Watch Devotion

"In America’s forgotten war, they made history."
  • PG-13
  • 2022
  • 2 hr 18 min
  • 6.6  (27,220)
  • 66

Devotion is a powerful historical drama that captures the essence of brotherhood, sacrifice, and heroism through the lens of one of the Korean War's most formidable air duos. Set against the backdrop of the early 1950s, this war film does more than just depict dogfights and military operations—it delves into the emotional and psychological stresses of the soldiers tasked with harrowing missions.

At the heart of the narrative is Ensign Jesse Brown (played by Jonathan Majors), who etches his name in history as the first African-American aviator to complete the U.S. Navy's basic flight training program. The story is as much about Brown's struggles with racial barriers as it is about his exploits in the sky.

Alongside Brown is his wingman, Lieutenant Tom Hudner (ported by Glen Powell), whose relationship with Brown defies the racial norms of the time. Hudner is a competitive and privileged white officer whose life takes a different trajectory when he begins to understand the intense pressures that Brown faces—not only from the enemy but from within his ranks. Glen Powell's portrayal of Hudner captures a man striving to live with honor and integrity in a world divided by prejudice and inequality.

The cast is rounded out by a string of other characters, including Daisy Brown, Jesse's loving and strong-willed wife, enacted by Christina Jackson, who supports Jesse both emotionally and psychologically. Her character is a fulcrum of strength, representing the family lives and sacrifices of military spouses who are left to maintain the home front while their partners are away at war.

Director J.D. Dillard, known for his work on "Sleight" and "Sweetheart," helms the film with a nuanced eye for character development and tense action sequences. He expertly manages to tell a true story with grace, intensity, and a focus on the deep human connections formed under the most trying conditions. While the skies might stage the battles, Dillard ensures that it's the personal relationships and the dynamics between the characters that resonate with the audience and drive the narrative forward.

The screenplay, based on the book "Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice" by Adam Makos, adeptly translates the true events into a cinematic experience. The script brings viewers into the world of Naval aviators, where high-flying maneuvers and tactical skills are juxtaposed with quiet, introspective moments, reflecting the duality of a soldier's life—valor in the face of external threats and internal battles with fear, doubt, and societal pressures.

From a visual perspective, Devotion entrances with its aerial combat sequences that are both gripping and terrifyingly authentic. The camera takes us into the cockpit, and with expert cinematography, it feels as if the audience is maneuvering through the treacherous skies alongside the pilots. Attention to detail in the period-specific aircraft and military equipment adds a layer of verisimilitude that will be appreciated by aviation aficionados and history buffs alike.

The sound design also plays a critical role in immersing viewers in the world of 1950s carrier aviation. The roar of the engines, the rush of air, and the sounds of gunfire are all meticulously crafted to enhance the intensity of the dogfight scenes. A well-composed score complements the on-screen action, evoking the emotional weight of the story and the era, mirroring the contrast of intense battle scenes with more reflective moments.

Devotion does not shy away from the racial tension of the time, which adds significant depth to the character of Jesse Brown and enriches the context in which the film unfolds. Majors brings a dignified and resilient presence to Brown, portraying him not just as a war hero but as a man persistently contending with the insidious effects of prejudice. This complex portrayal helps illuminate the layers of adversity that Brown faced, turning his story into a stirring and inspirational narrative that underscores the importance of recognition and equality.

The film's themes extend beyond the historical account of Brown and Hudner's experiences in the Korean War. It speaks to the idea of legacy and the impact of the choices made under extraordinary circumstances. Devotion successfully creates a portrait of men who find the strength to stay true to their values even when faced with overwhelming odds, turning an individual story of courage into an allegory for bravery and camaraderie in our larger human experience.

Overall, Devotion is more than a wartime epic; it's a heartfelt look into the lives of two men whose bond transcends the usual narrative of military valor. It's a testament to the human spirit, and the remarkable sacrifices made by those committed to serving their country, regardless of the personal cost. With emotionally charged performances and visually stunning aerial battles, the film is a must-see for enthusiasts of war cinema that focuses on the true essence of courage and the power of friendship.

Devotion is a 2022 war movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 18 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 66.

Where to Watch Devotion
Devotion is available to watch, stream, download and buy, rent on demand at Hulu, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, Showtime, The Roku Channel, Showtime Anytime, Google Play, Apple TV, Amazon, Microsoft Movies & TV and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Devotion for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 18 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (27,220)
  • Metascore