This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.
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Set in 1944 France, in the Ardennes forest region, an American Intelligence Squad locates a German platoon wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany's final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the war at present, put aside their differences and share a Christmas celebration. The surrender plan includes a mock battle that turns bad when one of the soldiers is unaware of the surrender plan. Written by
Anthony Hughes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There is the classic, or `Golden Age,' of WWII based movies, from the 50s, 60s and 70s; and then there is the age of ultra-realism: those movies about WWII (or any war for that matter), that because you can show more on film, be more graphic in war's depiction, and because cinema has changed so much, it allows us to see more of how war actual was, instead of the watered down versions we had been getting for years. Don't get me wrong. When most of us speak of such classics like `Sands of Iwo Jima,' `The Longest Day,' or `A Bridge Too Far' (and so many other great WWII movies), we are perfectly right to sing our praises of such timeless standards. Nevertheless, there is a good chance that we should be even more grateful for these modern WWII gems that have raised the bar to permit us a closer glimpse of how this war really felt to those who fought in it. I suppose all I can say at this point would be to watch `A Midnight Clear,' and perhaps you would understand why I would choose this movie to be ranked only behind the likes of `Band of Brothers' and `Saving Private Ryan.' Then watch some other modern ultra-real WWII flicks like `When Trumpets Fade,' `Das Boot' and maybe even `Cross of Iron;' and then gauge for yourself. `A Midnight Clear,' though not really smacking of anti-war themes, yet showing the futility and absurdity that only propels us to hold our breath; it is a perfect example of not only reality, but of how a WWII movie works with probably no more than 50 rounds fired throughout the whole film. Poetic (though not as much as `The Thin Red Line'), great dialog, and a premise that is built much on fact. Largely based upon a true story, and taken from the book by a WWII veteran that was actually there, this movie keeps great company among the new ultra-real films; and it simply moves me. I hope it moves you, as well. 9.4
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