You have no doubt heard this phrase before: "You have to see this movie on the big screen." For Sam Mendes’ new WWI thriller, 1917, though, it absolutely rings true. And if you can find your way to seeing 1917 in IMAX at AMC, the experience will be even better because of the larger-screen format.
Filmed by Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins, 1917 is conceived to play out as one long, unbroken shot. And for the most part, the collaborators succeed (though, you can see places where they cheat to achieve the illusion of a continuous shot). In order to do that, though, they plunge the cast into a full-blown, war-torn European countryside, and it’s a spectacular visual accomplishment that justifies the largest screen possible. Hear more from the filmmakers below and get a sneak peek at the sprawling setting.
The story is simple — but it makes for riveting cinema. Two soldiers are tasked with bringing a message to a battalion that’s about to go over a ridge and attack the retreating Germans. Only, they’re walking into a trap, and the Germans aren’t actually retreating at all. If the two soldiers can’t reach the front lines, the men charging into battle will be slaughtered. It’s a race against time, through hellish territories.
1917 stars Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay as the two soldiers, and there are all-star cameos throughout. But the standout "performance" comes from Mendes and Deakins and the extreme lengths that they go to in order to both stage the battle scenes in the movie, and then choreograph their characters’ movements through the wreckage. You will spend huge chunks of the runtime questioning how major set pieces in 1917 were pulled off. And you will want to go back time and time again to study the camera work, and try to spot the tricks that were used to bring this movie to life.
1917 is technically insane. It’s a marvel on the big screen, and it’s a movie that absolutely justifies the IMAX ticket. During a time when Oscar® hopefuls get smaller and more intimate as they rely on character development, Sam Mendes goes massive with 1917 — and it just might get his movie into the Best Picture race.
Get tickets to 1917 in IMAX at AMC at select locations now.