Friday, December 27, 2019


Based on actual events that occurred during World War I, 1917 follows two British soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) sent alone across enemy territory to warn of an impending ambush by the German Army. The script from director Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns strips down to the bare essentials avoiding obvious tropes and cliches from war movies to deliver one of the most memorable entries to the genre in recent years which was based on a story Mendes' grandfather told him as a child. Exceptionally well shot by cinematographer Roger Deakins, 1917 is a movie of heroism, sacrifice, and survival that is marvelous to behold.

For a film about war, 1917 is a deceptively quiet film that builds tension between the moments of action (equally as memorable as its quite sequences) as our protagonists race to prevent more than 1,000 troops (including a brother) from walking into the enemy's deadly trap while performing what appears to the British line as a hasty retreat. Along the way, Mendes sprinkles in supporting performances from the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Richard Madden, but the film belongs to the two soldiers on their own past the German line on a suicide mission to deliver a message in time.

Without a doubt, 1917 is one of the best films of the year and deserves to be seen on the biggest screen you can find. The war scenes jump of the screen, but equally jarring are the tense and human moments of the soldiers carrying the unbearable weight of the orders they have been given. It's easily Mendes' best work from the recreation of trench warfare to the thrills and dangers the soldiers come across the wide open plains and ruined cities of France. 1917 captivates your gaze and imagination with an extremely personal account from "the War to End all Wars."

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