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Hours before the D-day landing a small group of American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a crucial mission only to find that Nazis is not the worst thing they could expect.
*Be aware of spoilers*
A group of American paratroopers is dropped behind enemy lines hours before D-day with a mission to destroy a radio tower in a small French village that is used for communication between the Normandy beaches and Berlin. During the operation a lot of airplanes are shot down and many soldiers die either by intense anti-aircraft fire or from the Nazi patrols when they land.
With a small group of soldiers surviving the landing consisting of Corporal Ford, sniper Tibbet, war photographer Chase and Privates Dawson and Boyce they proceed to the village in order to complete their mission where they meet Chloe, a villager that helps them get to the tower.
Things get complicated when private Boyce gets into the catacombs below the radio tower, by accident, only to find that the Nazis conduct experiments with human beings that could turn the tide of the war for the Germans. Now as time is running out in order to complete their mission before the Normandy landings, the small band of soldiers not only have to fight the German soldiers but also the results of their experiments in order to turn the place into ruins and stop Nazis plans for world domination.
J. J. Abrams
Mark L. Smith
Bad Robot Productions
Hollywood usually plays it safe when it comes to specific genres by either producing sequels of already successful franchises or making films that follow specific successful patterns. This has resulted in a stagnation of new ideas as we are bombarded with specific content with studios playing it more safe than ever. And as good as the next Marvel film may be, who is not tired of seeing the world being saved over and over again by superheroes and after 20 features film, although the quality of each one of them remains at all times high, we are accustomed in seeing similarly themed films repeating themselves.
Here comes J.J. Abrams, the mastermind behind the successful restart of franchises like Mission Impossible, Star trek and Star Wars as well as the creator of the series Lost, with his war-themed “Overlord”. But on the contrary to most war films this one comes with a twist, and what a twist it is. The film may appear as war-themed evolving around the events before the D-day landing with the drop of several thousand paratroopers behind enemy lines that would help with the beach invasion but this seems to only be the vehicle that drives the real story behind it.
J.J. Abrams is an expert when it comes to creating intriguing stories and as such he used a real historical event to tell his fictional story. And although this is not the first time we see something similar as another war-themed filmed namely Saving Private Ryan used the same technique it’s the first time we see such a film featuring a post-apocalyptic, zombie-themed story. World War 2 with zombies and Nazi experiments sounds like a story that came straight out of a comic book or a video game and although this marriage of completely different set pieces is something you would expect to see in a straight-to-video film, J.J. Abrams created a first rate feature film production.
What we liked in this film is that Overlord doesn’t try to change historical events. In reality it presents a story that could very well be true as the general setting is very confined and it ends in a way that doesn’t interfere with the real events during the landing of the allied forces. This way the film makers created a story that although completely fictional, due to it’s core elements, could remain a real possibility making it even more interesting resulting in a “what if” scenario.
Merging 2 different genres is not an easy thing and could result in very unsatisfactory results. Creating a World War 2 era film that includes zombies is very well a recipe for disaster or the very least, disappointment. But Abrams managed to create a story that really brings everything together nicely and fits nicely in the grand scheme of things. And while the film was directed by the relatively unknown Julius Avery, he managed to give the film a very visual and visceral look.
The film may take place in a confined area, as the story takes place in a small Nazi occupied village and it’s surroundings, but production values remain high. Of course the opening scene with the paratroopers landing remain the highlight of the film with all the mayhem that happens until the soldiers touch the ground but as the story progresses we were pleased to see a certain attention to detail that elevates the quality of such a film. Soldier’s uniforms looked realistic, weaponry the same, the settings in and around the village as well as in the underground catacombs were very detailed and in general every frame was thoroughly detailed in order to give a very believable result.
Acting was more or less good with the actors making good use of the lines they had to work with. And although the film was not featuring any particularly known actor as the lead we believe the ones chosen to represent the small band of soldiers fit their roles perfectly.
