The Trench (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Trench (1999)

The Trench





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This dramatization of the 48 hours leading up to the Battle of the Somme in 1916 underscores the bitter loss of innocence of a group of idealistic young men, including 17-year-old Billy Macfarlane who's enlisted in order to be with his older brother, Eddie. But Eddie's sent home after being wounded, leaving his innocent brother behind to face the slow, inevitable countdown to the bloodiest massacre in British military history.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: William Boyd
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 18, 2003
Entertainment Film Distributor


Paul Nicholls
as Billy Macfarlane
Daniel Craig
as Sergeant Telford Win...
Julian Rhind-Tutt
as Lieutenant Ellis Har...
Danny Dyer
as Victor Dell
James D'Arcy
as Colin Daventry
Tam Williams
as Eddie Macfarlane
Anthony Strachan
as Pte. Horace Beckwith
Michael Moreland
as George Hogg
Adrian Lukis
as Colonel Villiers
Ciaran McMenamin
as Charlie Ambrose
Cillian Murphy
as Rag Rookwood
John Higgins
as Cornwallis
Ben Whishaw
as James Dennis
Danny Nutt
as Dieter
Antony Strachan
as Horace Beckwith
Charles Cartmell
as Harold Faithfull
Jenny Pickering
as Maria Corrigan
Tom Silburn
as Platoon Member
Dahren Davey
as Platoon Member
Jamie Newell
as Platoon Member
Liam King
as Platoon Member
Stan Charity
as Platoon Member
Luke Ducket
as Platoon Member
Chris Bridgeman
as Platoon Member
Guy Barrett
as Platoon Member
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Trench

Critic Reviews for The Trench

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | June 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | July 24, 2001
New York Times
Top Critic

atmospheric and uneven

July 11, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Loaded with soggy, overused war movie cliches.

July 27, 2002
Matinee Magazine

Full Review… | February 4, 2002
Matinee Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Trench


Well made but overly soapy WWI drama featuring the usual mix of niave young recruits, hardened veterans and foppish officers who bond/squabble until the inevitable anti-war based conclusion.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


I was not disappointed in this production at all as I went in not knowing what was in store for me, or the boys in the trench. The film is set bound with in the British trenches of World War I and this adds to the claustrophobia of the situation. For me this tale was a nail bitter in that I knew that anything could happen at any moment. Death is stalking these boys and has been for so long that some are in a quiet panic, other numbed by his presence with them in the trenches. Death has become a bunkmate, a drinking buddy, and the one who shows you the naughty French postcards.

A fine ensemble of actors is gathered here and under the whizzing flairs and constant distant booming of artillery they do some wonderful work on screen. And again Mr. Daniel Craig brings something wonderful to the table as a hardened Sergeant who knows that he must keep his boys busy to keep them sane. It is a pleasure to watch him particularly in the "Jam" scene. The range of emotion he shows at the beginning of the scene when the boys can't see him as he eats from a jar of homemade jam sent by his wife is stunning and real, near tears he shoves the jam in his mouth as if to stuff down his impossible sorrow. Watch as this brilliant actor moves on to offer some jam to his superior officer. This is brilliant work by an actor who even in 1999 and early on in his career had a grasp of what it is to be a multi faceted human being and the talent to project that onto the screen. Daniel Craig is one of the best there is in world cinema.

The film is well worth seeing for these reasons and many more. At times very graphic and violent and still deeply touching and sad beyond the deepest wounds of war and the human heart.

Michael Smith

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