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  • 2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

The battle for Stalingrad remains the bloodiest conflict in human history: more than 850,000 people lost their lives over five months of dogged, street-to-street fighting in 1942 and 1943. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, film producers intermittently insist on attempting to shoehorn all this blood and fury into a populist, triumphal two-hour multiplex adventure. This latest Russian-language effort may introduce new elements – 3D, digital effects, a pointless framing device – but the key components remain unchanged: mud, brutality, starvation, sacrifice, misery, loss and grief.

This ‘Stalingrad’ focuses on five Russian soldiers holed up in a bombed-out house during a German air raid. Taking the place’s owner, shellshocked Masha (Yanina Studilina), under their collective wing, these mismatched heroes struggle to beat back the Nazi advance. There are some impressive moments: the oversaturated visuals frazzle the retinas, and there are some memorable explosions. But when the best one can say about a movie is that it’s pyrotechnically impressive, something important is missing. In this case it’s tension, originality and memorable characters.

Written by Tom Huddleston

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 21 February 2014
  • Duration:131 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Fedor Bondarchuk
  • Cast:
    • Thomas Kretschmann
    • Yanina Studilina
    • Mariya Smolnikova
    • Pyotr Fyodorov
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