Running just a few minutes under 2 hours Overlord has it’s ups and downs when it comes to how the action and story unfolds. Obviously with the initial paratroopers landing the film start with a bang but as soon as this ends scenes move at a much slower speed until we are introduced to the real meat of the story. There are a few scenes that really drag for too long making the film slow down a lot and should be avoided as they offer nothing in return but once the action starts we gain interest immediately.
Technically we found Overlord to tick all the right boxes. Obviously such a film would make use of both practical and CGI effects but transition between the two is done seamlessly with the computer generated effects being rather good and realistic while it’s desaturated look with greens, browns and greys taking center stage and provide the image with the necessary distinctive look of that era.
The accompanying audio track is an excellent blend of sound effects, ambient environmental sounds, dialogue and music that really elevates the essence of what we see on screen and makes the impact even more intense. During the opening scene you could hear every small metal crackling and engine humming while soldiers are talking trying to relieve the pressure while during the catacombs scenes eerie sounds and ambient screams create a nightmarish scenery.
Closing we have to admit that we were pleasantly surprised by what Avery and J.J. Abrams created. The film may not be destined for the Academy Awards but everything, from production values, settings, acting, attention to detail, visual effects, CGI, audio and story come together nicely creating an overall visceral and interesting experience that is very characteristic of J.J. Abrams style making Overlord an interesting experience that can offer 2 hours of cinematic entertainment.
Overlord bites into 4K UHD home media with a 2160p resolution, HEVC / H.265 encode coming from Paramount Pictures having a 2.40:1 aspect ratio and coming with not only HDR10 but also Dolby Vision. Several sources indicate that the film was shot in sub-4K resolutions which means that this UHD release is probably a 4K upscale but a good one we can admit. The film in general is dark while the color palette used is mostly comprised of green, brown and grey variations giving an intentional monotonous feeling very suitable of that era. The 4K transfer offer very good sharpness and as a result details on soldiers uniforms with clothes textures and wounds become more clear.
As we said the film may be dark and use a limited color variation but HDR helps to enhance certain elements in order to provide a more dynamic and 3 dimensional picture. Highlights from the soldiers flashlights become more intense while blood has a very intense red color that breaks the monotony of browns and greens. When Chloe is using the flamethrower the splashes of fire provide an intense mixture of red and yellows that really pop giving it more volume.
The UHD release comes with a Dolby Atmos track that is energetic and dynamic that fits exactly the style and mood of such a film. The opening sequence with the paratroopers landing is probably one of the most impressive war scenes we have seen so far. From the opening with the paratroopers sitting inside the plane with metal crackling and motor engines humming to the moment that anti-air fire rips the plane in two and Flak explosions create a death scene with burning airplanes and bodies falling of the sky the Atmos track grabs you from the face and doesn’t let you until it’s all over. On the ground we get very good surround effects both in the forest and during the catacombs scenes with ample of ambient sounds creating an eerie atmosphere. The height speakers don’t get very much into action but they also help to create a more expansive and immersive bubble all around us.
In total the 4K UHD release has a very nice picture with good sharpness, nice even if limited colors, great HDR that really elevates the overall quality and a Dolby Atmos track that is impressive following the actual events on screen. Improvements over the Blu-ray version are visible even if not huge so if you are looking for the best version of the film then the 4K disc is the way to go.
Movie Rating :
4K UHD Rating :
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40 thoughts on “Overlord (2018)”
Firstly, Your review was comprehensive and well explained. I have never come across a review as detailed as this. Great work. Reading the plot of Overlord, It should be a movie to watch and a entertaining.Frankly i am so fed up with hollywood doing sequels of movies and also all superhero movies.There is a dire need for a new direction in the movie industry. Great review
I totally agree Aweda. Hollywood seems reluctant to try out new ideas as the risk of loosing money is too high unfortunately.
