Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris
Release Date: February 28, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Oscar® winners Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard star as Max Vatan and Marianne Beauséjour, two of the world’s deadliest spies, who fall in love while undercover on a top-secret mission and marry during World War II. But when Max learns his wife may be secretly conspiring with the enemy, he has only 72 hours to prove her innocence and save his family before he must do the unthinkable.
‘Allied’ tells the story of two deadly spies paired together as a married couple on an undercover mission in which they end up unexpectedly falling madly in love, then subsequently marrying and starting a family. It’s a nearly perfect life from that point on for Max (Pitt) and Marianne (Cotillard) until a surprise meeting with his associates informs Max that they suspect his wife to be a longtime German spy. As events are set into motion in order to test the validity of these accusations, Max finds himself with a mere 72 hours to uncover the definitive truth which he can’t fathom to be possible before he might be personally required to do the unthinkable. Blatantly disobeying orders and refusing to relent, Max soon finds himself doing anything necessary in order to prove his wife’s innocence before it’s too late.
Directed by the immensely talented Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, The Walk), from a screenplay written by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke), Zemeckis does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Allied’ guiding it along with a consistent beauty, passion and attention to detail. The film also owes a sizeable share of the credit to the talented individuals that comprise the cast, including Brad Pitt (The Big Short, Inglorious Basterds), Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception), Jared Harris (TV’s Mad Men, Fringe), Lizzy Caplan (The Interview, TV’s Masters of Sex), Simon McBurney (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, The Conjuring 2), and a number more, nearly all delivering notable performances in each of their respective roles, particularly Pitt and Cotillard who are fantastic together in their portrayal of the two leads.
‘Allied’ is a gorgeous, emotional and often quite tense romantic thriller set during the World War II era. A tale of romance, service and faith in that which matters most, the film offers a moving mystery within a romantic thriller, and sprinkled with some hard hitting action sequences for good measure. It beautifully recreates the notable time period, largely from digital effects that never fail to impress and often tend to contribute somewhat of a noir vibe in the process with their texture and shadowed or glistening beauty. The film continues to grow throughout a number of key moments and locations, chronicling the events in the lives of these two randomly paired associates who ended up finding a great deal more in their brief time together; subsequently taking things to a darker and more critical level once unexpected charges and events are thrown into the mix which leads to an escalation in the intensity and action during the final third or so of the movie. Guided along its course with grace, care and beauty by talented filmmaker Robert Zemeckis and further complimented by a highly capable cast led by spot on performances from Brad Pitt and Marion Cottillard who are also accompanied by a strong supporting cast. Anyone who enjoys the notable work of Robert Zemeckis or either of the key cast members, along with those who appreciate a well crafted and executed romantic thriller that also serves as a period piece beautifully recreating a key era in history will all definitely want to make a point of checking out ‘Allied’ when you have the opportunity to do so.
Overall, ‘Allied’ is a gorgeous, tense and emotionally powerful romantic thriller set during the WWII era and featuring a remarkable recreation of the time, largely accomplished by digital means and looking impressive at nearly every turn, while also contributing a mild noir vibe to the tone. Legendary director Robert Zemeckis does a wonderful job guiding this moving tale along and the notable performances from Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in the lead roles only further help it to work quite so well. I would definitely recommend ‘Allied’ to any diehard fans of Zemeckis, Pitt and/or Cotillard, along with anyone who appreciates a beautifully crafted and delivered film that’s both a well done romantic thriller and period piece, with an intriguing mystery to top it all off. It should certainly be worth the cost of a rental for those who are understandably hesitant to drop the money on a blind purchase or don’t tend to buy too many similar films.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Allied’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and delivers a sharp, brightly colored and beautifully detailed presentation from start to finish, capturing the gorgeous recreation of the era without any noticeable flaws to be found within. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation from Paramount that’s complimented by a more than sufficient bitrate and should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack makes a perfect complement to the film and provides a consistently crisp, clean and notably active audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to immerse the viewer within the score, in addition to sending crowd chatter and nature elements, along with bullets, debris and more in the action sequences whipping throughout the various speakers, and never resulting in any dialogue which might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers admirably in every way and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Allied’ includes some informative and enjoyable extras in the way of numerous behind the scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing the film to life and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Story of Allied’ (running approximately 5 minutes in length), ‘From Stages to the Sahara: The Production Design of Allied’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘Through the Lens: Directing with Robert Zemeckis’ (approximately 9 minutes), ‘A Stitch in Time: The Costumes of Allied’ (9 minutes), ‘’Til Death Do Us Part: Max and Marianne’ (6 minutes), ‘Guys and Gals: The Ensemble Cast’ (5 minutes), ‘Lights, Pixels, ACTION! The Visual Effects of Allied’ (10 minutes), ‘Behind the Wheel: The Vehicles of Allied’ (3 minutes), ‘Locked and Loaded: The Weapons of Allied’ (4 minutes), and ‘That Swingin’ Sound: The Music of Allied’ (7 minutes).