him get proper training. So basically a badass aviator with experience. Then he loses his cool over being deployed, gets to be only persons in squadron who can't land on carrier. Then he acts humble and accepts then new guy gets to command him. Then he goes rogue and acts against orders. But again being presented as an outstanding pilot. Then he gets hit, losses his mind over it, screws up and dies.
  • rehmankhilji - 12 January 2023
    Mediocre
    War movies are always exciting to watch, firstly as its based on true story and one can feel the connections with the characters played.

    However, this movie on one chapter from US Korean war was a mediocre presentation. There are certain moments where you may find the movie to be touchy however it is too slow, the movie is not having any excitement, an strong action scene, it is very dull at many moments and that is where you may find the movie boring.

    The story could have been more interesting if the background the main character, showing his training to the level of pilot could have brought some good to the movie.

    All in all, you watch or you dont, not too much difference.
  • osalim - 12 January 2023
    Movie of the year
    I loved this movie. It starts off slow but its a beautiful story of friendship, perseverance and devotion. Jesse struggled a lot to get to where he did and it was a testament to his resolve. He, Tom and the other navy fighter pilots were true heroes. Heroes and their efforts tend to be forgotten, but I'm happy this move shed a light on their efforts.

    The movie was so touching towards the end. I will also add that the movie had some of the best cinematography i have ever seen. Wow, i'm giving this movie a big nod for some big Oscar nominations and possible awards. They just dont make movies like this anymore.
  • darvin-2 - 11 January 2023
    A true story of a great aviator but only half way told.
    The movie is good but just falls short of telling you enough about the main real life character Jesse Brown one of if not the first American of African / Native American descent in the US Navy. (There seems to be some question if he should be considered the first) but he was certainly the first to go through the normal process of becoming a naval aviator.

    The problem with Devotion is it almost comes off as more of a story about Tom Hudner (Jesse's wingman) than it does about Jesse Brown. If you watch and don't follow up with reading about the man you would never know that he few more than just two combat missions. In looking up Jesse L. Brown you discover that he flew at least 20 combat missions but for some reason the film only covers two of the missions leading you to incorrectly assume he had a short career as a combat pilot.

    And as previously mentioned, the film seems to dwell on his wingman Tom Hudner as Jesse's friend and commander by highlighting many of his feats. The story ends suddenly and without any fanfare leaving me somewhat disappointed in the ending of the film. Finishing off the story with a number of stills and text to finish the tale.

    I would much have preferred they shown the story of Jesse's difficulties in becoming a pilot and breaking barriers rather than have the actor complain about them to his friend. Told the story of how he and his wife eloped against Navy orders that they not wed while cadets. Even covered some of his share cropper history as a child growing up in the south.

    Unfortunately it is much more enjoyable to read this man's Wikipedia page than it is to watch the movie about him. And that's sad. Too bad they won't likely go back and redo the film. I would say more about the film but I don't want to add spoilers.

    It should have been called Disappointed rather than Devotion.
  • Top_Dawg_Critic - 11 January 2023
    Low Gun, and about an hour too long.
    The writing and directing was too underwhelming to effectively fill in the slowly paced 139 min runtime. There were bits and pieces of suspense and thrills, but for the most part, every scene was stretched out too long with mostly filler and very little substance. The runtime could've have easily been trimmed down at least 40 mins. In fact, there really wasn't much of a story to begin with for a full length feature film. This may have been better off as a short docu-film. Nevertheless, the casting and performances were excellent, and the cinematography and score spot-on. Devotion is not even close to Top Gun caliber in action or story, but if you like this genre, it's an ok one-time watch if there's nothing better to see.
  • kccord-57303 - 10 January 2023
    Missed opportunity
    I was expecting something different. The trailers made it seem like it was an action movie. I have to agree with other reviews . It started like a build up to a good movie but no. Don't know if it was the direction, but it lost me. Could have been a good story about pilots bonding and the trials they go through in the conflict of war. It goes off track and it takes awhile to get to the action. Could have been shorter. Nowadays Hollywood thinks people want to sit in a movie theater for over 2 hours. It's ok but not something I'd rush to watch again. Hopefully someone can make a good Korean war movie.
  • M05C0W - 10 January 2023
    Just nice
    Cool, but tries too hard to be an epic, but it's not. It takes a long way to battles happen, and only then is it good. Not because I like kick ass, but that try to force you to be emotional. Something incredible is make you better think the guy really met Elisabeth Taylor... wow! Mix from Top Gun, Forest Gump and Pearl Harbor, but far from that. A salad. Eventually reaches with the heart, from the love ones, wife and brothers in arms. Generally, it is worth it for the real story and for being one of the few films that address the USA/Korea War. At the end, the Lieautenant try to bring him back home, wihout success till today.
  • PedroPires90 - 10 January 2023
    Shockingly underrated
    Two very powerful performances - surprised that Jonathan Majors is not a big awards season player at the moment -, a compelling story that is never lame, really good action, and, above all, a film full of heart.

    It's not a perfect film. The 2nd act is a bit slow and it could have tried to create a bit more tension adding some new elements in preparation for the battle. However, it felt very real and I was so into this story and these characters that I was always enjoying. The third act is fascinating and I can't lie: it broke me into tears. I didn't know the real story, and had no contact with the material, so it was really shocking and impactful.

    I'm surprised that this didn't click with a lot of people but I have my suspicions that is because it came this year, so, many people tend to compare it with an action blockbuster called Top Gun: Maverick, while this is a totally different movie. Great war drama.
  • andrewoholic - 10 January 2023
    A man, who deserves to not be forgotten in time
    Before watching the film, I very much wanted to know who Ensign Jesse Brown was, so did some research, which I recommend before watching..

    Whilst watching the film, we get to learn just exactly who Ensign Jesse Brown was, a smart, intelligent individual. I will not spoil the film for you, so will not say what happens, but I sit here crying, which is shocking, as I did not know the man.

    The film misses off certain criteria, from what I have read, which is a shame, but overall, I recommend, not only watching this movie, but educating yourself on Ensign Jesse Brown. He deserves to not be forgotten.
  • isgildersleve - 10 January 2023
    If you like aviation and flying, do not watch.
    A lot of mediocre CGI by people who don't understand basic aerodynamics, aircraft, energy or inertia. I bet the current United States Navy would love to obtain gravity defying aircraft like the Corsairs in this movie.

    A lot of time was spent defining the relationships of the principal cast members, and this was not done well, it was slow and the conclusions we were meant to draw were painfully obvious.

    The attempt to include the racism that Jessie Brown clearly endured during his career into the movie felt tokenistic, more focused on the the pain he suffered, whilst sweeping the broader issue under the carpet

    I found the storytelling and acting mediocre. Overall, a slow and disappointingly boring movie which did not engage me at any time.