Fathom Events | Release Date: December 17, 2018
8.5
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 87 Ratings
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Positive:
79
Mixed:
6
Negative:
2
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10
TheRaggedFlygonJan 4, 2019
The care that Peter Jackson and Co. put into this movie is incredible. From readjusting each clip's frame speed to taking great care to match the silent film with incredible audio. We have loads of documentaries about the importance of VerdunThe care that Peter Jackson and Co. put into this movie is incredible. From readjusting each clip's frame speed to taking great care to match the silent film with incredible audio. We have loads of documentaries about the importance of Verdun and the Somme, but very few about the actual stories of soldiers from the war. By having only veterans used for voice overs Jackson has created a picture unlike any other that will likely go down as one of the greatest documentaries in history. The film is around 100 minutes and when it came to its closure, I felt like I could easily sit through another two hours. The stories feel personal and genuine. While the film will offer very few "historical facts" for history enthusiasts and the general public alike to pick up on, the audience is able to understand what it was like to be a soldier. This film is a masterpiece and is a must see for anyone remotely interested in the subject. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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8
JLuis_001Feb 2, 2019
An excellent documentary that is also an incredible and spectacular technological and visual achievement.
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
samusmaster67Dec 21, 2018
A masterful telling of history that breaths life and color into the otherwise dim and muddied world of the Great War.
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
GinaKFeb 5, 2019
A magnificent achievement by Peter Jackson. Using footage actually shot on the battlefields of World War I, combined with today’s most advanced production techniques, Jackson (with a lot of assistance that he credits) manages to createA magnificent achievement by Peter Jackson. Using footage actually shot on the battlefields of World War I, combined with today’s most advanced production techniques, Jackson (with a lot of assistance that he credits) manages to create something unique – an experience as close as possible to what the sights and sounds and emotions of World War I were actually like. And the optional short documentary afterwards, presented by Jackson, was also excellent and very interesting, especially for students (amateur and professional) of film and production techniques, although almost everyone in the audience that I was in stayed. A fascinating experience. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
shpostalFeb 2, 2019
That a good documentary exists at all of the terrors of WWI is vitally important. But this documentary by Peter Jackson is a triumph of modern technology that brings the old silent black and white films shot by British cameramen inThat a good documentary exists at all of the terrors of WWI is vitally important. But this documentary by Peter Jackson is a triumph of modern technology that brings the old silent black and white films shot by British cameramen in Belgium and France somewhere in the midst of a war that never should have happened. Historians and history fans like me are familiar with the story of a war of monarchies and incredible loss of life as a result of primarily British Army generals like the worthless Douglas Haig and the criminality and incompetence of a young Winston Churchill, who orchestrated a naval attack in the Dardanelles that was so poorly planned and executed that 50000 British army and navy personnel were mercilessly slaughtered by Ottoman troops who had them pinned down on a thin strip of beach they simply could not escape. Gallipoli should have ended with Churchill's immediate removal from the Navy and face charges of criminal neglect for his idiocy and refusal up to his death to admit he did anything wrong. But "They Shall Not Grow Old" doesn't focus on one particular battle, but rather a shocking and deeply moving day by day film and narrative description of what fighting in this war was like prior to Americans becoming involved that would finally force Germany to surrender lest that country be totally annihilated by a much superior force. And it's brutal, like real war is. No John Wayne heroics here. No cliched company of about six soldiers of various ethnicities spewing the usual Hollywood cliche **** or somebody getting a nick on the top of the arm. There was great care taken to add color to the old film which made the whole sickening affair that much more realistic. The early portion of the film is in black and white at training camps in England prior to departure for France and Belgium, where the color begins. Also, the ability to accurately read the lips of the soldiers and officers and brilliantly synch them into voice overs is jaw dropping. But lest we get ahead of ourselves, it's all about the war as it really happened. We are spared some of the most gruesome instances of the Brits attacking German machine guns in the No Man's Land and direct artillery hits because the film makers of the time were not allowed to take part in the actual charges, but to remain in the trenches and film as troops went up, over, and descended straight into Hell. The rats, magpies, lice, the incredible filth and total lack of sanitation on the front lines is well explained and the sight of mutilated dead soldiers is sobering to say the least. Trench foot victims are filmed, and those poor men were often killed by gangrene and infections, and survivors routinely suffering amputations of legs to stop the infection. WWI was truly the most totally miserable war in modern times, the eventual surrender of Germany followed by a vicious Versailles Treaty that would punish as usual the German public more than anybody by reducing them to near starvation and war restitution that only this decade was finally paid off! One fanatical WWI vet, Adolph Hitler would use this humiliation to exact revenge on his own 21 years later. Hollywood needs to make more real documentaries, accurate and moving. Our willful ignorance of the sacrifices of those who fought, were injured and killed in war to save their nations will have dire consequences. Those who think war is "cool" and something akin to a football game and heroic cliches need to see this film. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
