Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2014


"Copperhead" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton



The film is set in a small community in upstate New York, far away from the horrors of war. Yet, the conflict being waged far south is being felt here as well. The central character of the story is Abner Beech (Campbell, "The Rocketeer,"), a farmer who is against the war Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans are waging. He, along with his adopted son Jimmy (Josh Cruddas) and an Irish immigrant, are labeled "copperheads" for their stance against the war. His views alienate him from the community, including Jee Hagadorn (MacFayden), a righteous man who supports the war, and abolition, wholeheartedly, and not caring about the thousands of men who are fighting and dying, as long as they achieve victory. This is a third installment from the director that brought us “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals”.


  • Warner Brothers
  • 2014, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 hours
  • Aspect Ratio 1.35:1
  • 1080P
  • 5.1 DTS-MA
  • Starring: Billy Campbell, Angus McFayden, Josh Cruddas
  • Directed by: Ron Maxwell
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild


Just like the peace activists from the 1960’s, Abner Beech opposes Lincoln’s war because he feels the states should do as they please and not be bullied by the Federal government. Besides, Lincoln is trampling the Constitution in his effort to keep the Union together. Lincoln may have been proven right, but Beech’s view is no less compelling. Just as a moral man may be for the war, another equally moral man may oppose it and this film shows us a part of the war most of us never read in the history books. The movie is somewhat slowly paced, but the character development is excellent. The acting, scenery and music are all top notch too. If you are a Civil War buff or just like a movie that sees things from a different perspective, I recommend this film highly.


The picture is clear and natural, digitally shot without the use of CGI. The upstate New York countryside is beautifully rendered and the colors are gorgeous. Most of the costumes exude details and earth tone colors. The musical score is very nice with sweeping strings and add to the on-screen drama that plays out. Natural sounds emanate from the surrounds with birds chirping and people bustling about the busy street. The sub came to life only about 2-3 times during the film, but this movie is very dialog driven.