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Miracle at St. Anna
Directed by Spike Lee
(R)

Spike Lee honors the overlooked black American soldiers of World War II.

**

Director Spike Lee makes a noble effort with Miracle at St. Anna, said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. The prolific director felt African-Americans were poorly represented in Clint Eastwood’s recent Flags of Our Fathers. So he decided to create his own World War II epic. Miracle at St. Anna puts four infantrymen of the 92nd Division Buffalo Soldiers front and center, and follows them through their battles in Northern Italy. Their tale is worth telling, but the director “doesn’t do them justice.” Lee seemed like the perfect person to tell this important story, said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. But there is a “sense of missed opportunity” throughout. At a lumbering 160 minutes, the film feels “diffuse, dispirited, emotionally distracted, and dramatically inert.” Lee lacks the directorial discipline he’s shown in recent efforts, said Kirk Honeycutt in The Hollywood Reporter. He tries to incorporate too much and pushes his themes to the point of histrionics. The result is an “unsavory blend of the sentimental and melodramatic” rather than the great historical tale it could have been.