All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

all quiet on the western front poster 2022 movie netflix
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking, good cast, brutal


Movie Info

Movie Name:  All Quiet on the Western Front

Studio:  Amusement Park Films/Rocket Science/Sliding Down Rainbows Entertainment

Genre(s):  War/Drama

Release Date(s):  September 12, 2022 (Toronto International Film Festival)/October 7, 2022 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

all quiet on the western front 2022 world war i great war

Headed to glory?

The war is raging, and young graduate Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) and his friends are looking forward to fighting for Germany with dreams of being heroes.  Unfortunately, the Germans are losing, and Paul and his friends are about to be going in to the gates of Hell.  As thousands die, negotiations to end the war are struggling to come to term.  Every hour could mean life and death, and Paul’s time is running out

Directed by Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues) is a German World War I drama.  The movie is an adaptation of the Erich Maria Remarque novel originally published in serial form in Vossische (November 1928-December 1929) and collected in 1929.  It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released on Netflix on October 28, 2022 after a limited theatrical run.  The film received Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, and Best Cinematography with nominations for Best Picture, Best Make-Up and Hairstyling, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

all quiet on the western front enemy soldier paul baumer felix kammerer

When you realize your enemy is human

I read All Quiet on the Western Front pretty early.  I remember it being pretty upsetting.  I had seen the Academy Award winning version from 1930, and though the story is “old”, it feels fresh and new here.

It is weird that a simple switch of war can breathe new life into a war movie.  While WWII has always been the focus of movies, World War I was just as vicious…and All Quiet on the Western Front is a reminder that the Great War was just brutal.  It is a story that has played out before (aka innocence lost), but the decision to contrast it with peace talks adds more tragedy.

Felix Kammerer has a young look to him and he is a puffy faced “kid” which is needed for the role.  He emotes a lot with his eyes and has the needed “defeated” look by the end of the film.  Any hope is repeatedly dashed and Paul looks like he has been beaten.  I like some of his costars but due to the filth and dirtiness of war, it never felt like they were distinguished or developed enough.  Albrecht Schuch as the shoemaker Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky is the most developed of these characters and a good contrast to Paul as someone more worn and aged in the world.

all quiet on the western front ending paul baumer felix krammerer killed

A light at the end of the tunnel?

War movies often look great, and All Quiet on the Western Front is no different.  Like 1917, the film is gritty and dirty.  You get the desperation and madness of war and the idea of armies acting with little oversight and plans that seem threadbare, you don’t want to be on the field any more than the characters.

All Quiet on the Western Front is an interesting book in that it makes you sympathetic for “the enemy” without being propaganda for the enemy.  The movie of an endless slog of war feels pretty appropriate today especially with the war in Ukraine continuing as deals and cease fires are attempted…but a leader who wants success and to save face refuses to negotiate in honest.  In war, every minute means lives.  War is hell and has always been hell…be it WWI or today.

Related Links:

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

The 95th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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