I really liked this movie about a tank crew in WWII. I thought the crew, led by Brad Pitt, were all really expertly played. I’ve liked Logan Lerman as an actor since 3:10 to Yuma and I thought he did a pretty good job at keeping his naïve young recruit character from crossing over into cliché, though there were sequences, as in an unintentionally disturbing sequence in which he essentially rapes a young German girl while attempting to maintain an air of romance, that didn’t work at all. The ending is likewise pretty clichéd and the treatment of Pitt in that sequence is pretty Messianic, if you know what I mean. But, by and large, the performances were quite good. Shia LeBeouf frankly gives a genuinely great performance, an Oscar worthy performance in my opinion and by far his best. And John Bernthal is nearly unrecognizable and incredibly effective as a despicable, repulsive soldier. The film is refreshing in its brutality (weird sentence, I know) and the way it portrays WWII as less of a noble endeavor and more of an absolute hell of gore, suffering and senseless violence. Though the action is still often thrilling and gripping. A battle between four outgunned Sherman tanks and a near indestructible German Tiger tank is one of the best battle sequences I’ve seen in ages and the extended climax (nearly the entire third act really) where the titular tank stands alone to defend a vital crossroads is wonderfully shot and absolutely brilliant. There are flaws, but it’s still the best war movie I’ve seen in a very long time. Recommended. 3 ½ stars.
tl;dr – gripping, exciting, grim & disturbing, this well-acted, beautifully produced WWII movie gets its message of the futility of war across; flaws are few & far between. 3 ½ stars.