Run time: 108 mins
Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 48m
March, 1918. C-Company arrives to take its turn in the front-line trenches in northern France led by the war-weary Captain Stanhope (Sam Claflin). A German offensive is imminent, and the officers (Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham Tom Sturridge) and their cook (Toby Jones) distract themselves in their dugout with talk of food and their past lives.
Stanhope, meanwhile, soaks his fear in whisky, unable to deal with his dread of the inevitable. A young new officer, Raleigh (Asa Butterfield), has just arrived, fresh out of training and abuzz with the excitement of his first real posting – not least because he is to serve under Stanhope, his former school house monitor and the object of his sister’s affections. Each man is trapped, the days ticking by, the tension rising and the attack drawing ever closer.
An outstanding cast savours performing a play that has stood the test of time. Avoiding sentimentality, this is a valuable rejoinder to those who would sugar-coat mass slaughter.