We gave it an A
Two young runners (a rakish Mel Gibson and an angelic Mark Lee) meet, bond, and enlist in World War I for ”an all-out assault on Johnny Turk” at Gallipoli. Gallipoli director Peter Weir’s visuals — a trek across the outback, a barrage of shrapnel whooshing past men diving underwater — are stunning, but he also enriches the story with subtlety and irony (men leaving the trenches shake hands with a corpse). The heartbreaking final scenes of Aussie youths matching their bayonets against machine guns elevate the film to an antiwar masterpiece. EXTRAS In a making-of doc, we learn that Weir balked at depicting Gallipoli, an overly familiar battle to schoolboys Down Under, until a walk through the trenches changed his mind. Lee says that worry about his inexperience led him to quit the first day, but Weir distracted him by rehearsing the dialogue while blasting a Ry Cooder album.