Hi Stratos, Overlord will definitely be an interesting movie to watch. From the plot alone, one can see that it is going to be a fun-filled packed movie with lots of suspense and breath-taking moments. Fighting German soldiers is not an easy task for a small band of soldiers. I would definitely love to watch this movie, you have just awaken the hunger to watch this movie that promises to be thrilling.
If you like these kind of film Gracen then Overlord will definitely provide a couple of entertaining hours.
I became more acquainted with the movie Overlord here on your page and going through your review, I would state that the film is extremely extraordinary for the individuals who like science fiction, and especially intrigued about various tests done by the nazis amid the World War, I look forward to watching the full video, I know it will be more intriguing
If you like ww2 and post-apocalyptic zombie films then you will most probably like this one also as it combines the 2 genres offering something really unique.
I have not yet watched Overlord but I feel it has the characteristics of a nice action film. I love as you said when the production is great and the attention to detail is high. It’s interesting what stories directors find in order to make a film interesting. I will definitely try to watch it some day.
Give it a try if you are into these kind of films. You will probably find it entertaining at the very least.
Nice review about this movie, I must say you really got a way of getting your reader to focus and have deep knowledge about what you are writing about. I love war movies, especially ones with the nazis and their crazy experiments, and I really can’t wait to get my hands on this based in your review. I recently watched Dunkirk (2017), though watching it in 2019 ain’t impressive but the movie is absolutely my kind of movie. Nice review, will stay glued to this site to get more from it. Thumbs up.
Thanks for your kind words Ayodeji. If you like war themed films then give it a try. It’s not a normal war movie but I found it interesting how they mixed the different genres.
The 4k UHD is superb and it’s the best version of this movie. It is indeed a film for home entertainment and is widely watched all over the world. The rating is also high with 4 out of 5 rating. If you like world war 2 with crazy Nazi experiments here you can find both. I loved it when I saw it at the cinema and got the UHD also.
I’m glad you like the film so much. It is rather entertaining.
Watched this online a couple of weeks ago, I had been looking forward to it for quite some time. Did I enjoy it…yes…but nowhere near as much as I thought I would!
This Nazi demon subject has been done many times before, and this is the best effort so far…but I definitely think the subject could have been handled a bit better, the plot a little thicker?
Effects and acting fine, plot a little weak.
Well in this kind of film the plot always tends to be a bit weak. But in these cases I tend to switch off my brain and just enjoy the action.
Wow! Nice write up. The story line is a fascinating. And to be sincere, I enjoyed it from beginning to the end. The accompanying audio track is an excellent blend of sound effects as well. Cant help but to share article with my good friends. Thanks for this write up.
If you still haven’t watched it I suggest to see it the first chance you have. It deserves a chance.
Nice one, I have only seen the trailer of Overlord, and from what I saw, it’s gonna be a really interesting movie to sit out and watch with friends and family. But I don’t know if it is out on the cinemas yet, I would really love to see this movie.. Is it out yet on the cinemas?.. Lovely Article
It seems you are a bit behind on events. The film has finished it’s theatrical run and is out now on home media. We have even wrote a review on the 4K UHD disc under the movie review.
I am usually scared of war movies but this review really got me on the edge of watching one. Your review is intense and which makes it more interesting. Maybe this will be a eye opener for me about what I’ve been missing in movies like this, because I am more into drama, romance, and action comedies. This is interesting and I hope to watch the movie soon. Excellent review you got here.
Well it depends if you can watch war-themed zombie films. If you are not into such kind of movies I don’t see how you will like this one. But you should give it a try as you never know…
Overlord seems like a really cool movie with an interesting plot. Trying to get as many movies as can for my Friday night movie binge so I’m getting anything I think is good. Your pictures don’t help either, they just make me want to watch the movie even more lol. Great stuff
A great contender for Friday night viewing. Go for it!
Good review. With a movie like this, it’s easy to go all bad news or over the top great news. Your review seems balanced, highlighting the strength and pointing out some weakness, like imply that the writing is not great, “with the actors making good use of the lines they had to work with” while complimenting the actors (and really the director too).
