Journey's End Reviews

  • Apr 07, 2020

    While not entirely action driven, what drives this film home is the magnificent performances of all of the cast and the hair raising tension. This film is character driven and does have a slower pace than the average war film, so those who want their war movies full of blood, action, bombs and flying body parts will be somewhat disappointed. If you're like me and can appreciate an excellent character study with smart dialogue, well designed sets and gritty realism, this film will not fail to impress. That being said, would I watch it again? Probably not. Not because it isn't a great film, but it is a fairly straight forward story devoid of any major standout scenes worth a second viewing. That would be why it doesn't get 5 stars. Definitely see it, but stream it first before deciding if it warrants multiple views before buying it.

    While not entirely action driven, what drives this film home is the magnificent performances of all of the cast and the hair raising tension. This film is character driven and does have a slower pace than the average war film, so those who want their war movies full of blood, action, bombs and flying body parts will be somewhat disappointed. If you're like me and can appreciate an excellent character study with smart dialogue, well designed sets and gritty realism, this film will not fail to impress. That being said, would I watch it again? Probably not. Not because it isn't a great film, but it is a fairly straight forward story devoid of any major standout scenes worth a second viewing. That would be why it doesn't get 5 stars. Definitely see it, but stream it first before deciding if it warrants multiple views before buying it.

  • Feb 23, 2020

    Brilliant cast and capture the time and situation.

    Brilliant cast and capture the time and situation.

  • Feb 09, 2020

    Journey's End, written after The Great War by veteran R.C. Sheriff, had a lauded two year run on the West End before James Whale made his directorial debut with the motion picture version in 1930. It has had several revivals on stage, but this is the first remake. It continues to keep very close to its theatrical beginnings with the story taking place almost entirely in the claustrophobic officer's dugout at the front line. Although the trench and mission scenes are excellent they pale in comparison to films like 1917. But this is a smaller sort of story - more about our handful of characters than visual effects. Sam Clafin is very effective as Captain Stanhope, the leader of the unlucky regiment who happens to be doing its 6 day stint along the front line when the major German offensive is expected to "finally" come. Stanhope's nerves are shot from years in the trenches punctuated by death and bureaucracy from his superiors so he's turned to drinking heavily to get through. When an eager young officer from his past requests to join his regiment (not the best use of nepotism there ever was) the tight grip he has had on sanity is threatened by the mirror young Raleigh (Asa Butterfield) unknowingly provides. Clafin gives a wonderful performance swinging from scared and gentle to lashing out in rage and fear and Butterfield wide-eyed innocence is perfect. As soon as you see him playfully marvelling at the machine guns in the trenches like a young boy would, you know it won't end well. Stanhope is held together by the calm, wise "Uncle" Osborne, the school master yearning for his home, but most bravely accepting his fate, played with quiet kindness by Paul Bettany. Who would have thought such a powerful movie about PTSD and tenderness amongst men facing inevitable death together would be written in 1928. Journey's End is a powerful anti-war film, as nothing will make you a pacifist faster than contemplating the needless death of the 700,000 men who died during this offensive plus the 1 million who died the following year to push the front lines back towards Germany and end the war. 1.7 million men like "Uncle" Osborne who take a moment to imagine there isn't a war on, men like Raleigh, who are so young and haven't experienced enough of life to have it pointlessly cut so short, and men like Stanhope, that have already managed to survive so much only to go out the door of the dugout knowing you and your men have no hope - there is no backup coming and you are now just casualty numbers for generals to talk about around their dinner table at 8 pm. This version has updated from the originals a bit of classist banter the officers share at their men's expense and Toby Jones shines as Mason, the cook in a part that he has elevated from the rather slapstick original. I've enjoyed the burst of films about The Great War around its centennial, because it's never too late or too early to never forget.

    Journey's End, written after The Great War by veteran R.C. Sheriff, had a lauded two year run on the West End before James Whale made his directorial debut with the motion picture version in 1930. It has had several revivals on stage, but this is the first remake. It continues to keep very close to its theatrical beginnings with the story taking place almost entirely in the claustrophobic officer's dugout at the front line. Although the trench and mission scenes are excellent they pale in comparison to films like 1917. But this is a smaller sort of story - more about our handful of characters than visual effects. Sam Clafin is very effective as Captain Stanhope, the leader of the unlucky regiment who happens to be doing its 6 day stint along the front line when the major German offensive is expected to "finally" come. Stanhope's nerves are shot from years in the trenches punctuated by death and bureaucracy from his superiors so he's turned to drinking heavily to get through. When an eager young officer from his past requests to join his regiment (not the best use of nepotism there ever was) the tight grip he has had on sanity is threatened by the mirror young Raleigh (Asa Butterfield) unknowingly provides. Clafin gives a wonderful performance swinging from scared and gentle to lashing out in rage and fear and Butterfield wide-eyed innocence is perfect. As soon as you see him playfully marvelling at the machine guns in the trenches like a young boy would, you know it won't end well. Stanhope is held together by the calm, wise "Uncle" Osborne, the school master yearning for his home, but most bravely accepting his fate, played with quiet kindness by Paul Bettany. Who would have thought such a powerful movie about PTSD and tenderness amongst men facing inevitable death together would be written in 1928. Journey's End is a powerful anti-war film, as nothing will make you a pacifist faster than contemplating the needless death of the 700,000 men who died during this offensive plus the 1 million who died the following year to push the front lines back towards Germany and end the war. 1.7 million men like "Uncle" Osborne who take a moment to imagine there isn't a war on, men like Raleigh, who are so young and haven't experienced enough of life to have it pointlessly cut so short, and men like Stanhope, that have already managed to survive so much only to go out the door of the dugout knowing you and your men have no hope - there is no backup coming and you are now just casualty numbers for generals to talk about around their dinner table at 8 pm. This version has updated from the originals a bit of classist banter the officers share at their men's expense and Toby Jones shines as Mason, the cook in a part that he has elevated from the rather slapstick original. I've enjoyed the burst of films about The Great War around its centennial, because it's never too late or too early to never forget.

