Sam Mendes' war movie '1917' tipped for awards glory as rave reviews land

Ben Arnold
Contributor
(Credit: DreamWorks)

After some early initial reactions yesterday, the full reviews for Sam Mendes' ambitious new First World War movie 1917 have landed.

And it looks like it may well be a new awards contender.

Shot my revered cinematographer Roger Deakins in 'one shot' style, it follows two young recruits on a mission behind enemy lines as they race to save the lives of an entire battalion who are about to walk into a German ambush.

The Guardian has given it a full five-stars, critic Peter Bradshaw calling it “as exciting as a heist movie, disturbing as a sci-fi nightmare:.

“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,” he adds.

Read more: First full trailer for Sam Mendes’ 1917

Adds The Hollywood Reporter: “This is a protean display of virtuoso filmmaking, one that film aesthetes will wallow in but that even ordinary audiences will note and appreciate.

1917 (Credit: DreamWorks)

“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.”

“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,” reckons Variety.

Vanity Fair calls it: “It's a staggering piece of filmmaking, admirable both for its complexity and its control.”

However, it's not universal plaudits.

Read more: Lashana Lynch ‘feels sad’ for the anger over ‘new 007 rumour’

Robbie Collin from the Daily Telegraph compares it to a video game. “A series of increasingly difficult and hair-raising challenges that have to be surmounted in order, interspersed with thin scripted encounters with various non-player characters,” Collins writes,

So far, and there are many more reviews yet to be published, this view appears to be somewhat in the minority, however.

Featuring an all-star cast including George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch, it's released in the UK on 10 January.