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Private Peaceful review

Jack O'Connell takes the lead in this WW1 drama

Lacking the scale and spectacle of War Horse , this more modest Michael Morpurgo adaptation has to rely on plot alone, a tale of two brothers (Jack O’Connell and George MacKay) whose relationship – strained by their love for the same woman (Alexandra Roach) – is further tested once they find themselves occupying the same WW1 trench.

Flash-forwards to a dawn execution leave us in no doubt where things are headed, for all director Pat O’Connor’s attempts to mask which sibling will don the blindfold.

It’s left to the leads to keep us engaged, a tall order given their film’s old-fashioned, fusty feel.

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Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.