I have to start by saying that All Quiet on the Western Front is not the movie for you if you are in the mood for something cheerful! This is a Netflix original movie about the brutalities of World War I. World War I is often overlooked in movies in favor of World War II and what makes this movie even more interesting is that it is from the German point of view.
How to Download All Quiet on the Western Front
You can download or stream the film from Netflix. Click on the Download button at the end of this review. If you are in the market for war movies, check out also Hacksaw Ridge, Saving Private Ryan, or 1917.
The Movie Review
All Quiet on the Western Front is directed by Edward Berger who also had a hand in writing the script. I had a feeling this was going to be something special as my grandfather of all people called me, saying that I had to watch this and we never talk about movies! This is one of the best and most brutal war movies I have seen in quite some time and it certainly was a movie I was thinking about for a few days after I had seen it!
This is a movie that is very character driven and that is something I really liked about it. Our main character is a teenager called Paul who has been whipped up into a patriotic frenzy by the propaganda machine and decides to join the armed forces. He has dreams of becoming a hero and he truly does seem like a good kid and like he feels what he is doing is the right thing.
He is not alone though, Paul is joined by three of his friends, Albert, Franz, and Ludwig and once they are in the army, they become good friends with an older soldier they call Kat. They make for a good group, but things turn bad very, very quickly. The romantic view of war and being a hero is completely shattered on the very first night in the trenches.
This is pretty brutal stuff and the effect that it has on Paul when all the shooting and exploding starts is hard to watch. We see Paul and those he is close to starting to question if they are doing the right thing and as the German war effort starts to get squeezed and they get more desperate, it just gets worse and worse for them.
I thought that the conversations between the characters were some of the best I had seen in a war movie. I loved a specific scene where Kat and Paul are talking about life after the war and Kat’s fears of being able to go back to a “normal” life with his wife. It is pretty heartbreaking stuff and All Quiet on the Western Front does not glamorize war like some other war movies end up doing.
All Quiet on the Western Front is one of those movies that is so good, I am wary of what I say about it in case I spoil anything! This is one of the best war movies I have ever seen and straight up it is the best World War I movie I have seen! It is brutal, heartbreaking, and makes you really think about what you just watched.
- It showcases the horrors of war in a brutal way
- I loved how the story was driven by the characters and not just the war
- It is interesting how the story is told from the German point of view
- This is the best movie based on World War I that I have seen!
- It is the kind of movie that is great, but it is also hard to watch
- It is so brutal, it sticks with you for a day or two after you have watched it!