1917 is a Brutal, Visceral Look at WWI

With Memorial Day fast approaching, we figured now would be a good time to take a look at some recent movies that can help us truly understand and appreciate the sacrifice so many soldiers have made.

1917 was released over Christmas in 2019, but with the way the real world went over the course of 2020, you may have missed it the first time around.

If you want a look at a real life story of soldiers and what trench warfare was like during World War I, we highly recommend this moving film.

Directed by Sam Mendes – who brought us Bond movies Skyfall and Spectre, cult classic American Beauty, and Gulf War focused Jarhead (among many, many others), he actually based 1917 on the experiences of his own grandfather.

1917 follows two British soldiers – Lance Cpl. Scholfield and Lance Cpl. Blake – as they receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their comrades – including Blake’s own brother.

Mendes also attempts to deliver the movie as if it’s a single, continuous shot. That means no breaks, no pauses, no transitions. It took 6 months of rehearsals for the actors to be prepared for the shoot, and though it appears to be one shot, they used tricks like moving through black or behind objects to break it up. The longest continuous shot, however, is 8 ½ minutes long, which is incredibly impressive.

1917 is a unique approach to the classic war film and definitely worth an evening watch this upcoming holiday weekend. It’s available to watch on Showtime or to rent from your favorite smart TV options like Apple TV+, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.