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Billy Campbell steals the show


New Brunswick stands in for 19th century New York in the roughly carved Civil War drama, Copperhead. Billy Campbell stars as Abner Beech, an anti-war Democrat facing persecution in a tight-knit Republican town. It's a timely story idea, actually, to present a film about a man who's anti-slavery but deeply troubled by the gross liberties the President is taking in apparently dismantling the Constitution. Pity then, how flimsy the final product comes across. Campbell's restless performance stands enormously above his theatrical co-stars, who play Upstate New York with a combination of accents ranging from 1940s Brooklyn to mild-Cape Breton. Director Ronald F. Maxwell (Gettysburg , Gods and Generals) is in his Civil War wheelhouse, but a tiny budget mixed with awkward pacing brings down the whole enterprise. Copperhead has the look and feel of a Road to Avonlea TV special, migrated to the big screen twenty years too late.

Rated PG-13 (MPAA) · 118 min. · 2013
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Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
Writer: Harold Frederic
Producer: Ron Maxwell
Cast: Billy Campbell, Peter Fonda, Angus Macfadyen, François Arnaud, Augustus Prew, Lucy Boynton, Brian Downey, Casey Brown, Ryan Doucette and Hugh Thompson

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