As the World War I film premieres at Toronto Film Festival, critics have shared their overwhelming positive thoughts about it online

(Image credit: Netflix)

New Netflix movie All Quiet on the Western Front is receiving rave first reviews, with critics calling it “harrowing”, “terrific”, and a “chilling piece of anti-war filmmaking”. Directed by Edward Berger, it follows Paul, a young German soldier, whose euphoria over fighting in World War I soon turns to fear when he and his comrades are sent into the trenches.

Based on the book of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, it takes inspiration from real-life events and figures and stars Felix Kammerer (as Paul), Albrecht Schuch (as Stanislaus ‘Kat’ Katczinsky), Moritz Klaus (as Frantz Müller) and Marvel’s Daniel Brühl (as Matthias Erzberger).

All of the cast seem to have impressed viewers, with the crew winning equal praise, as Deadline’s Pete Hammond (opens in new tab) writes: “It is surprising it hasn’t been done before, but it has been done now with a film that looks very polished thanks to fine cinematography from James Friend, production design from Christian M. Goldbeck, and a terrific score by Volker Bertelmann. Editing by Sven Budelmann is also excellent, and even at 147 minutes this thing moves.”

“Berger and his crew have crafted a faithful and heart-wrenching adaptation that fully realizes the novel’s trenchant anti-war themes,” says The Playlist’s Marya E. Gates (opens in new tab), suggesting it “finds beauty in the bloodshed” and confessing that it’s hard not to compare it to Lewis Milestone’s Best Picture-winning 1930s adaptation. “It’s wild that it took nearly 100 years for a German adaptation given it’s the novel’s country of origin.”

Similarly, Sarah Millner describes it as “bleak” and “beautiful” for Slash Film (opens in new tab), while Screen Daily’s Fionnuala Halligan (opens in new tab) claims: “All Quiet is gruelingly realistic: impressively-staged battle sequences follow each other with the sounds of conflict booming in a cinematic bombardment. With the ongoing brutal struggle in Ukraine over territory, Berger brings home the message of all war films in the most straightforward and direct way – the cost in human life, yes, but also, of our collective humanity.”

In August 2022, the film was announced as Germany’s submission for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards, so its quality is hardly a surprise. Still, check out some more Twitter reactions out of Toronto Film Festival below…

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is the most terrifyingly realistic depiction of war since Saving Private Ryan. A bleak, brutal onslaught on the senses with an immersive soundscape & astonishing cinematography. A stunning technical achievement on all fronts. You’ll be blown away! 14, 2022

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is a well-made albeit conventional war movie that presupposes that war is not good, very bad. Great cinematography and sound lift the movie up while the bleak story systematically tears you down. It’s no 1917 but it’s as solid as they come. #TIFF22 12, 2022

All Quiet on the Western Front… WOW. An absolutely brilliant film that made its debut at @TIFF_NET. Striking cinematography, honest character portrayals, a raw score & deepened plot (based on a novel) that goes well beyond the standard war piece. #TIFF22September 14, 2022

#TIFF22 All Quiet On The Western Front is just a tad too long, if you lean this out you would easily have one of the best and most harrowing depictions of war on film. What is here is still good & at times pretty great, the score & cinematography are clear standoutsSeptember 12, 2022

German Oscar contender All Quiet On the Western Front is relentlessly good, from hyper-concentrated ensemble acting to magnificent camera, the meticulous design & near-perfect score by @hauschkamusic to Edward Berger’s tight direction. Review to follow. #TIFF22 12, 2022

I would suggest everyone see All Quiet on the Western Front on the big screen. @TIFF_NET @NetflixFilm @Netflix_CA #AllQuietOnTheWesternFront #TIFF22 13, 2022

Netflix subscribers will be able to stream All Quiet on the Western Front from October 28. If war movies just aren’t your thing, then check out our list of the best Netflix movies for some viewing inspiration.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.

Keyword: Netflix's All Quiet on the Western Front called "terrific" and "chilling" in rave first reviews


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