Movie Review: Devotion, based on a true story

    2022’s newest war film Devotion chronicles the story of ENS. Jesse L. Brown (Jonathan Majors)
and his wingman LTJG. Thomas J. Hudner (Glen Powell) during the early months of the Korean
war. Devotion features great cinematography and emotional backbone.
    The film is directed by J.D Dillard, and executively produced by himself and Glen Powell with
cinematography done by Erik Messerschmidt. Despite it’s doubts, the film has been widely
received by audiences with the only real criticisms being it’s runtime and showing “too many
things at once,” The Indian Express said.
    The film holds a Devotion to the true story told in the middle of America’s forgotten war. It
focuses on Brown and his struggle as the first African-American aviator to complete Naval
aviation training. One of the truly beautiful parts of this film is its accuracy, and not just the work
done by Majors and Powell. The events line up perfectly with history; and the aircrafts used in
the film are period-specific and historically accurate.
    As one of the final films of 2022, Devotion is holding a beautiful 5 star rating, recognized for the
character development and plot. It’s story goes above the notion of honor and sacrifice, telling
an enduring story of the Navy’s bravest pilots during the Korean war, from the shores of Rhode
Island to the skies of war.
    At the heart of the story are Brown and Hudner’s struggles and victories within the military, and
later, Brown’s tragic death which weighs on Hudner for the rest of his life.
During the battle, Brown’s plane (F-4U Corsair) is hit, causing an oil leak. With his plane
damaged, he is forced to ground it. Later, Hudner realizes his wingman is trapped in the still
burning aircraft. Ignoring a direct order and risking his own life, Hudner purposely crash-lands in
a futile attempt to save Brown, resulting in failure. Devastated, Hudner is evacuated. The
following day, all remaining members of the “Fighting ‘32” give Brown a warrior’s funeral at the
     Brown is posthumously awarded the Navy’s distinguished flying cross for his actions at the
Chosin Reservoir. Hudner never stopped trying to retrieve his wingman’s plane. According to, Hudner, at age 89, would return to the site in 2013 to begin location efforts. Those
heart-wrenching efforts continued until his death in 2017. Sadly, Jesse Brown and his plane
were never recovered.
     According to, ENS. Jesse Brown was awarded the The Distinguished Flying
Cross for “participating in 20 strikes on enemy military installations, lines of communication,
transportation facilities, and enemy troop concentrations in the face of grave hazard” and
“courageous efficiency and utter disregard for personal safety” in December of 1950.
     His wingman, LTJG Thomas Hudner would receive the Medal of Honor for “exceptionally valiant
action and selfless devotion to a shipmate.” ( Both men have had naval ships
named in their honor, with Jesse Brown as the first African American servicemen of any military
branch to have a ship commissioned in his name.
His final words were to Hudner, asking that his wife knew how much he loved her.