Aaron Michael’s review published on Letterboxd:
After enduring the bullshit that is Hacksaw Ridge earlier this week, watching The Deer Hunter on the big screen was desperately needed. Cimino's film understands war better than any other film I've ever seen (yes, including Apocalypse Now ).
It expresses that understanding by focusing on the effect of war on intimate, interpersonal relationships. It does not need sequences of real battle in order to convey the experiences of war. For a three hour film about war, the film spends remarkably little time focusing on actual war scenes. It devotes no more than 40 minutes to scenes within the war. Cimino understands that the emotional resonance of war does not come from watching battle sequences, but from the effect of that war on the people and their relationships
All films are political statements about the world they exist within and war films are particularly effected by this. All movies that are not condemning of war are propaganda. The Deer Hunter is a devastating portrait of war and its disregard for human life.
The best war movie ever made, period.