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Seamlessly interweaving archival war footage and a fictional narrative, Stuart Cooper’s immersive account of one twenty-year-old’s journey from basic training to the front lines of D-Day brings all the terrors and isolation of war to life with jolting authenticity. Overlord, impressionistically shot by Stanley Kubrick’s longtime cinematographer John Alcott, is both a document of World War II and a dreamlike meditation on man’s smallness in a large, incomprehensible machine.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 12
- Fresh: 11
- Rotten: 1
- Average Rating: 8.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Overlord, a prize-winning entry in the 1975 Berlin Film Festival, deserves to join the pantheon of essential World War II combat movies.
Fresh: A majestic, somber work about war.
Fresh: Cooper gives it the right understated, unheroic feel.
Fresh: It's still a feat of period filmmaking. More than that, Overlord's revivification of a wasteland Europe offers up a powerful whip lesson for the postwar complacent.
I should have known better
The critics loved it, that should have been my fair warning. First of all, this should have had an R-rating. Foul language and completely unnecessary nudity. This is a pretentious artsy-fartsy navel-gazing waste of time. There *was* meaning and heroism, victory and, yes, sacrifice on D-Day. But in this distorted and dystopic downer, the Allies are portrayed as a bunch of cruel sadists and the Allied cause a complete mystery. Ok, some interesting footage - abundantly touted in the Plot Summary and in online reviews. But if I may, I suggest you get your WWII footage elsewhere. In summary, if you're in the mood for a nihilistic, whiny, dark and muddled "account" (and I use that term charitably) of D-Day, and you are looking for that perfect "feel-empty" movie, look no further.
Not at all what I was expecting
Don't rent this if you are looking for what most people consider a war movie. The cuts of historical footage were interesting but not tied into the story line at all. The story line was just about a guy getting into the war and not about fighting the war. In fact there were no battle scenes involving the main character.
This movie is considered a masterpiece for a reason
This is a brilliant film about the lives of those in war. It is not "The Longest Day". It does not glamorize war but makes it humble and human. It is distinctly anti-war where others may glorify the heroics and drama.
Overlord is visually stunning; beautifully directed with truly gorgeous cinematography. Watch it if you want.