All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★★★½

Cinephiles always talk about how difficult it is to really make an anti-war film, to project battle on the silver screen without-intentionally or not-glorifying it. We say that a few select films, like Come and See and Threads, come closest to capturing the horror of war, while avoiding aesthetic glorification and ideological myth-making.

I’ve often wondered why we don’t put other genres under a microscope, holding them to such high standards.

There are no true anti-teen consumerism movies, exceeept… Chopping Mall?

There are no true anti-electric garage door opener movies, exceeept… Scream

There are no true anti-badge films, exceeept… Treasure of the Sierra Madre

See?! Not so cut and dry, when you think about it. 

I’m a fan of the original All Quiet on the Western Front. It sufficiently captures the crippling demoralization of naive and fervently patriotic young men. I had less than zero expectations for this remake/reboot/rerun, but I liked it a lot! Great cinematography, strong performances, and a fairly unflinching look at the uniquely miserable conditions of WWI.

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