Universal Pictures | Release Date: December 25, 2019
8.4
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Universal acclaim based on 169 Ratings
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Positive:
147
Mixed:
12
Negative:
10
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6
RTMJan 5, 2020
The movie was tense, and gorgeously shot, but with so many limitations. I see where Mendes was going with this, in the way of wanting the viewer to see art, and the tension accomplished with the one long take. The problem is the long singleThe movie was tense, and gorgeously shot, but with so many limitations. I see where Mendes was going with this, in the way of wanting the viewer to see art, and the tension accomplished with the one long take. The problem is the long single shot approach here, can be exhausting, and not particularly enjoyable with this narrative. Great performances by the two young boys. But again, the development of the characters was minimal. I found myself just wanting it to be over, and not caring about them much. Lastly, for a war time movie, it was actually boring. Not enough to keep the viewer engaged. I witnessed many in the theater squirming and getting restless. Not exactly the reaction I'd expect. Overall a good movie that I wanted to be great. In the end I found myself looking for a "Saving Private Ryan" or "The Thin Red Line" type of movie. Expand
1 of 8 users found this helpful17
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4
ibbsteDec 26, 2019
Typically, if you're going to employ an ostentatious filmmaking device it should be to serve a story. Unfortunately, in 1917, the story is completely perfunctory in the service of a gimmick that got old after Hitchcock already perfected it inTypically, if you're going to employ an ostentatious filmmaking device it should be to serve a story. Unfortunately, in 1917, the story is completely perfunctory in the service of a gimmick that got old after Hitchcock already perfected it in Rope. Deakins' consistency in tracking is impressive, I suppose, and there are some interesting images, but it is far from being one of the more interesting photographic achievements in film this year, and it really did feel like watching friends playing a video game right down to adjusting angles/perspectives and the occasionally random side characters say throwaway lines and breaks where you hear some random superior officer give expository dialogue directing the player on where they should be headed next.

As a history buff, I do think there's a valuable opportunity to present a proper World War I film to audiences who otherwise know very little about the context that led to the second World War, of which the marketplace is saturated with by comparison. There were some details that give context to the event, but it does little to nothing to offer audiences a substantive idea of the true horrors of the war other than the occasionally panning to a decomposing body part or blunt exposition in a speaking manner that no soldier of the time would speak like. The characters were supposed to show camaraderie but acted like any display of affection or sympathy for one another would have come with a fear of a contemporary "no homo" from their fellow soldiers (by comparison, see 1927's "Wings" where the men practically make out with each other in the end). Your friend is dying and not even a hug or kiss on the forehead before leaving him? You meet someone coming to terms with profound loss and a simple handshake suffices? Men in that time were not that self-conscious.

The climax of the film is the only sequence of the film I felt was truly gripping and felt any real stakes, until it goes right back into Saving Private Richard Madden at the end. Is the story *at all* interesting? No. Is it well made? Not particularly, unless a "well made" film is divorced from any sense of purpose or meaning to filming something logistically challenging! Sadly I thought this film was rather silly and a profoundly missed opportunity.
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1 of 8 users found this helpful17
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6
LawrenceCJan 13, 2020
Beautiful cinematography, but apart from it, it's only Call of Duty feat. Woody and chubby Leo DiCaprio
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
GreatMartinJan 10, 2020
Right now "1917" having already winning the Best Picture Golden Globe is the front runner for Best Picture Oscar. After seeing the picture it is obvious that the visual technique of director's Sam Mendes's collaboration with cinematographerRight now "1917" having already winning the Best Picture Golden Globe is the front runner for Best Picture Oscar. After seeing the picture it is obvious that the visual technique of director's Sam Mendes's collaboration with cinematographer Roger Deakins is what makes this movie rate so high. It looks like the picture has been made in one continuous take with 2-3 exceptions which are carefully explained in the script by Sam Mendes, with the help of Krysty-Wilson Cairns and based on stories told by his uncle Alfred Mendes.

The story is a basic one of two young British soldiers who have to deliver a message to stop a raid which would be a deathtrap for 1600 men, one being a brother of one of the soldiers. One of the illogical parts of the script is that the two men are are too inexperienced to take on a task but 1) going to the movies in most cases you have to park your logic out in the lobby and 2) this takes place at the beginning of the movie when you are caught up in the film's technique so by the time you get involved with the story itself they have picked up much needed experience along with many coincidences that might not ring true.

The two leads, Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, are more than adequate, with one carrying a heavier load than the other, while there are many cameos from such actors as Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden, Daniel Mays and Claire Duburcq.

"1917" is interesting for the way it appears to have been filmed but there have been much better war movies in the past and certainly better movies in 2019.
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5
foxgroveJan 12, 2020
A film demonstrating style and technique over strong story telling. The result is actually quite slow and, dare one say, boring. This is a movie that does not match the sum of its parts. George Mackay is very good in the lead and Sam MendesA film demonstrating style and technique over strong story telling. The result is actually quite slow and, dare one say, boring. This is a movie that does not match the sum of its parts. George Mackay is very good in the lead and Sam Mendes direction, whilst to be applauded on an aesthetic level, is lacking in pace. He has to take the blame for this as the one shot gimmick leaves little room to blame it on the editing. Roger Deakins' cinematography is an amazing achievement, and the production design looks like it should for a war zone/ battlefield. Sound is great when dealing with planes and explosions but simple dialogue is sometimes hard to understand. The score, although not hummable, works very well within the film and is very effective in underlying what is going on screen. Expand
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5
zmgalen2000Dec 28, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Allow me to start with a disclaimer: 1917 is an excellently-acted and directed film whose aesthetics are visually captivating. It truly is worthy of the cinematic praise it is receiving. However, where it falls short is its historical significance and missed-out enlightening opportunities. With a one-dimensional plot solely focused on the trek of one soldier to deliver a letter (sans providing any relevant historical context), 1917 is a suspenseful, gripping film whose appeal slowly fades throughout its repetitive runtime of just under two hours. Don't get me wrong -- the film is a fabulous source of entertainment and certainly a cinematic masterpiece. As a historical piece, however, 1917 lacks the poignancy that would have made the film a complete home-run, stopping at around third base. Expand
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6
Jason_bJan 9, 2020
This move does a lot of things really really well. The continuous shot concept is inventive and at times spectacular. Insanely detailed sets on a huge scale. MacKay and Chapman's performances are excellent. Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins createThis move does a lot of things really really well. The continuous shot concept is inventive and at times spectacular. Insanely detailed sets on a huge scale. MacKay and Chapman's performances are excellent. Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins create an intensely suspenseful and shockingly realistic version of World War I. However, it lags in a few crucial areas. Namely overall tone: It drums up a lot of suspense but then it also has a lot of repetitive and boring walking scenes. Production: The continuous shot concept kind of falls apart when it's not a huge action sequence. Especially when there's a lot of conversations happening at once. It's missing natural transitions and breaks in conversations. I get that it's based on a true story but aside from the soon to be famous climax this was a sort of interesting take on a largely uneventful story. Expand
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