TVJerryFeb 7, 2019
The British War Museum approached Peter Jackson with 100 hours of film from World War I and 600 hours of audio interviews by soldiers. He created this astounding documentary that details the experiences of these men, mostly on the front linesThe British War Museum approached Peter Jackson with 100 hours of film from World War I and 600 hours of audio interviews by soldiers. He created this astounding documentary that details the experiences of these men, mostly on the front lines in Belgium. The stories are engaging, gripping and touching. What makes this effort so astounding is the technology that's used to bring the grainy, jerky footage to life with fluid motion, added camera movement and colorization. Although the stories get a bit repetitive and they're sometimes hard to understand (because of accents or too much background noise), it's an absolutely captivating illumination of the challenges and humanity of war. To make it even more remarkable, Jackson follows up the doc with a fascinating explanation of how all the tech tricks work. This is one of the great technological achievement, that also tells a powerful story. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
dchipps1945Dec 30, 2018
It's certainly interesting to be introduced to the day-to-day tribulations of men who fought in the trenches during WWI, accompanied by some great images. I love war documentaries, and this one was the first of its kind I've seen. VeryIt's certainly interesting to be introduced to the day-to-day tribulations of men who fought in the trenches during WWI, accompanied by some great images. I love war documentaries, and this one was the first of its kind I've seen. Very positive review for that.

The negative thing I need to mention is, the trailer for this film shows a few shots of tanks and soldiers that look fantastic--like they've been restored practically to the point of perfection--looking just like a modern piece of film. However, the majority of the visuals in this film are of significantly poorer quality, with still shots and illustrations often substituted for action shots. Obviously there couldn't have been a cameraman available in many of these situations, but when we're looking at an illustration of a combat scene with a voiceover, this is indistinguishable from many other WWI documentaries I've seen. I was hoping for something really monumental, visually. This isn't that.

Definitely worth seeing for WWI buffs, but not the visual masterpiece it's been promoted to be.
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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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4
OlivierPielJan 13, 2019
Points for all the hard work for the technological achievement. However, many of the scenes are repeated several times under a voice over of witness accounts that are nothing new. Got bored really fast. Could and should have been cut to halfPoints for all the hard work for the technological achievement. However, many of the scenes are repeated several times under a voice over of witness accounts that are nothing new. Got bored really fast. Could and should have been cut to half the time. Expand
1 of 8 users found this helpful17
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4
AxeTFeb 19, 2019
Noble high concept technical challenge for the sake of historical document, this plays more as simply that than an involving documentary feature. As is the dumb trend now with anything remotely resembling the documentary form, this thing isNoble high concept technical challenge for the sake of historical document, this plays more as simply that than an involving documentary feature. As is the dumb trend now with anything remotely resembling the documentary form, this thing is a non-stop run on verbal barrage with no sense of cadence or breathing room causing the viewer to glaze over, which is inexcusable given Jackson's stature and experience! Then again this is the moviemaker whose trademark is overblown, way overlong, bloated, more is less flicks ruined by such in their effectiveness and he still doesn't get it.
You're better off catching some colorized WWI TV docs on The History Channel. For that matter the touted restored, colorized, speed adjusted image here has a phony digitized compressed look with contours swimming and wavering in digital artifacting throughout. It doesn't even look very good on the big screen.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
TyranianJul 11, 2019
A fairly incredible documentary that presents WW1 footage like never before accompanied by veterans' narration.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
imthenoobNov 11, 2020
Not typically a fan of documentaries but found myself captivated by this one. I like the narrative choice of multiple anonymous men telling the story of what it was like being on the front lines throughout the first world war. No names, noNot typically a fan of documentaries but found myself captivated by this one. I like the narrative choice of multiple anonymous men telling the story of what it was like being on the front lines throughout the first world war. No names, no dates. You just appreciated what was being told and what was being shown. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
LEOvsMAOAug 30, 2020
Truly deep and interesting documentary. Every president and person should see it!
