Okay, no, I haven't seen it. But having seen the trailer now far too many times, I feel like making a note for the record that I don't know that I've ever been more confident that I could write a full review of a movie before I see it, and then learn that, yes, I was right on all counts.

This looks so much...

- like the kind of "impressive logistical achievement that keeps me at arm's length with the showiness and show-offishness of its technicians, so that it all ends up being more frustrating than rewarding;

- like the kind of war film that makes me wonder if audiences don't end up more grateful for the vicarious thrills and emotions that war movies give them than grieved by the reality of war;

- like the kind of film that bores me by going for shock and awe with its capacity to pummel and bewilder us with "It's like you're right there in the trenches!" noise;

- like the kind of "I'm a big enough director to get ALL the big movie stars (or, at least, big British stars)" casting call that tends to consistently disrupt suspension of disbelief;

- like the kind of "Here's where I out-do this director's famous battlefield spectacle" that make my eyeballs ache from rolling.

Anyway, if you think I'm just a cynic, you're right in this case — but note that I've been made one when it comes to these films, and I'm registering this prediction so that I can have the pleasure of discounting it when I go to the movie and discover, much to my joy and relief, that this is actually a deeply soulful, thoughtful, creative, and moving picture, one that leaves me changed with questions and ideas that I haven't encountered in this timeworn genre before.

I do believe in Christmas miracles, so here's hoping.

Let's go.

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