The Great War (2019) Poster


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Steven Luke's Bad copy of Saving Private Ryan
matthewgreenan14 December 2019
It's just a really bad remake of Saving Private Ryan. The bunker scene without the bunker, the same church scene without the church, the same first meeting of private ryan just without a tank, the same scene deciding to fight just without a rustic French village and if i'm not mistaken the same music and dialog. Obviously the writer/director would get a F if this was a school assignment which it looks like, but in the real world I'm surprised he hasn't been sued by Steven Spielberg.
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Poor historical accuracy
pquodling13 December 2019
The Writer is the Director - if the two roles had been separate then one would have picked up on the many historical inaccuracies, particularly in the dialogue, where many of the phrases spoken are things that have been common language in the last decade, not 100 years ago. Other aspects, such as the over-familiarity between the ranks were simply not the way it was...
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Possibly the worst ever war movie
fbdd-5562217 December 2019
Very poor. Combine pure cheese with laughable acting and amateur action scenes. Painful to watch.
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Re-enactment does not make a movie
helldesk66622 December 2019
I understand the importance of highlighting forgotten issues. And the effort made into doing so.

But honestly. This movie is really really bad.

So bad that it became funny.

A spectacled German sniper, just standing there, beside a tree. It made me spit out my coffee (okay okay, it was beer). German soldiers falling like flies with a few gunshots. Enemies meeting each other on a straight (!) path just staring at each other, then starting to shoot and charge. Blood that looks a lot like the ketchup I had earlier on my food.

Bates Wilder did a pretty good job though. Perlman and Zane... no idea what they were doing there.

Again, all respect for the historical references and the sacrifices that have been made at the time in the Great War.

But I'm looking at not just the message, but also at the movie.

And quite frankly, this movie sucks.
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One of the worst war movie attempts in years
luigiterra15 December 2019
Terrible. First "battle"-scene: Soldiers supposed to storm an enemy position basically jog lazily along the top of the trenches, in daylight, no cover smoke or anything, only waiting to get cut down one by one by a german "machine gunner" who obviously never held anything even slightly resembling a machine gun in his entire life, shaking an trembling stupidly in an attempt to make us believe he is experiencing recoil (he is even totally out of sync with the actual fire rate as we hear it). All the uniforms and all the equipment look brand new and unused, even after the men wearing them get shot to pieces and blown up by "mortar shells" (impact blast radius: 2 meters). No visible injuries or blood, except for when the director obviously mid-battle remembers that there must be some, so the surprisingly and consistently boring camera angle suddenly shows some hands and feet neatly spread out on the ground. The soldiers say things like "they´re tearing us to pieces" and "not a place I would like to stay for very long". An US officer is supposed to freak out and lose it in the face of battle, but when one of the black soldiers (yes, they are the heroes in this story) hit him in the face twice, he snaps out of it and seems completely fine going forward. All forgotten now thanks to the slaps. (What makes everything even more annoying, is that the guy playing the officer does a really good job. It must feel bitter having to waste your talent on this arrogant trash production.) You get the idea. Don´t waste a minute on this. I feel like I´m watching some mob money laundering project where everyone basically just wants to get the hole production overwith and go back to what ever they´re doing in real life.
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WW1 version of saving private Ryan
ianschumaker14 December 2019
I have seen saving private so many times I have it memorized. Apparently so has whoever wrote this movie. The dialogue and scenes are a recreation of saving private Ryan. The scenes are virtually identical. The scenes look like something film students put on you tube. Save your money and watch on Netflix whenever it comes out for free, that way you won't feel bad when you turn it off or fall asleep.
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It feels off
bolaykimoo14 December 2019
I understand why people are giving this movie straight 10 and not judging that but even dialogue between officer and soldiers feels off and too formal. I saw one enemy soldier dying with a smile on his face... Of course there are negatives but movie itself is still okay but there are some points which doesn't let you enjoy it as much as it could be done.
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misweet-7919626 December 2019
This movie is just the worst. copying things from saving private ryan and band of brothers, horrible depiction of anything resembling war or humans for that matter, bad acting, the absolute worst directing, and although ive seen zane (especially) and perlman in some really awful movies, this one im sure was embarrassing for them. you will become stupider for having watched this movie
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Not The Great Movie, that's for sure.
deloudelouvain20 January 2020
Just skip the positive reviews, reading those for this movie is just a waste of time, actually just like watching this movie, just don't bother as there are tons of better war movies. The acting isn't good at all, below average, mediocre at best. The two names Ron Perlman and Billy Zane are just poster fillers, they have minor roles. But besides the acting it's the story that is really poorly executed, maybe it could have been something with a good director and better actors, but in this case it's pretty lame. The fighting scenes are just ridiculous, it just feels like somebody was filming a bad reenactment of a battle in the woods, or filming his friends playing paintball or so. If any of those characters would have served in the war they would be dead after one second. Just skip this movie, trust me it's not worth your time.
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Nothing to see here...Move along
HoosierBob20 January 2020
Ron Perlman as General Pershing?

