Dueling Critics: Allied

10:40 December 02, 2016
By: David Vicari, Fritz Esker

During World War II, an American intelligence officer (Brad Pitt) teams up with a French Resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard) for a dangerous mission. They later meet again in London and fall in love, but are they both who they say they are?


David: Because of certain thematic elements, this Brad Pitt starring vehicle has been compared to two other films he has starred in - Quentin Tarantino's WWII comic book fantasy Inglourious Basterds and the spy action-comedy with his soon-to-be ex-wife Angelina Jolie, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. What really sets Allied apart from those two movies is that it is more adult, and I think it works as a somber and suspenseful thriller.

What did you think?


Fritz: Yes, it's a good movie. I think any comparisons to Inglourious Basterds and Mr. and Mrs. Smith (both enjoyable movies) are superficial. What I liked about Allied is there are good action/suspense scenes, but they never feel outlandish or exaggerated. In fact, director Robert Zemeckis (who has thankfully made a recent return to live-action films after disappearing into creepy animation for many years) wrings an impressive amount of tension from a scene where Marion Cotillard simply waits in a car.

Emotionally, the film works because it does make viewers consider exactly what they would do if placed in a situation as extreme as WWII. We all like to think of ourselves as brave, moral, etc. But it's much easier to think of yourself that way in the theoretical sense than when placed in the situation many were in during WWII.

What else did you like about it?


David: Yes, the scene in the car is filled with unbearable tension. Cotillard is fantastic in that scene, as you can read all the frantic thoughts running thought her character's head. And Zemeckis is a true master of building tension. Another great scene is when a bomber is about to crash into the house of the main characters. The scene is suspenseful and is there for a reason - to show what these characters hold dear.

Although I wouldn't dream of spoiling the revelation late in the film, but I will say that it doesn't go for an easy way out. That's what I like about Allied - that it's emotionally complex and, like I said, adult.

And the two leads have great chemistry. That sex scene in a car during a sandstorm is sensual without coming off as silly. And you believe the characters in that moment.


Fritz: Agreed. Many have said that Hollywood doesn't make entertainments for grown-ups anymore. That's not true. But the problem is that these movies have been struggling at the box office lately. The Nice Guys and Hell or High Water are excellent but didn't get much of an audience. If you want Hollywood to make movies for grown-ups, you should go see stuff like Allied in the theater (in December, moviegoers should also see an upcoming movie you and I have both seen and loved, but we can't discuss it until December because of a media embargo).

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