Lisa’s review published on Letterboxd:
From the opening scenes of the eager young German army recruits dressing in the clothes of their fallen fellow compatriots, All Quiet on the Western Front had me in awe of its solemn beauty and repulsed by its graphic brutality. (That harrowing reality of war is gruelling to watch 😢) Going in, I did not know what to expect with this movie, only knowing how many awards it had collected at the 2023 Academy Awards, including Best International Feature, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score (not sure how it got that one!) and Best Production Design. For those technical merits (along with some phenomenal acting) All Quiet on The Western Front deserved every accolade. It truly is a mind-blowing achievement.
But as for the horrifically tragic story, what do we learn in the end? What is the big takeaway from this movie? That war is bad? For all of its technical perfection, All Quiet on the Western Front delivered nothing new apart from making my stomach churn more than any film in recent times. I came away more disillusioned with mankind than ever. We only need to look at today's news headlines from Ukraine to see we have learnt nothing from the past and nothing has changed. All Quiet on the Western Front is possibly the most difficult-to-rate movie I've seen since joining Letterboxd. I'm so conflicted by it that I will not rate it for now (though I'm not sure I will have the stomach for a rewatch)
Side Note: I have just read that All Quiet on the Western Front was made for $20 Million! A pittance in comparison to some of today's blockbusters. Hollywood, take note.