That's all anybody needs to know about the film, and it only gets worse from that moment on...
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Nice Try
umax120017 December 2019
I gave this movie a decent rating for the the subject matter that is rarely addressed in this conflict, and the I believe, period correct uniforms and weps, but the execution left a lot to be desired. The enlisted personnel were borderline insubordinate in their dialogue with the officers. Especially, when Sgt. Perry first met Cpt. Rivers and he informed the sergeant of his mission.The battle scenes were some of the clearest and cleanest I have ever seen in a war movie. No blood, no shell casings, no debris, no smoke, no mud, no rats, nor rotting bodies in the trenches...there was even a scene where the machine gun feed belt stopped moving but the gun kept on spitting out bullets.. a technique that we have yet to duplicate in today's weapons. And, of course, the reconciliation of the races before the climatic battle scene....Cpt Rivers why are you digging foxholes while the black privates are standing around pretending to be perimeter guards a few feet away? The "fix bayonets" charge reminds of Jeff Daniels' boys in "Gettysburg". And yes, "Saving Private Ryan" theme music dances in my head after the battle is over and during the Captain's final scene (he even sits in a similar position as Tom Hanks). If you gonna imitate, imitate the best! Nice try and worth a watch.
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FAR from wasted time
jgonsalvesjr1 May 2020
FIRST & FOREMOST, Steven Lukes chose to present us with an untold tale that's time is 100 years overdue in the telling. The STORY here IS the STAR, not the "Green Screen" or "CGI" or "Impossible Stunts" assisted by million-dollar effects crews. The tale is told using imagery & vision alone. In the same style used for scores of years before the Silicone became the principal attraction, and the viewer's eyes weren't submitted to a constant barrage of one impossible scene after another.

In my humble opinion, the story presented for us to witness, was very well told! The scenes, well set, the costumes, realistic enough & time period portrayed without using a single "Whatever" or "Dude" uttered. So I see this film more as a purist than many. I won't directly disagree with the opinions or accusations leveed, however, should you enjoy GREAT STORYTELLING, you'd be neglectful to omit this film based only on STARS!

This being said, there is are some truly decent and exhilarating scenes, with well-rounded characters who weave the tales threads very nicely. With some EXCELLENT acting, with a few that might not be so excellent, however, edited in a quiet & professional manner, those scenes are quickly lost in the scope of a truly great story!

To wrap up, I truly feel that only a larger budget would've made any difference in this movie. However, the actors, directing, editing, costumes, sets, even continuity would not require it. This film's vision, and uniqueness of tale, in the hackneyed genre flooded with elaborate many-multi-million-dollar budgets, may seem difficult to see through. Then again, if anyone could find a diamond in a torrent of pebbles, you might be considered quite lucky & unique, possibly even talented.

I ONLY gave it a 7 of 10 for media related gitchyness & some minor character scenes that missed the mark. The story telling & visuals earn an easy 8 (maybe 9).

Just my2cents for what it's worth. This is FAR from wasted time if you are so unique!
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Buffalo Soldiers
ellisunit17 November 2019
As a Marine infantryman and a disabled veteran I applaud and salute this film and it's courage to represent an all too often forgotten aspect of the great war. In response I wanted to provide some historical facts so others have some context and perspective about the film. When World War I broke out, there were four all-black regiments: the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry. The 9th and 10th Cavalry were also known as the Buffalo Soldiers and served in the Indian Wars in the unsettled frontiers of the American west. About 20 percent of U.S. Cavalry troops that participated in the Indian Wars were buffalo soldiers, who participated in at least 177 conflicts.