You actually get technical as well with good discussion of the “color palette” with the period-correct “monotony”.
I haven’t seen the movie, but I think I’ll have a go.
The movie may also be more accurate then we want to believe (man-made zombies during WWII). 🙂
Hey Dave. They really tried to present as accurate as they could the war part of the film with the added element of Nazi experiments and all that. The film definitely show that it was made by J.J. Abrams as it has this attention to details that you don’t usually find in such kind of films.
Just watched the trailer of Overlord (2018), and am like “WOW!” this is superb. I cant wait to get the movie. I love the 4k Ultra HD review on it. Getting to know that In total the 4K UHD release has very nice picture with good sharpness making it worthwhile to watch. Nice article you have here. Hope to read more similar nice reviews from you.
If you liked our review you can check our MOVIES section for more articles on movies.
I really liked the trailer and the action sequences in this movie with some great background sound. The story seems good with a lot of action and entertainment. I liked most of the movies I saw based on paratroopers and Nazis. The producer has history of making great movies.I am definitely going to watch it soon.
I hope you enjoy it as it really has a unique style.
To be very honest with you, I’m in a kind of information overload with the review of overlord, in-depth research you have come up with here. However, I have to congratulate you on this “Awesome review”.
Before watching a movie I tend to read reviews and your review gave me all the reasons to watch this movie. Saving Private Ryan is one of my all time favorite movies. After reading your review I got the urge to watch this movie and now I am sure I will not waste my time and will be watching this soon.
As you mentioned indeed J.J Abrams is an expert not only in production, Mission Impossible III and Star Wars The Force Awakens are my favorite of J. J. Abrams direction. Eagerly waiting for 19 December 2019 – Star Wars Episode IX.
Thanks a lot for the helpful review.
I am glad you liked our review Paul. Let us know what did you think of it when you see it in the comments.
Hi there!I just came across this article now and I must say it’s interesting. I can’t wait to get watch this movie titled OVERLORD. This is my type of movies because I don’t get bored when watching. Thanks for sharing this across. It’s really engaging and interesting especially the way you described will make it look as if I’m already getting used to it. Thanks for sharing this. Cheer’s
Hey Tony. Let us know if you liked it when you see it.
Have they made this movie into a game yet?
I have watched many movies in reg. HD then in 4K and there is a huge difference in the two, in my opinion.
It looks and sounds like a good watch, I’ll have to watch it. I’m not one for war movies but this one looks riveting and I can’t wait to see what the end twist is.
Is this movie on netflix?
Hey Amanda. You will have to check your local Netflix if they have uploaded or not.
This is the first time I heard of the movie Overlord. Is this a new release? Your review is indeed keeping me wanting to watch the movie. But the country that I lived in is not showing this in the cinema. I am very new to Prime. Is this something that I can watch online after I purchase? But for how long can I keep the movie?
The theatrical run of the film has ended as it is out now in home media. I am not sure about streaming as you have to check the one you are using.
Hi! Thank you for this great review. I appreciate the things you have mentioned related to this film. Specially the fact that it doesn’t change historical events.
I have always been interested in the Normandy landings. And I know I’ll find interesting points of view in this film. The fact that there has been given close attention to details encourages me to watch it. Thank you very much!
You are welcome. I hope you enjoy it. Give it a try.
Hey Stratos, Great website. Interesting and informative article. I admire your passion for Home Media Entertainment.You have a lot of educating reviews. This is a great platform to pickup some good information on Home Media Entertainment. I have never done any research on home media entertainment, after perusal of the ” IMAX Enhanced Certification” but recently I began a new journey in seeking some related systems for my home. Your reviews are in-depth, after perusal of your reviews one is motivated to see the movie. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your kind words Jeff. We always try to provide the most honest and accurate information regarding home theater equipment and movies.