Sam Mendes’ 1917 is a truly encapsulating film, teeming with breath-taking cinematography.

The film takes us on a journey along with the protagonists with its real-time style creating an immersive atmosphere for the viewer. This style gives the feeling that you are there with the characters: you are also with them on their treacherous journey.

Set during the First World War, the plot follows Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) on their mission to save 1,600 soldiers who are walking into a deadly trap orchestrated by the Germans. The intensity and uncertainty in each scene build an aura of suspense, leaving the viewers on the edge of their seats wondering what obstacle the heroes will face next. Will it be an unforgiving explosion, a German soldier right around the corner, a crashing plane or even just a solitary rat? Mendes manages to keep this air of tension present from beginning to end.

Cinematographer Roger Deakins elevates this film to its high rating with his unique, striking filmmaking with perhaps the most distinctive scene coming towards the end. Schofield has reached his destination but not quite on time and so, chaos ensues. He stumbles through the trenches and up onto the no-man’s land, Thomas Newman’s haunting score building to a magnificent finale.

Although this film is marvellous, there is one flaw. This film completely demonises the Germans with no moment of balance between the heroes and villains. There are multiple opportunities for a moment of redemption for the Germans, but they are portrayed as unforgiving, murderous criminals and the English as saints. There is a feeling of propaganda with this film, detailing the war as a completely one-sided attack from the Germans. Nevertheless, this film serves as the perfect British war film.