Daniel’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hell is a place on Earth. There is no escape when you are there. Old men sending young men to fight their battles. It still happens now. Never was it more frightening than in the trench warfare of the early 20th century.
War is the ultimate horror. That's how it should feel. When you see the barbaric, inhumane murdering done between men. Nothing could really prepare you for this yet alone even experiencing it as a film adaptation.
These films will always draw me in. Something about the realism of them captures my interest most of the time. From the visceral battle scenes to the classic historical settings. There is so much to take away from them.
Netflix being inconsistent is no secret. Except when they do have a hit. No doubt that it ends up being one of the best releases all year. And a film that should have been in the cinemas. This is ripe for the big screen.
Be warned but this is not an easy watch. If that wasn't already clear. One of the most heartbreakingly beautiful and relentlessly unforgiving stories that has graced any screen in the past few years. Get your tissues out.
So many scenes will have you in tears. Or close to them. Even if you are very familiar with the first World War. This film is still able to hit you like a truck when reminding you of the brutal violence and the millions lost.
Felix Kammerer is a revelation in the starring role. Stunning performance. Never heard of him before but he's made me a fan instantly. One of those actors that can portray so much through his eyes. He is just phenomenal.
Everyone is superb but on a technical level this goes above and beyond. From the breathtaking cinematography in each scene to haunting yet powerful music that provided so much to the atmosphere of pure dread.
Let me make this clear too: I have never seen the previous adaptations. Not entirely sure on how true this is to the classic novel in comparison. As a film by itself though: there couldn't be enough praise from me.
This is one of the must see experiences of the year. Not for everyone still. If you can watch it though then please do. Edward Berger has created a compelling war drama that will have you feeling the cold reality of death.