Mar 152020

1917 is a rare movie in these times and even rarer ones taking place during World War I. The performance from George MacKay is great but the biggest takeaway is the one-shot concept from director Sam Mendes which was pretty impressive.




Genre(s): War, Drama
Universal | R – 119 min. – $44.98 | March 24, 2020

Date Published: 03/15/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Sam Mendes
Writer(s): Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns (written by)
Cast: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch

Features: Commentaries, Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: (4K/BD) English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 4.5/5

Movies about World War I don’t get made very often anymore, at least on a grand scale as I’m sure there have been lower budgeted ones, and it’s a time that sadly doesn’t receive a whole lot of attention. 1917 is a fantastic film from Sam Mendes who also co-scripted, apparently inspired by the stories told by his grandfather and his time in the war. This is an incredible film from top to bottom and although I still have no problem with a movie like Parasite taking the Best Picture award, this is probably my personal favorite of 2019.

The draw for the film is a one-shot like style with only, from what I can tell, one clear cut. It is an interesting choice rather than going the traditional route and no doubt a bit complicated as, while there were cuts, the actors still had to get through a take that could last several minutes without missing a beat, not to mention the choreography during the warfare scenes. And it’s not very often one takes note of the cinematography, but when Roger Deakins is involved, it deserves to be noticed; Deakins took home his second Academy Award following Blade Runner 2049 after a string of snubs (including 2008 when he was nominated twice, No Country for Old Men and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford).

The film might not have a massive core cast with George MacKay of Captain Fantastic and Marrowbone, more or less carries the film with Dean-Charles Chapman from Game of Thrones coming in second, though his character tragically, and underpinning the perils of war, exits probably a little less than a halfway through. In very small roles, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch were pretty much cameos, neither onscreen for more than a few minutes, both are very fine actors of course, though their appearances probably here to help sell the movie to, mostly, United Kingdom audiences.

Directed with his usual precision, as demonstrated in Skyfall, 1917 is a work of near perfection in terms of direction, at least. While I may have no qualms with Parasite taking home Best Picture, I truly believe Mendes was more deserving for Best Director, and one only have to watch the behind-the-scenes featurettes on the monumental, and ambitious, task to bring this to the big screen.

In the end, 1917 is a great war movie that is worth checking out as its equally thrilling as it is harrowing.



This release comes with a matted and slightly embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All bonus material available on both 4K and Blu-ray discs.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Co-Writer/Producer/Director Sam Mendes
  • Director of Photography Roger Deakins

Kind of wish both of them were together, but even separate these are fascinating commentary tracks. Given the number of hats Mendes wore, this is more expansive however Deakins is such a phenomenal talent, his is still well worth listening to.

The Weight of the World: Sam Mendes (4:29) — Short featurette on how Mendes came to co-write 1917 and the inspiration his grandfather’s stories had.

Allied Forces: Making 1917 (12:01) — Behind-the-scenes on the production and Sam Mendes’ idea of going one-shot style and the challenges that come with it, such as set being big and long enough for any specific scene or even weather for continuity.

The Score of 1917 (3:52) focuses on composer Thomas Newman’s work.

In the Trenches (6:59) — Breakdown on actors George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman.

Recreating History (10:25) focuses on the intricate production design.

Only five featurettes here, totaling around 38 minutes, kind of hoping for something more expansive, still an okay offering of insights into the production.


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 5.0/5

Universal releases 1917 onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where its shown in the original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers, respectively. Although the setting of course is bleak and dirty/muddy, with some splashes of colors especially in the French countryside, the picture here looks fantastic. Detail was sharp and exceptionally well defined throughout. There were no obvious signs of artifacting, aliasing or other flaws in either format. The 4K does get a slight edge thanks to the HDR (Dolby Vision is also available) over the Blu-ray, but both formats look fantastic.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

Both formats include an outstanding Dolby Atmos track which really immerses you into the middle of the World War I elements. Dialogue comes through with great clarity and the surrounds showcase the excellent depth with off-camera aspects, such as sniper fire or bombings in the distance. Might seem obvious, but these war movies take advantage of these Atmos (or DTS:X) tracks.


OVERALL – 4.75/5

Overall, 1917 is a rare movie in these times and even rarer ones taking place during World War I. The performance from George MacKay is great but the biggest takeaway is the one-shot concept from director Sam Mendes which was pretty impressive.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>