As Civil War dramas go, the unromanticized anti-epic "Ride With the Devil" is the polar opposite of "Gone With the Wind."

Bleak, deceptively simple and realistic, the battles are dirty, bloody and unwieldy, the heroes are reluctant young soldiers, fighting only because they feel compelled to do so.

It's a story of a handful of provisional soldiers in a part of the Civil War fought on the Western frontier of Missouri -- hundreds of miles from the definitive action -- where, in the absence of official battalions from the North or the South, neighbors have taken up arms against each other in hit-and-run guerrilla skirmishes that will ultimately decide nothing.

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