The buffalo soldiers of the 9th and 10th Calvary and the 24th and 25th Infantry headed to Florida at the start of the Spanish-American War. They fought heroically in the Battle of San Juan Hill, the Battle of El Caney and the Battle of Las Guasimas.

The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments served in the Philippines during the war with Spain. Roughly 380,000 African-American soldiers served in World War I, but there's not a single Black face in Pershing's group. For America's military decision makers, the nation's brave Black warriors were not heroes to be celebrated. They were a problem to be solved. The 369th Infantry Regiment, formerly known as the 15th New York National Guard Regiment and commonly referred to as the Harlem Hellfighters, was an infantry regiment of the New York Army National Guard during World War I and World War II. it was known for being one of the first African American regiments to serve with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. Before the 15th NG Regiment was formed, any African American who wanted to fight in the war had to enlist in the French or Canadian armies.

During WWI, the 369th spent 191 days in frontline trenches, more than any other American unit. They also suffered the most losses of any American regiment with 1,500 casualties.In France, the 369th was treated as if they were no different than any other French unit. For the most part, the French did not show hatred towards them and did not racially segregate the 369th. The French accepted the all black 369th Regiment with open arms and welcomed them to their country. 171 African Americans were awarded the French Legion of Honor. In addition to the African Americans, Black Africans also served France in a number of wars, including World War I (providing around 200,000 troops, more than 135,000 of whom fought in Europe and 30,000 of whom were killed).
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Lack of budget bleeds through
DezmoTheMovieMan2 May 2020
I'm giving this movie 5 stars mainly because of the subject. There are a lot of Americans that go unrepresented and this movie attempts to rectify that issue.

While this movies is not as bad as everyone is screaming, I had a hard time getting into what this movie should have offered. I never had a chance to get to know the actors or feel what they were experiencing. Instead I saw a bit of poor acting, a few thrown in racial slurs and non-realistic war scenes.

From my perspective, I feel the actors didn't fully believe their roles and it showed in the scenes. I'm excluding parts that included Billy Zane and Ron Pearlman and more so referencing the main actors in the bulk of the movie.

Even Bates Wilder didn't convince me, he got a little better toward the end, but I never really had a chance to know who he was until the last 20 minutes of the movie.

And if I gotta hear "one more speech" of inspiration during this movie!!!!
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Good movie
octoberrust677 June 2020
It has its technical issues but it's still worth a watch and not as bad as the arm chair generals are saying. The acting is rough at times but a great effort for the absence👍 of ground WWI movies out there. Watch it and ignore the bad reviews
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Get past the rating.
s_podeyn25 April 2020
Are there some issues with the movie? Yes. The action was well done even with some cheesy dialogue. The movie is fast paced it has a good plot and story to tell of the brutality of war.
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Saving Private Ryan if filmed by film students.
tanyatzatmary20 July 2020
Trying to cash in on 1917 with one of the worst war movies I have EVER seen. I really had a bad night tonight, and this was by far the reason why. I wish I hadn't wasted my time. The cast were bad. The crew were bad. The director / writer is bad. I hope they feel bad, because they made me feel bad. :'(

All the upvotes are just because it ticks the right political box (which is the only reason it was greenlit) for having uber diversity levels.
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Plagiarism 101
brettp-422 June 2020
Did they have any original thought or did they adapt the entire script from Saving Private Ryan. Wow....even right down to the exact same lines.
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10 stars? Only if...
faceinacab27 April 2020're judging it on the "message", and not on the movie. As everyone else has noted, it's a horrible Private Ryan rip off. It fails on so many levels, its truly astonishing.

You know you're in trouble when you settle in to watch a WWI movie, and the Germans show up in WWII uniforms. And is it really possible that all of the American soldiers missed that day of boot camp when the sergeant told them that its a bad idea to stand up when people are firing at you? Some of the acting was atrocious, but most of the problem was not the acting but what the actors had to work with. I honestly don't know how the actors kept a straight face while reciting some of that dialogue.

Oh yeah. And it wasn't only Private Ryan that got ripped off. The bayonet charge down the hill in the last battle was a direct rip off of the battle of Little Round Top, from the movie, Gettysburg, with Jeff Daniels as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain. Even the dialogue was stolen. And based upon the rest of the movie, I've got to assume that the flag waving at the end was ripped off from Mel Gibson's, The Patriot. the only reason I'll give them the benefit of the doubt there, is that plenty of other people have waved the flag. But still...was there no one on this movie who could come up with an original thought?

