All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★★★

Have never seen the original, despite knowing a fair bit about the content of it, just by pop cultural osmosis, but watching the story in this version hit home the weight it carries.

As all good war movies do, it documents and fictionalizes the horrors of war (other movies and a couple of HBO miniseries have done it in a more relentless, more exacting way - this doesn't overdo anything in that department), along with its futility, and sheer amount of human loss, often via individual stories. And this is in that vein.

Absolutely floored by some moments in it, a lot of which are outside the war scenes (a fateful stroll in the snow, a letter reading, a general's hubris, etc.), and the war scenes rival all the great ones that are touchstones in film history, even if they do not surpass them, although I don't believe just pushing the brutality of war scenes for the sake of authenticity is a fruitful exercise. This, thankfully, isn't extreme in terms of gore and violence - or, at least it's nothing you haven't seen on screen before.

Essential, well made movie.

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