As I have said several times on this blog, starting with the most significant war movie ever produced, “Saving Private Ryan”, released in July 1998. When you make a war movie, you have an obligation as the producer and director to make the war scenes as horrific as possible. If you do not show war the way it really is, then you disrespect the millions who have fought and died in all Wars. If someone thinks that the violence and horror in this or any other war movie are too much, then they simply should not see the film. War is war, it should not exist in the world, but it does, and showing what it was really like is mandatory for all war movies.
The new Netflix movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” is about World War I. In terms of horrendous death during the battles in this war that started in 1914, World War I is one of the worst, mainly because of the use of chemical warfare. The depiction of the mud, rain, horrendous conditions, huge trenches, and non-stop death were shot as well as any war movie I have ever seen. There was one scene where they showed a dead body high in the air at the top of a tree, because the soldier was blown up and thrown into the air. One can only imagine being a young man of only 20 years old, born at the exact wrong time in history, too poor to avoid living through unimaginable daily death, wondering if the next minute it was your turn to die. Scenes like these are commonplace in all wars.
All Quiet on the Western Front was also released in 1930 and 1979, starring actor Richard Thomas. This time around, this Netflix version has been correctly nominated for 9 Academy awards, including best picture. There are no named actors in this movie, but all of the acting starting with Felix Kammerer as Paul Bäumer is outstanding throughout these 2 hours. The Netflix rating for this film is correct and very high 92%. I agree with his rating and give this movie my highest recommendation.