Plenty has been said and will continue to be said about the technology behind this film. It is impressive and deserves to be discussed. The ultimate colorization/motion smoothing endeavor. But when I go to a restaurant I don't care to hear much about the kitchen. Bring me a plate and I will let the food do the talking. So what does this film say? What does Peter Jackson say?
To put the movie in perspective, which is the only way to treat this film fairly, it was made for the Imperial War Museum and it plays out as most museum documentaries. You know the ones that play for 20 years every morning for the tourists looking for a quick recap of the history they are about to encounter. So in that sense, this film plays out like a textbook chapter. Lots of anonymous voices giving you a brief overview of an entire war. It is as Peter Jackson states: the most "accurate and generic" recreation of what World War I was like on the Western front. I'm not hating on the film for this. It serves its purpose. If you are a huge war buff or casual historian, you will take away a lot from the minutiae in this film. A true sense of what it was like day to day from the beginning of the war to the end; both in battle and in-between. If you want to see how soldiers took a shit in battlefield conditions, it's there. If you want to see how they regarded their captured enemies, it's there. If you want to see what rations they loved or didn't, it is there. Not exactly exciting, but good stuff for a history book blurb or a museum film.
What does stand out from your typical museum war film and this piece is the body count. Mostly taken from stills of the period, every opportunity is taken to show the horrors of war, which can be quite jarring. Especially since you have been lulled into a history text mode of filmmaking.
If you are a war or history buff, this movie is for you. Otherwise, give it a look when it streams. See if it catches you. If so, stick around. The production is great.