(2012)

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9/10
A short version of Paths of Glory.
ofpsmith14 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Coward is a shocking Word War 1 short film that shows us the brutal inhumanities of trench warfare. We follow two Irish soldiers in the Royal Army, Private James Hill (Sean Stewart) and his friend Andrew (Martin McCann), from their home in Ireland to the brutal fighting in Ypres, Belgium. After a long battle with the Germans, Andrew is shell shocked and has to face trial. He has no one to represent him in court because his commanding officer Major Pound (Paul McNeilly) does not believe in shell shock's existence. Coward is a short but brilliant film about trench warfare. The plot s very similar to that of Stanley Kubrick's Path's of Glory. The acting is good and you really feel for these characters. I highly recommend it.
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9/10
Great short film
danieljloeb19 September 2017
The plot is quite similar to Paths of Glory, but the telling is different. A short and effective statement on the brutality and senselessness of war, the inhuman treatment of soldiers, the callousness of commanders, and the ignorance of the time (which persists today), it does not spend time on melodrama or heroism as Paths of Glory did. It begins with an exposition set in Ireland to establish the character and humanity of its protagonist, the soldier whose life is on the line. This is dramatically different than the narrative created by using a more traditional "leading man" type protagonist like the one played by Kirk Douglas in Paths, and the film is more focused as a result.

The dispassionate presentation of the final scene and its lack of any scene to serve as epilogue reminded me more of Breaker Morant than Paths of Glory. But despite any similarities this film stands on its own two feet.

I highly recommend watching this short film. It's a great way to spend 30 minutes and it's posted on YouTube to watch for free, so if you're considering checking it out you really might as well.
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4/10
Good if you like war-themed films
Warning: Spoilers
"Coward" is an Irish English-language film from 2012, so this one has its 5th anniversary this year. The director is Dave Roddham and he is also one of the several writers working on this one. Don't be fooled too much by the description here on IMDb as the idyllic Ireland only plays a very short role early on in this one and the rest is basically all war action, World War I actually. And this once again seems to confirm my thesis that World War I and the films about it just never really make a difference. There are no trademark aspects, nothing memorable that makes a difference and lets you immediately know oh yes this is World War I and that's the complete opposite to World War II. Anyway, I guess the sub-par script and acting here adds a lot to it. Near the end, the film has a note of "shocking for the sake of it" to it in my opinion. Still the title of my review already gives away that I may be slightly biased when it comes to these almost 30 minutes as war films never really have been even close to my favorite genres. If you enjoy them more than I do, then maybe you will have an even decent time checking this one out. Just don't expect greatness or you will be majorly disappointed.
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