It’s easy to see why Fedor Bondarchuk’s WWII megaproduction Stalingrad was the top-grossing Russian film of 2013: The movie is a rah-rah tribute to the scrappy comrades who fought the Nazis in what became one of the bloodiest battles in history. What is less clear is why it was made in IMAX 3-D. Yes, the film is gorgeous — assuming you want to see rubble and soot and frostbite rendered as eye candy. But the story is pretty much your standard band-of-brothers narrative, with each soldier defined by one specific character trait (the sniper with ice in his veins, the quiet killer who was an opera tenor before hell came to town, the German with an unexpected human streak). The only surprise is a sad-eyed Russian girl (Mariya Smolnikova) who becomes a mascot of sorts to the weary men. Otherwise, Stalingrad is a 3-D epic that’s one-dimensional. B?
KEEPS STALIN Russian hit Stalingrad leaves you wondering why it was filmed in 3D. (Columbia/Sony)
Genre: War; Starring: Petr Fedorov, Thomas Kretschmann; Director: Fedor Bondarchuk; Runtime (in minutes): 135; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
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