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  1. Published on: 07/02/2018 04:07 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A group of British World War I soldiers are sent onto the front line, whilst the Germans are on the brink of a rumoured offensive.

    It's no surprise that there was going to be a film coming out to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the end of World War I.

    This new release comes from Saul Dibb, the same director of World War II romantic drama Suite Franchise which I felt to be pretty decent, and yet somehow forgettable at the same time.

    This one seems to concentrate more on the psychological side of war and during the brink of the most famous offensive moves during this particular War.

    The pacing is slow and there is always a sense of waiting throughout. Plus the atmosphere does walk a fine line between boredom and terror. While I felt more of the former, I can see others experiencing the latter. It is quite a sad and depressing film, and yet also was a true reflection of this part of history.

    The character development was pretty strong throughout which kept me interested and I felt the ending was a very poignant one that also reminded me of the end of the Blackadder TV series.

    The performances are certainly the strongest part. Sam Claflin continues to expand his talent into many genres, and carried the film extremely well as the central character. The unstable mentality his character had was interesting to once and was very genuine in his tense moments.

    Another actor who continues to impress me, is Asa Butterfield. After emerging in The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and Hugo, he is beginning to prove that he is more than just a child actor. This is certainly the most mature I've seen of him, and I cannot wait to see what he does next.

    There were also a couple of nice reliable faces to help support our main characters in the form of Paul Bettaney and Toby Jones. Bettaney is also a wonderful support and he certainly has his flourishing moments in this. Jones does not have as much screen-time. However, he makes the most of the moments he is given to make an impact.

    There's good comradeship between all the soldiers. You can certainly feel the togetherness they all had.

    I also liked seeing that British stiff-upper-lip way of behaving from that era, even during wartime. That aspect also brought out some nice little comedic moments. That for me showed the realism, that you always try and fine a bit of wit and humor, even on the brink of death.

    It's strange that while there was a fair amount of strong content in it, especially at the end, I just think the slow pacing and lack of impact on a surface level just made this tough to get through. It is more of a character piece which I was fine up to a point, and the good stuff just was not strong enough to keep my interest throughout.

    Despite all of that, I thought it was a nice tribute to this moment in history and I can see a lot of fans of this genre and historians will get a lot out of this. But I think as you can tell, I probably won't watch this again.

    Rating: 7/10
     

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