Full disclosure: I am not a big fan of war movies. The last movie I was completely engrossed in that dealt with war was the Stanley Kubrick directed “Full Metal Jacket.” I mean, c’mon, who could forget the remarkable performances of Matthew Modine, R. Lee Erney, and the outstanding Vincent D’Onofrio as Private Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence? The latter’s performance wrecked me and gave me a whole new appreciation for how war affects the lives, as well as the mental states, of soldiers.
So, I wasn’t gung-ho to explore Sam Mendes’s (American Beauty, Skyfall) 1917, even with all the acclaim it was given. But, boy was I not only late to the party but completely WRONG in my assessment of what to expect!
Nothing short of a masterpiece, “1917” is one hundred and fifty nine minutes of pure adrenaline, heartbreaking performances, and astounding cinematography.
When the critics collectively agreed that this was phenomenal film making, there was not one lie told. From start to finish, the audience is uniquely placed on the journey as much as the actors – with clever 360 degree, one-shot camera work placing the audience dead center in the midst of their experiences.
It’s the type of work that definitely warrants multiple viewings, as I am certain I will pick up on some things not noticed the first go around. But, make no mistake, that is certainly not a bad thing – you will enjoy the ride with each watch.
Now how, you ask, did a person who’s not a fan of war movies tolerate such a viewing experience? “1917” is so well-written, I was engaged immediately and easily became invested in the mission both Schofield (George McKay, Captain Fantastic) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman, Game of Thrones) were given.
The film follows the two young soldiers, during the height of the First World War, who are given seemingly impossible instructions to cross enemy territory to deliver a message, and stop a deadly attack, that could save the lives of hundreds of soldiers – including Blake’s own brother.
An adventurous, heartbreaking, and at times terrifying look at war, 1917 is a captivating watch for most audiences – with the exception of those little ones, it has an R-rating – as well as lovers of the genre.
I am pleasantly surprised and highly pleased that I enjoyed this movie so much. Sam Mendes truly has added an instant classic to the war film cannon. I rate “1917” 5 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.
You can watch a clip below and get additional information at the official website here.
1917 is out now on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD.
Until next thought, Thomasena