This period drama was based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by author Pat Barker, one of a trilogy dealing with World War I. James Wilby stars as Siegfried Sassoon, the real-life war hero and poet who, in 1917, writes a statement against the war that is read in Parliament. Faced with the choice of either a court-martial or time in a mental hospital as a result, Sassoon chooses the hospital, and is sent to Craiglockart, a Scottish castle where shell-shocked vets are being treated by Freudian therapist Dr. William Rivers (Jonathan Pryce). Sassoon soon befriends a pair of fellow inmates. One, Billy Prior (Jonny Lee Miller) is suffering from battlefield trauma. The other is shy young fan and fellow poet Wilfred Owen (Stuart Bunce), whose own anti-war writings, encouraged by Sassoon, will go on to make him posthumously famous as well. In the meanwhile, the once-zealous Dr. Rivers begins to question his role of mending patients' minds so that they may simply go back to the front lines.
~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide