For Greater Glory: The True Story of the Cristiada is valuable primarily for acquainting audiences with an interesting episode of Mexican history with which most Americans will be unfamiliar. Backed partially by Catholic money, this production’s heart may be in the right place, but it never quite manages to shake the feeling of a high-gloss made-for-cable movie, with its one-sided presentation, some broad characterizations, and the expected pedestrian score.  It could also benefit from more action and humor to break up the many sanctimonious moments.

The performances from Andy Garcia, Ruben Blades, and the other leads, including the featured juveniles, are all appropriately earnest and serviceable. Viewers also may be interested in seeing what is surely one of the last occasions Peter O’Toole will grace the screen in his unintentionally creepy but affecting role as a priest who dies for his faith and community.

It’s difficult to watch this story of a spontaneous but leaderless (“We need a commander-in-chief”) rebellion for religious freedom against a rigid leftist government and not think of the Tea Party and the present administration’s dictatorial tendencies and contraceptive controversy with Catholics.  To its credit, For Greater Glory allows for useful collaboration between secular and religious forces for liberty, with the Cristeros approaching the atheist General Gorostietos to lead them.  A better film could and should be made on this subject, however.  3 out of 5 stars.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that For Greater Glory is:

4. Anti-corporatism/big oil

3. Anti-Obama

2. Pro-Cristo

1. Pro-liberty (admittedly redundant after #3)