Movie Review: 1917

February 13th, 2020

Details from IMDB:

1917 (2019)

| | DramaWar | 10 January 2020 (USA)
April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.


 Sam Mendes

Initial Thoughts:

I enjoy war movies and ones about World War I are rare. Sam Mendes is a good director (I enjoyed Skyfall, a James Bond movie). This one gets great reviews and is nominated for Best Picture, so just before the Oscars, we decided to go.

Main Points:

While the movie does have some big names, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch, is primarily made of newcomers and unknown actors, which can be a good thing! The movie is unique because it is one, long continuous take, not many films do this and it is a good way to build tension and keep you focused.

The story here is simple but it quickly deals with important and more profound ideas. War of course and the pointlessness of it, bravely, loyalty, family, nature and the savagery of man’s treatment of men.

Getting back to the camera work, the one, long continuous shot is a cool technique, it’s not used in many films. The movie puts the focus squarely on two characters and you feel like you are right along there with them, making this journey through a hellish landscape of death, decay, and violence.

All of the acting is excellent here and there are some great emotional and exciting moments. The action scenes are also top-notch and the attention to detail makes some truly awe-inspiring scenery/set pieces. You really feel you are right there in the horrors of war.

Final Thoughts:

Despite the seriousness of the film and the war, there are some much-needed moments of levity and even a few laugh out loud bits. I really enjoyed this film and while I didn’t think it deserved Best Picture (and it didn’t win it), it was certainly one of the better films this past year. A solid 8.5 out of 10 from me and a strong recommendation. Please don’t bring children, due to graphic violence and coarse language I would say ages 17+.