Overlord - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Overlord Reviews

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May 10, 2010
Films like this and Paths of Glory continue to quietly outshine modern war epics, for the boundaries they work within force them to create poignancy and terror on different and deeper levels than shocking violence or schlocky speeches.
January 31, 2010
An average young man is absorbed into the anonymous, efficient and brutal machinery of WW2.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2010
WWII through the eyes of an average, somewhat inept British foot soldier. Director Stuart Cooper effectively interlaces real war footage with scenes of the infantryman's more mundane daily routines. We get to know the character by vicariously sharing his hardship and even witnessing his frequent daydreams.

Though released in 1975, this has an even older feel to it. A nice combination of post-war sensibility anchored deep in 1944's harsh reality. Definitely a film that warrants more discussion and deserves much more recognition.
½ January 22, 2010
Stuart Cooper's World War II masterpiece is highly original and the pacing is slow and hauntingly brooding, which combined make for one of the top anti-war films ever made. The way that Cooper intertwines newsreel footage, with actual war shots, and then his own film together is amazing, by doing this it makes the film so much more alarming to the viewer. The acting throughout the film is subdued which is also a great way to add to the realism. Highly recommended.
January 11, 2010
Not quite sure what to rate this, although I really enjoyed it. The plot was very simple, providing a refreshingly British perspective on the lead up to D-Day through the eyes of an unassuming Tommy conscript. Made in 1975, the cinematography was old-school and slightly arty-farty (for the 1970s), filmed entirely in black and white, featuring some wonderful English 40s era music, which made me long for the older days of less pretentious, less hyperactive cinema- and society. There were a few short scenes that were slightly abstract- the very brief romance scene was innocent and lovely and well scripted. There was also some very good archival aerial and naval footage. Morbid as it may seem I liked the style of the ending, since the reality presented is that even the nicest and most decent people were not spared in the opening seconds of their baptism of fire. For the subject covered it was surprisingly light viewing, not overly dramatized.
January 7, 2010
Cooper's film is an impressionistic look at war, one that strikes an unusual and haunting tone. John Alcott's cinematography blends seamlessly with archival footage, to the point where you often can't tell what's new and what came from the vaults. I liked this one a lot, but I thought it could have edged a little bit closer to the avant-garde. The flash-forwards, fantasies, and the beautiful letter-writing scene were the highlights.
October 23, 2009
Interesting enough to make you forget all the mismatches between the new footage and the war footage.
August 11, 2009
Good but not amazing, I still prefer the Longest Day when it comes to D-Day movies.

The use of archive clips was clever, but the movie appeared to lack something. You don't really get to know the main character before he suddenly dies on the landing craft.

Not a stand-out great but its half-decent and worth watching on a Sunday afternoon.
July 20, 2009
This recently aired on TCM but learned about it through a documentary titled Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession. Watch this film the first time on DVD and it blew me away technically. It also has the most realistic, up-close battle scenes at Normandy 23 years prior to Saving Private Ryan.
Super Reviewer
½ June 16, 2009
An interesting premise. The period leading up to D-Day through the eyes of a young soldier, mixed with actual newsreel footage in between. I've always found anything to do with World World Two interesting so I thought the pieces of newsreel were fascinating. At times it's pretty hard to tell what is archive and what has been filmed especially for the film because they have done such a good job in recreating the style of the archive footage. The only downside is that I felt at times the narrative parts were a bit flat at times, with an unimpressive script and it took a while to get going. Considering the subject matter it's unsurprisingly not a feel good movie. Overall though, a very moving, and thought provoking film.
½ June 8, 2009
Over-rated WW2 equivalent of "All Quiet on the Western Front". Mixing archive footage with a dramatised account would work well - if the drama was believable. As it is, the joins between reality and fiction are all too clear.
½ June 7, 2009
It's an interesting style to tell a story of D-Day mainly through the use of archive footage, but what narrative there is left to exist in between feels very disjointed.
June 7, 2009
well umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch...its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie...i think that brian stimer, davyd harries, nicholas ball, julie neesam, sam sewell play good roles/parts throughout this movie...i think that the director of this action/adventure/drama movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie..its an enjoyable movie 2 watch...its really well filmed as its in black n white but its a good movie 2 watch
April 8, 2009
I can see why the use of a lot of archival footage (showcasing it was the reason it was made), makes this movie important. However, the frame narrative is stilted and tenuously connected to much of that footage.
April 6, 2009
Fantastic footage of WW2, some of the best I've ever seen. Not sure if the story added on top works that well, and it's a bit of a anti-climax.
February 10, 2009
An interesting film which combines archive footage with fiction, telling the story of an ordinary soldier's preparation for D-day.
The B&A photography of John Alcott (who shot many of Kubrick's films) is up there with the very best.
½ February 2, 2009
Ingenious use of archive footage - the intertwining of fiction and reality actually made the 'ol scratchy black and white stuff that little bit closer to life, I found. The story however took a strange minimalist twist which didn't sit right when I saw it (I was ill :( )
January 15, 2009
Stuart Cooper's minimalist WWII drama thematically follows in the footsteps of early twentieth century writers Herbert Read and Erich Maria Remarque, utilizing the idea that soldiers are nothing more than ducklings waiting to be led into the gigantic machine we call 'war,' only to be used as gears. It's breathtaking and ultimately destructive to the soul.
October 14, 2008
[font=Georgia][color=black]Well, I finally got my hands on a copy of [i]The 400 Blows[/i], and it was predictably great. The best Francois Truffaut movie that I've seen and ranks along side [i]Contempt[/i] (Godard) as one of the best of the French New Wave films that I've seen so far.[/color][/font]
[font=Georgia][color=#000000]It's just a simple story about poverty and pre-teen angst at first - albeit really well shot and crafted - but I really like the way it explores the fears and anxieties of young children while also playing out as somewhat of an expose on juvenile hospitality in post-war France. I thought it was great the way that Truffaut almost justified the fact that the boy was a real pain in the ass - the film is enhanced because of it being semi-autobiographical. Very good, great ending.[/color][/font]
[font=Georgia][color=#000000][i]Overlord[/i] is an interesting British war-film, consisting of about half stock World War II footage and half live-action shooting (as in filming). The two constrast almost seemlessly, and that alone deserves recognition and praise.[/color][/font]
[font=Georgia][color=#000000]The narrative is purposely fractured with the stock footage serving as a break, and it's non-linear almost from the start. Fundamentally, it covers a soldier from his boot camp arrival to the invasion of D-Day, but the real star in this movie is how director Stuart Cooper makes this film look so damn great. Sometimes it almost feels like an early 40's documentary and the stock footage is astonishing if your a World War II buff. I recommend it.[/color][/font]
½ October 9, 2008
expertly blends revelatory archival footage into the fictional narrative. the archival footage shows the lose of the individual in the grand scheme of war, and the nightmare in represents. the fictional narrative focuses on the tension among the protagonist and his fellow soldiers leading up to the war and it's lack of glory and heroism.

"The machine is becoming bigger and bigger. While we become smaller and smaller...until there's nothing left."
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