This is what happens when film makers are more concerned about communicating a message than they are about making a good movie. 10 stars? Seriously? Only if you've never actually seen any other movies.
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Remember how great 'Atlantic Rim' was? Oh look here's a clone chasing 1917's success......
Corky_McButterpants6 February 2020
A visually clean experience where WW1 trenches apparently had no mud in them! We're supposed to invest in characters fighting for the S.U. of America because entire scenes are mirrored to pander to the balance of the frame. Attractive raven-haired foreign nurses are unapologetically lifted wholesale from Game of Thrones. Add a sprinkling of 5th Grade narrative to highlight the struggle for the coloured soldiers and you've got it in the can... here we go off to the awards (the Raspberry ones ofc). - Huzzah! \o/

3 Private Ryan's out of 10.
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Saving Corporal Johnson
nogodnomasters1 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
First off, this is the first Great War and not the second one. Captain William Rivers (Bates Wilder) is tasked to rescue a squad of black soldiers trapped enemy lines during the closing days of WWI. There is nothing about the rest of the war. Billy Zane and Ron Perlman had small roles.

It would have been a great story if it was true. I couldn't get into the characters, there was such little build up.
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This Film Has Gotten a Bad Rap
hewilson2-72-79686823 July 2020
The major criticisms have some merit but let me say this. The film's story does indeed borrow heavily from more than one other film but one in particular. But despite that, the story is a good one. The acting is not amateurish as has been suggested in other reviews. The cinematography is top shelf. And the climactic scene is well done and period appropriate. Despite the poor reviews, I watched this film anyway and was happy I did.
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Don't forget history
krferguson-5515726 July 2020
This movie is not great but it's not terrible. Theatrics, I'll give it 6. Filming, I'll give it 4 (that's being generous). The story of the movie, I'll give it 8. History is lost without those willing to spread its legacy and message. Don't forget history!
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Acceptable But Forgettable
chiumt17 April 2020
It is like the old combat television series except for the WWI settings. The production is rather amateurish. The dialogue is cringeworthy. The battle scenes look obviously staged. It seems like they did take quite a bit of effort with this film.
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A Fresh Take on the Forgotten War ... Using Old Ideas
Sweaterized12 November 2019
I had the pleasure of seeing one of the early premieres of this film, and was impressed by the depth of tone, cinematography, sound design, and acting. Since World War I is not the most popular war to portray, especially compared with the Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War, just bringing some of the issues of the Great War to light is a worthy achievement in itself. Overall, this is well-made and anyone fond of war films in general will enjoy this film.

It is difficult to review this film effectively, because as I talk about it with others, I often have the caveat of "for a regional film" or "for an indie film." That is, "This is a pretty good movie for a locally produced movie." And it's true. For a movie outside of the mainstream this, again, is very remarkable in many ways. When a comparison to bigger movies begins, though, The Great War suffers in contrast.

Not horribly, mind you, but there were a few things that were especially difficult to ignore. First was some of the dialogue using some war cliches. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that some people die in a war movie; in this case, a character's dying words sometimes seemed verbatim from countless other war movies. I will say that one character's final words did fit in with the movie's theme and character much more effectively.

Another area was simple blocking issues. In our little movie-watching group, one particular scene stood out as an example of this where a character was within talking distance of a group of the enemy ... and the enemy basically just stood there while the character did his thing. There were a few instances of just not blocking out the action in a believable manner. However, there were plenty of other exciting, gripping action sequences that hold their own against other war movies.

The biggest issue for our group was the basic storyline, though. Namely in how similar it was to Saving Private Ryan. Beat for beat, the sequence of events and even character development echoes what happened with Captain Miller as he looked for Private Ryan. Details of setting and specific actions are a bit different, but in effect this is a World War I version of the 1998 blockbuster. I will say, though, that in some ways, The Great War earns its emotional connections more honestly than does Saving Private Ryan.

Overall, this was a good movie, and I don't regret watching it at all. A few flaws here and there ... what movie doesn't? In the end, the message of the brotherhood of arms resonates strongly in this first major effort by this director. He, the crew, and the actors will all be people to watch in the coming years.
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