Stalingrad, November 1942. With the German army circling and ammo dwindling, a small band of Russian soldiers prepare to defend a building to the last man.
A huge hit in its homeland, Fedor Bondarchuk’s siege of Stalingrad movie fuses old school World War II movie staples (bald Nazi colonels!) with slick Call Of Duty aesthetics. Epic in both scale and cliché, the story focuses on five Soviet soldiers keeping the Germans at bay from an apartment block during the 1942 battle. The stylised action couldn’t be more over-the-top, and the bits in-between offer stock situations and paper-thin characters. Loud, visually impressive and emotionally bombastic, it makes Emmerich and Bay look like paragons of subtlety and smarts.
Battle scenes that are VFXed within an inch of their lives and stereotyped Nazis pale as flaws compared with heroes that are too broadly sketched to care about. Play Call Of Duty instead.