Sean Kelly’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sam Mendes has had a quite varied filmmaking career since he debuted, and won multiple Oscars, with American Beauty in 1999. After directing the previous two James Bond films, Sam Mendes now directs a First World War film based loosely on a story about the war told to him by his grandfather Alfred H Mendes, to whom the film is dedicated.
The story of 1917 is a relatively simple one, as these two lone soldiers have to get from Point A to Point B, within a set time frame. However, the decision to present the film as a single continuous take helps to build the tension, as Blake and Schofield head deep into enemy territory. 1917 doesn’t shy away from showing how deadly war can be and you are left truly fearing whether these soldiers will finish their mission on time.
The true star of 1917 is Roger Deakins’ cinematography, which you really have to see on the biggest screen possible. 1917 is quite possibly the best shot film I’ve seen this year and I don’t see any other film walking away with the Best Cinematography Oscar come awards season.
While I will say that Sam Mendes has made better films over his two-decade career, I will still say that 1917 is a single take war film that is both thrilling at times and a major visual accomplishment.