“A young German soldier’s terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I.” – IMDB
This movie is incredible, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
Given that All Quiet on the Western Front highlights the brutality of trench warfare in World War I, you can imagine that it covers pretty gruesome territory. What sets this movie apart and allows it to enter another sphere of war movie (along with Saving Private Ryan and 1917, among others) is its focus on humanity.
As we follow young German solider, Paul, and his childhood friends into battle along the front, the filmmakers pull no punches in showing just how unnatural warfare is. This means watching long stretches of incredibly graphic and horrific action; however, the violence never feels gratuitous and instead serves a purpose in highlighting what is lost in warfare. This movie also does an excellent job of highlighting the vast divide between those sending others into warfare and those actually fighting the war, again allowing the filmmakers to highlight the ridiculousness, wastefulness, and horror of war.
Although long action sequences can often make a war movie feel as if it goes on forever, that is not the case here. Because we are taken through the war from Paul’s perspective, we are constantly concerned about his and his friend’s welfare, which kept me invested throughout the film’s 2hr 23 min runtime (in German).
While this film is well worth the watch, I recommend saving it for a rainy day because it will definitely leave you in a somber mood.
Rating: 8 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: 1917, Dunkirk
Streaming: Apple TV
With: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch
Directed By: Edward Berger