It's better than that. (though the are pulled by their loyalties, that is secondary to how this is a telling of a true tale; there are reminders here and there that not everyone is equal, though that is more in setting the scene)
I give this 8/10 stars.
(whether despite or because of the flashbacks to the "present day" of the story - the mid-1900s - the film feels slightly meandering...which, as the main analogy is life on a river and relying upon a river, may be a good effect)
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jaimie Alexander, Jim Caviezel, Hal Holbrook.
All the actors were in fine form. (Jaimie and Chiwetel didn't get as many scenes together as Jim did with either, but what they had, was quality)
There are a lot of lost chances in this film, directions it could easily have gone, avenues it could have explored...but set aside in favor of the story they were telling. But its a strong story, and one that is very well-acted.
I highly recommend it.