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
gracjanskiOct 3, 2019
On the one hand very detailed informations how the war was for the soldiers. On the other hand you listened to war veterans 90 minutes and watches some clips from the war. Many things are familiar, if you watched some movies about the 1stOn the one hand very detailed informations how the war was for the soldiers. On the other hand you listened to war veterans 90 minutes and watches some clips from the war. Many things are familiar, if you watched some movies about the 1st world war. Anyway there should be more variations and explanations. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
dscottprodFeb 27, 2019
A remarkable cinematic event. It is a raw, intimate, unflinching immersion into what it was like to be a British soldier fighting in the trenches during WWI. Peter Jackson wisely chose to focus on the humanity, rather than the history, and toA remarkable cinematic event. It is a raw, intimate, unflinching immersion into what it was like to be a British soldier fighting in the trenches during WWI. Peter Jackson wisely chose to focus on the humanity, rather than the history, and to do it all as told by the men who were actually there. Their commentary, as poignant as it was, was given little breathing room, but that's certainly a minor quibble -- this a film not to be missed. Stay after the credits to see a fascinating behind the scenes look at the amazing technology (and dedication) that made this film possible. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
RalfbergsApr 25, 2021
Can't give this anything below a 10 - of course it doesn't show everything what happened in the war or whatever, but I can just imagine what work was put into it to show the colorized videos and narrative and to make you feel like you wereCan't give this anything below a 10 - of course it doesn't show everything what happened in the war or whatever, but I can just imagine what work was put into it to show the colorized videos and narrative and to make you feel like you were there almost when listening to the stories. Very good documentary Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
Lone_Wolf_SonesFeb 3, 2020
World War 1 pictures haven't exactly been abundant. With World War II getting much of the silver screen treatment? World War 1 has for some strange reason faded from the public consciousness somewhat. Even the Civil War which preceded WWI hasWorld War 1 pictures haven't exactly been abundant. With World War II getting much of the silver screen treatment? World War 1 has for some strange reason faded from the public consciousness somewhat. Even the Civil War which preceded WWI has had plenty of attention given to it (not that there is anything wrong with that). Ask someone what WWI was and they could probably tell you it was defined by trench warfare. But how much do we really know about it. More importantly how much do we really know about the men that lived through it? This film goes a long way towards giving us the closest possible look into what it was really like. Actual footage has been meticulously restored and colorized. They even employed the use of lip reading to reconstruct what the soldiers were saying. For some the first portion may be boring or feel like a classroom lecture. However the accounts of those that actually lived through it are in a word...priceless. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
MaxsterChief121Mar 6, 2019
A very important reminder of the past, and to not let us forget about the many brave men that fought in The Great War. A lot of them naive kids looking to make their country proud, marching headfirst into death. Never forget so They Shall NotA very important reminder of the past, and to not let us forget about the many brave men that fought in The Great War. A lot of them naive kids looking to make their country proud, marching headfirst into death. Never forget so They Shall Not Grow Old Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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7
d0vla11Jan 27, 2020
Solid documentary, i did not find it to be as good as everybody's saying.

It feels a bit raw, there's almost no music and it's mostly British soldiers speaking of their experience in the trenches.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
mandi2kayFeb 16, 2019
Really enjoyed following these soldiers on their day to day life through the war with these beautifully remastered film clips! Was astonished to find out how they handled some of the audio restorations in the extra clip at the end of theReally enjoyed following these soldiers on their day to day life through the war with these beautifully remastered film clips! Was astonished to find out how they handled some of the audio restorations in the extra clip at the end of the film. Very glad that they were able to use the voices and interviews of real soldiers. Interesting and captivating film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
sirrongDec 24, 2019
Visuals aside (and they were awesome for some of the movie), this is like a lecture from your least favorite class of all time.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
romethesecondtiJul 25, 2019
“They Shall Not Grow Old” – most of the men we see in the film in fact did not – is an anti-war film, “celebrating” the end of what was then called The Great War. The final result, Director Peter Jackson has said, “is that we see the war the“They Shall Not Grow Old” – most of the men we see in the film in fact did not – is an anti-war film, “celebrating” the end of what was then called The Great War. The final result, Director Peter Jackson has said, “is that we see the war the way they saw it.” Of course, Jackson has chosen the arc of his film – from joy to ennui to disillusionment at best, death at worst. And he has chosen the voices we hear. We see combat the way the director wants us to see it. The film is a technological wonder. Jackson slowed down the 100 hours of silient, jerky film he got from the Imperial War Museum to life-like speeds. He employed lip-readers to determine what the soldiers were saying and supplied those voices. Then he added voice-overs from interviews with more than 120 surviving war veterans whose recollections were recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. His film, though arguably one-sided and focusing on trench warfare, is a tender paean to the men who sacrificed their lives, limbs—and sometimes, faces—for what others thought was the greater good. When you are faced with death, a veteran says, “They say your past comes up in front of your eyes. I was only 19. I hadn’t had any past.” Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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