Pires90’s review published on Letterboxd:
I confess that I have never seen the film that won the Oscars in 1930, but everything that is done here on a technical level justifies the existence of a remake. Furthermore, it is the first adaptation in German and what a triumph it is!
Why? A question that many soldiers certainly hear, that they can even ask it inwardly, but to which very few find an answer. This film proves once again that the world would make much more sense without wars. Wars created by those in the cabinets, wars created by those who have to be obeyed, wars created to divide us more than unite us when deep down, when we look into each other's eyes, we all see what those two soldiers saw in each other in that bunker at the very moment when the war ended.
Wars don't make sense and more sense is that this is said by feelings, by actions and not by words. And that's what this movie and these soldiers do. Without really wanting to know if they are on the right or wrong side, these are people just like those on the other side of the barricade, who in the end just want to return to their homes and their families, even if they started with illusions. Felix Kammerer's fantastic performance in the lead role represents all this and more, with a powerful arc, where we can perceive motivations, fears, disappointments, disbelief and total breakdown. Another great highlight is Albrecht Schuch as Kat, his faithful companion, who has excellent and emotional dialogues about what is left, about what is there and what is to come.
Technically this is among the best of the best. The cinematography is astonishing, beautiful as I never thought the war and its settings could be. The soundtrack is another monster. If during most of the film we are treated to a disturbing and very subtle composition that punctuates tense scenes, it is in the last act that more melodies fill our ears. Edward Berger's direction came as a huge surprise. I knew what he had done on television, but I never thought he had this incredible quality, balancing so well both the pure war moments - which is the rawest, most realistic and cruel version since Saving Private Ryan - and the more introspective and touching scenes. One of the best war movies ever, probably the best in 24 years.