  • Jan 09, 2020

    Drab, slow, unexciting, artsyfarsty award winner for sure. Acting was good, directing ok, just boring

    Drab, slow, unexciting, artsyfarsty award winner for sure. Acting was good, directing ok, just boring

  • Dec 23, 2019

    Excellent film which reminds us (and informs those who have never seen action) of the utter futility and pointlessness of war. Excellent ensemble acting, with particular kudos to Bettany, who has that special talent for being able to distill hope, pity and utter despair into a single glance. Recommended viewing for intelligent people and gamers who might yet understand that death can not be ‘rebooted'.

    Excellent film which reminds us (and informs those who have never seen action) of the utter futility and pointlessness of war. Excellent ensemble acting, with particular kudos to Bettany, who has that special talent for being able to distill hope, pity and utter despair into a single glance. Recommended viewing for intelligent people and gamers who might yet understand that death can not be ‘rebooted'.

  • Sep 30, 2019

    Quite good considering the restrictive settings. I half expected Baldrick from Blackadder to come in and say,' I've got a cunning plan.' But worth a watch.

    Quite good considering the restrictive settings. I half expected Baldrick from Blackadder to come in and say,' I've got a cunning plan.' But worth a watch.

  • Jun 01, 2019

    'Journey's End' is a film with outstanding acting, realistic WWI scenes, and a slow build that raises tensions and engages the viewer. The picture isn't without what could be perceived as a flaw. You can tell this was a play. As a film it's claustrophobic. Rarely do you get a big picture of this wartime drama. Eventually I bought in, but I can certainly see how the way this was filmed would bother some. One thing that isn't an issue is the acting. These characters are developed and that are believable. It's a powerful film and although the reality is we have no idea what the war was like, I couldn't help but think this is about as believable as it gets. War movies have been done hundreds of times, but this one felt unique and authentic and is a definite recommend. The ensemble cast is darn near perfect. The film has a perspective and it's actors do a fantastic job with facial expressions and non verbal communication (as well as an excellent screenplay) to tell you just what that perspective is. Final Score: 8.2/10

    'Journey's End' is a film with outstanding acting, realistic WWI scenes, and a slow build that raises tensions and engages the viewer. The picture isn't without what could be perceived as a flaw. You can tell this was a play. As a film it's claustrophobic. Rarely do you get a big picture of this wartime drama. Eventually I bought in, but I can certainly see how the way this was filmed would bother some. One thing that isn't an issue is the acting. These characters are developed and that are believable. It's a powerful film and although the reality is we have no idea what the war was like, I couldn't help but think this is about as believable as it gets. War movies have been done hundreds of times, but this one felt unique and authentic and is a definite recommend. The ensemble cast is darn near perfect. The film has a perspective and it's actors do a fantastic job with facial expressions and non verbal communication (as well as an excellent screenplay) to tell you just what that perspective is. Final Score: 8.2/10

  • Apr 29, 2019

    An amazing movie that illustrates the sheer stupidity of war. Claflin and Butterfield are especially impressive.

    An amazing movie that illustrates the sheer stupidity of war. Claflin and Butterfield are especially impressive.

  • Feb 02, 2019

    Could get more stars if you don't mind watching a black screen. The British have never figured out how to shoot a night scene other than a black screen. Movie been done a thousand times. Definetly not '' All quite on the western front ''.

    Could get more stars if you don't mind watching a black screen. The British have never figured out how to shoot a night scene other than a black screen. Movie been done a thousand times. Definetly not '' All quite on the western front ''.

  • Dec 26, 2018

    A bleak and straight ahead telling of horrific events in the final year of WW1. Focussing on trench life and a few characters is the film's strength. However after seeing Peter Jackson's documentary, you wonder if the trench life is portrayed grimly enough (as bad as it seems in this film).

    A bleak and straight ahead telling of horrific events in the final year of WW1. Focussing on trench life and a few characters is the film's strength. However after seeing Peter Jackson's documentary, you wonder if the trench life is portrayed grimly enough (as bad as it seems in this film).