Hacksaw Ridge

Violent pacifism

Desmond Doss was a medic at the Battle of Okinawa who singlehandedly saved the lives of 75 men without firing a shot or even carrying a gun. He was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. Mel Gibson’s faith-based crowd-pleaser about him is a moving character study, and Andrew Garfield puts in a mesmerizing personal best. Now the gripes. I realize the ferocity of the battle is kind of the point, but the unrelenting carnage, like in The Passion of the Christ, approaches being off-putting. And isn’t glorifying the violence the hero morally opposed a tad exploitative? Just sayin’. (139 min)