For Greater Glory: Film Review

What price would you pay for freedom? The action-packed historical drama For Greater Glory – which chronicles the true story of the fight for religious freedom in Mexico known as The Cristero War (La Cristiada) – poses the question and offers audiences an exhilarating depiction of the brave men, women and children who fought and died for what they believed in.

Photo of actual Cristero soliders

Background: In 1924, atheist Plutarco Elias Calles was elected president of Mexico and began a series of anticlerical campaigns to eradicate the country of what he perceived as the Catholic Church’s stronghold on the people.  In 1926, his penal code popularly known as “Calles Law” was passed, which included, among other penalties, fines for priests for wearing clerical garb in public. The passing of the law soon led to additional oppressive practices throughout the county such as the closing of monasteries and the expulsion of foreign priests from the country.

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Catholics in Mexico soon mounted a peaceful resistance in protest to the new law and ensuing practices.  Catholics boycotted movies, public transportation and some Catholic teachers refused to teach in public schools.  Soon skirmishes began to break out in various states between federal troops and armed protesters; and the formal rebellion began on January 1, 1927.

In For Greater Glory, Academy Award® nominee Andy Garcia headlines an acclaimed cast which includes the legendary Peter O’ Toole and Golden Globe nominee Eva Longoria. In his role as “General Enrique Gorostieta” – a retired military man and self-proclaimed agnostic – Garcia brings to the screen all the complexity, strength and sensitivity that audiences have come to expect from him over the years. As the reluctant leader of an impassioned rag-tag bunch of rebels, Garcia’s character – famous for being a savvy military strategist – is forced to confront his own questions about God and faith; and through his commitment to the movement, he finds inspiration and a long yearned-for sense of peace.

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The film, directed by Dean Wright, includes all of the story elements that an epic like this requires; and, it clearly odes to predecessors such as Glory, Braveheart and others with similar themes.  Yet the film delivers on offering audiences something fresh and evocative.  Shot on location throughout Mexico, the cinematography is captivating and the film is expertly supported by an emotional score. The plot is refreshing and far from predictable; and stunning performances by Eva Longoria, Santiago Cabrera (Heroes, CHE) as the pistol-packing priest “Father Vega” and newcomer Mauricio Kuri as a fearless fourteen year-old are nothing short of breathtaking.

Written by Michael Love and produced by Pablo Jose Barroso, For Greater Glory was released in theaters June 1st. To find a theater in your area showing the film, please visit:




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