All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★★★

All Quiet on the Western Front is a daunting, draining, and absolutely unrelenting experience. It's one of the most brutal, haunting, and hard-hitting war films of the past several years that I'm very glad I finally checked out but at the same time it's something I never want to lay eyes on ever again. James Friend's cinematography is nothing short of exceptional with many unforgettable shots throughout and the sound design is completely bone-chilling. Hopefully this isn't forgotten in the craft categories come Oscar time because it's easily one of 2022's most impressive and finest technical achievements all the way from the stunning production design to the strong makeup work and remarkable score. Every battle sequence almost plays out like a horror film due to the gritty authenticity of them and Edward Berger's direction makes you feel like you're right alongside these men in the trenches. Felix Kammerer gives a captivating and devastating lead performance (especially considering this is his debut film) and he's able to convey so much emotion through his facial expressions alone without having to even utter a single word. It might slow down in spots and run a touch longer than it needs to but it’s still an enthralling, harrowing and extremely well-made film that gets it anti-war message across very effectively. Some sequences and most notably the ending won’t be leaving my mind any time soon.

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