Capturing the horror, thrill and chaos of war has been approached by many talented filmmakers throughout the years. Movies like Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan have defined the genre’s best entries. Now, American Beauty and Spectre filmmaker Sam Mendes has teamed up with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins for 1917, a technically-impressive epic about two British privates’ mission impossible across No Man’s Land.
Ahead of the film’s upcoming release during the packed holiday season, critics have screened the war movie and started to weigh in with their reviews. Overall, 1917 has detonated with positive impressions, but let’s dive into the trenches about the movie’s merits and shortcomings.
First up is CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, who gave 1917 a glowing 4.5 out of 5 stars in his review. He applauded Roger Deakins' efforts, a one-shot experience through war territory, as unlike anything he’s ever accomplished. The following best summarizes his thoughts:
It sounds like the visual approach is worth the price of admission all on its own! IndieWire’s Kate Erbland also raved about 1917 with these words:
1917 follows two young WWI soldiers (played by Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman and Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) who are tasked with an important mission to deliver a message in a matter of hours across the battlefield in order to save more than a thousand soldiers from death. The film’s story takes place right as the United States enters the war effort against Germany. Chapman’s character takes on the mission with the motivation to find his brother.
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt especially praised the performances of the pair of main stars. Here’s what she said:
Some critics had some flaws to report about 1917, too, such as The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde. He felt the movie focused more on gripping the audience than tackling the complex topic of the war at hand. He said this:
Additionally, for Polygon’s Matt Patches, the single-take technique felt more gimmicky than anything else, and left the film devoid of meaning. In his words:
But overall, it looks as if Sam Mendes’ 1917 is a praise-worthy cimematic achievement. The film currently has even debuted with a 89% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Check out Peter DeBruge’s thoughts in his review for Variety:
1917’s limited release begins on December 25 and expands to wide release on January 10, 2020. Are you excited to see the upcoming war epic? Sound off in the comments below.
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