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1917 Movie Review : A Gripping Journey Through the Trenches


The 2019 World War I epic drama film 1917 is a must-see for anyone who loves war movies. Directed by Sam Mendes and written by Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, the movie follows two British soldiers as they embark on a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message which will save their fellow comrades from an ambush. While the set pieces of the movie are intense, it truly stands out in its focus on humanity amidst horrific conditions of war. With stunning cinematography that makes it appear as if one long continuous shot and unique storytelling techniques, 1917 serve as an emotionally captivating story with powerful performances from all involved actors.


Core Themes

The core themes of humanity, fate, and war are the driving forces behind Sam Mendes' 2019 World War I epic drama. Humanity is showcased through the characters’ selfless acts in order to protect their fellow comrades from an ambush. After receiving a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message which will save their friends, two soldiers demonstrate incredible bravery and loyalty as they risk their lives for those around them. Fate also plays an integral role in the film's plot as various events unfold that seem too coincidental to be mere chance occurrences. This theme of fate serves to remind us of our own mortality while highlighting how life can quickly change within moments due to circumstances beyond our control. Lastly, war is portrayed in all its horror with stunning cinematography and unique storytelling techniques that make it appear as if one long continuous shot. Despite the intense set pieces, however, there remains a sense of hope even amidst such destruction; something that often gets overlooked when discussing warfare on screen. In this way 1917 does not simply provide gripping entertainment but instead offers viewers insight into what it means for mankind to face such tremendous obstacles during wartime conditions.

Character Analysis

The main characters in 1917 are Schofield and Blake, two British soldiers who embark on a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message which will save their fellow comrades from an ambush. Both men demonstrate incredible bravery throughout the movie, risking their lives for those around them. Despite the danger and odds that are stacked against them, they remain loyal to each other and develop a close friendship as the story progresses. The character development of these two protagonists is incredibly important as it serves to highlight how war can bring people together even during times of immense suffering.

In addition to its main characters, 1917 also features various other characters who help further enhance the film's themes of humanity and fate amidst war-torn conditions. One example would be Colonel Mackenzie who orders Schofield and Blake on their mission despite being aware that it will most likely prove fatal for both men; this selfless act showcases what it truly means to put others before oneself during such dire circumstances. Another example would be Lance Corporal Joseph Blake’s brother William whose presence serves as a reminder of why our protagonists must persevere with utmost courage no matter what stands in their path: so that they may see loved ones again someday soon. Lastly, there is General Erinmore whose heart-breaking monologue towards the end provides viewers with insight into how devastating such wars can become when we forget our shared humanity in favor of nationalistic ideals; his words serve as an important reminder not only then but now - centuries after World War I ended - about how destructive unchecked nationalism can become if left unchecked.


Analysis of Storytelling

One of the most important elements of 1917’s powerful storytelling is its dialogue. By creating a script that focuses on natural, almost poetic-like dialogue rather than relying too heavily on expository language, Mendes allows viewers to form an authentic connection with each character and better understand their individual motivations for their actions. The conversations between Schofield, Blake and other characters throughout the movie help create an atmosphere of tension as well as provide insight into what life was like during World War I.

Another key element that contributes to 1917's narrative is its cinematography. Cinematographer Roger Deakins captures stunning visuals whether they be of warzones or peaceful countryside scenes in France; this helps further immerse viewers into the world created by Mendes and Wilson-Cairns while also allowing them to appreciate how beautiful such places still are even amidst destruction caused by warfare. Additionally, it appears as if one long continuous shot due to clever editing techniques is used throughout; this adds a sense of urgency as we follow our protagonists on their mission while also making us feel closely connected to them emotionally as if we are experiencing these events alongside them first-hand.

Lastly, special effects help bring many action sequences within 1917 alive in ways never seen before in previous war movies; explosions look more realistic than ever before while machine guns fire bullets at intense speeds thanks to advancements made over recent years in Hollywood technology. This makes certain scenes all the more harrowing and thrilling but also serves a greater purpose: reminding us just how dangerous war can truly be when experienced first-hand rather than viewed from afar through someone else’s lens.


When 1917 was first released, it received critical acclaim from both critics and audiences alike. The film currently holds a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 374 reviews with an average rating of

The site's consensus reads “1917 captures the sheer scale of WWI’s devastation through visceral, stirring visuals paired with an intensely gripping narrative” while also praising Sam Mendes' direction as well as Roger Deakins' cinematography. Many other reviews praised its intense action sequences and powerful performances by all involved actors which help bring the story to life in ways never seen before in war movies.

In terms of box office performance, 1917 earned over $ 390 million worldwide making it one of 2019's most successful films despite its limited release due to its December date opening up against Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Jumanji: The Next Level. This success can be largely attributed to strong word-of-mouth from both critics and audiences who were highly impressed by what they saw; this helped drive people into theaters even after the initial holiday rush had passed for these other two big-budget blockbusters. Additionally, many awards ceremonies such as the Golden Globes Awards, BAFTA Awards, Academy Awards, etc., have recognized 1917 for its outstanding technical achievements thus further increasing public awareness about this movie going into 2020 where it is sure to remain a popular choice amongst cinephiles everywhere.



In conclusion, 1917 is a powerful and emotional war movie that packs a punch in more ways than one. It features incredibly strong performances from the entire cast as well as stunning cinematography and special effects which help bring its action sequences to life like never before. The narrative is also incredibly effective due to its focus on natural dialogue rather than expository language while exploring themes of fate, humanity, loyalty and nationalism; all of these elements come together to create an intense yet reflective experience that resonates with viewers long after the credits have finished rolling. Moreover, 1917 has received critical acclaim both domestically and internationally for its outstanding technical achievements making it one of 2019's most successful films at the box office despite only having limited release dates; this speaks volumes about how highly regarded Mendes' film truly is by audiences everywhere. Ultimately, 1917 proves itself to be not only an essential piece of modern cinema but also what happens when artistry meets craftsmanship head-on thereby creating something truly remarkable that will stand the test of time for years – if not decades –to come.

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