All Quiet on the Western Front

I wanted to tackle all the 2023 Best Picture Oscar Nominees this year, and I saw this got nominated as one and I decided, “why not see it?” I recently saw Saving Private Ryan and Hacksaw Ridge and I loved those war films, and seeing this was of or close war film of a type, I was hyped to see this movie hoping it would be as good as the others. This had potential, and I actually kind of went blind for this film (besides seeing a few clips here and there for it).

Going into this film, I was going in a mindset with an intense war and horrifying violence sequences throughout, and this movie delivered some of that. This movie actually focused more on the behind the scenes of the war . . . what they would be doing if they weren’t attacking their enemies or what they would be doing during their free time. It follows a boy named Paul who is eager to serve in the German army during World War I. But after a few days in the front line, it doesn’t turn out to be as good as he thought it would be. He loses many good people, and along the way he struggles to keep on going.

The story I felt like could have been a bit compelling if they directed it in the right way. At first I thought it was when we had the moment when Paul realized what he was doing (killing others) wasn’t the way. But in the end, it didn’t matter because Paul just got back to killing the French. This movie doesn’t do enough character building for my liking. I felt like I knew these characters, but I didn’t know much about their personal lives . . . and what kept them moving during the war. Because whenever someone that we should have cared about died, it didn’t hit as much as I believe the directors wanted it to be!

The best part about this movie is seeing World War I on the enemy side — through the German’s eyes. It was interesting to see that even on the German side, there was scared young boys who just wanted to go back home, who didn’t realize what they actually signed up for. It puts in perspective that both sides of World War I had scared young men who wanted to leave, and in the end I feel some sympathy for the German side . . . remembering that they were just young men who didn’t know what they signed up for. And just watching the war through the World War I enemies eyes was interesting to see.

I love the title for this movie because it couldn’t have fit this movie more. There truly was silence on the Western Front . . . all those thousnads of lives lost on both end. The war killed many fathers, brothers, and relatives alike. And by the end of this whole movie, I didn’t feel satisfy on what I watched, I just was more or less aware on how many lives died on both end.

This movie isn’t as compelling or rich in emotions as it should be; it lacks character building, and it struggles to make you want to care about the poeple who dies. But it does redeem itself because of the story, cinematography, and really just providing another intense war film that just expands upon the horrors of war. This movie dragged at points, and it felt longer than the 2 hours+ runtime it had, but in the end: it did deliver a solid storyline!


All Quiet on the Western Front

Director: Edward Berger

Writers: Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, and Ian Stokell

Film Editors: Sven Budelmann

Executive Producers: Daniel Brühl, Lesley Paterson, Thorsten Schumacher, Ian Stokell, and Jasmina Torbati

Producers: Edward Berger, Daniel Marc Dreifuss, and Malte Grunert

Cast: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus, Edin Hasanović, Adrian Grünewald, and Daniel Brühl

Runtime: 2 hours 28 minutes

Rated: R (or TV-MA)

Releasers: Netflix

Released: October 14, 2022

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