Human suffering groans to life in Cold Mountain, an historical drama set during the Civil War. The story begins with the innocent romance of Inman (Jude Law) and Ada (Nicole Kidman) who must separate when Inman joins his childhood friends to fight for the South. They promise to remain true to one another. Inman’s company wins distinction for bravery in accepting dangerous assignments, but the battles grow bloody and the cruel casualties mount until Inman nearly dies in a hazardous mission. While recovering in the army hospital, he receives a letter from Ada. With her farm in ruins and her food supply nearly diminished, she pleads for him to return. Barely able to walk, Inman limps toward home. The Southern army labels him a deserter meaning anyone can shoot him on sight, but his concern for Ada drives him on. His journey reveals the wounds of war on the country. Meanwhile, Ada obtains aid from a spunky mountain girl, Ruby (Renee Zellweger).
Nearly every good thing in Inman’s world collapses under the fallen nature of humanity. Inman fights against Northern soldiers for reasons he does not understand, and the rage of killing so overwhelms his soul that he wonders if there is any goodness left in him. The tragedy portrayed in Cold Mountain is heartbreaking. And the fruits of wickedness are in full cinematic color with more than enough bloody violence and sexual depravity to chill the soul.