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1917

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, USA

2019

Rated R • 1h 59m

Director Sam Mendes

Starring George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott

Genre War, Drama, Action

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Two soldiers are tasked with delivering an urgent message warning a regiment that they are walking into a trap, but to do it, they’ll need to go across enemy territory. If they fail to reach the troops in time, over 1,000 men will die in the ambush — including one of the soldiers’ brother.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Eddie Godino Profile picture for Eddie Godino

1917 is a technical marvel that really makes you feel like you're right there in the trenches. The premise couldn't be simpler, yet it's an incredibly enthralling and emotional tale. Numerous talented actors who appear along the way, but the film really rides solely on the shoulders of two men, whose companionship is at the heart of the story. For fans of war movies and cinematography in particular, 1917 is a must-watch.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

75

TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

The movie is more successful as a thriller than as a thoughtful examination of war and its horrors; Mendes seems less interested in bigger ideas about the nightmare of battle and its effects on his characters than he is in Hitchcockian audience manipulation.
90

Screen Daily by Fionnuala Halligan

Mendes is intent on bringing a sense of breathless derring-do to a war only known for its doomed futility. And he loads onto it a one-take challenge, a rolling-back and slowly-swerving camera, using the sleight of hand which distinguishes the best action cinema of this kind.
95

IGN by Jim Vejvoda

1917 is an expertly crafted and emotionally exhausting thrill-ride behind enemy lines. Gloriously shot, deftly paced, and striking in its gruesome recreation of the time and place, Sam Mendes’ 1917 wisely never loses sight of the smaller, intimate elements in a fast-paced story with immense scale and action.
70

Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

There are times when the nonstop visual momentum lends 1917 the feel of a virtual-reality installation, and others when the simulation of raw immediacy slips to reveal the calculated construct underneath.
83

IndieWire by Kate Erbland

The clock is always ticking in 1917, and even as MacKay is offering a heartbreaking study in restrained emotion, he’s still at least moving towards the end goal of his terrible task. There’s no time to pause, even for great beauty, a lesson that even 1917 is often loathe to honor.
91

Entertainment Weekly by Leah Greenblatt

The film belongs to Chapman and more than anyone, MacKay, a 27-year-old Londoner with the long bones and baleful eyes of a porcelain saint or a lost Caulkin brother. His Lance Corporal Schofield isn’t just a surrogate Everyman; he’s hope and fear personified, and you couldn’t look away if you wanted to.
100

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

1917 is Mendes’s most purely ambitious and passionate picture since his misunderstood and under-appreciated Jarhead of 2005. It’s bold, thrilling film-making.
80

Variety by Peter Debruge

Astonishing as his filmmaking can be at times, it’s Mendes’ attention to character, more than the technique, that makes 1917 one of 2019’s most impressive cinematic achievements.
90

The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

Even if the film is mostly hitting familiar notes in terms of story and theme, it expresses a concise, focused and expertly managed vision with which there’s little to quibble, and the extraordinary style represents the fruition of a long-imagined dream on the part of many directors and cinematographers. From now on, when the discussion turns to great works of cinematography and camera operating, 1917 will always have to be high on the list.

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