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Ashes and Diamonds
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Ashes and Diamonds

1958
Drama
War
1h 43m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 70.26% from 682 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(682)
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Rated 07 Oct 2012
80
91st
Like so many Eastern Euro films from this era, the complicated nature of Nationalism and the lingering, emotionally crippling shadow of the second World War are on full display in a stunningly beautiful film that closely examines a smaller, delicate problem that serves as an obvious, but never clunky metaphor. This type of shit is so hard to pull off and should come off as pretentious, but it never does. Amazing effort all around.
Rated 19 Dec 2006
62
20th
This is supposed to be one of the great Wajda films, but it's one of my least favorites. Too political for my tastes, and most of it is dull as dirt. Nice lighting and framing, though.
Rated 20 Oct 2009
100
99th
The best POLISH FILM EVER MADE !!! with a spectacular role played by Zbigniew Cybulski
Rated 09 Oct 2013
81
74th
I got more into it in the final act. You can really see the Citizen Kane influence on the cinematography.
Rated 27 Sep 2020
90
77th
Built less around a narrative and more around a moment, characters wander in and out of the central hotel/bar. Paths cross. There's a lot of talking but very little doing except at the bookends. Cybulski does an amazing James Dean impression for the whole movie, looking hilariously out of time in 1945. The photography becomes increasingly expressionist and noir-like as the film progresses.
Rated 20 Feb 2014
55
73rd
not significant as its reputation. some very obvious symbolism on Polish history on social level. too quick on moral dilemmas on individual level. a bit ordinary crime or historical movie.
Rated 07 Jan 2015
60
29th
"Popiól i diament" spends its runtime part as espionage thriller part more character-based and deals in the good ol' themes of duty vs. individuality, awfulness of war and finding small condolences in the face of bleak hardship. It doesn't do so in a particularly original or stimulating fashion -but it's a solid film nonetheless. The cinematography, in particular, is great -some stunning shots, especially near the ending capture the themes much more resonantly than the script could ever hope to
Rated 10 Mar 2015
84
91st
Doesn't try too hard to seem powerful but provides a nice flow which is enjoyable. The story could have had more meat to it.
Rated 03 Apr 2018
80
92nd
A.A.D is among Scorsese and Coppola's favourite films, and only a scant glimpse at its meticulous frames is sufficient to know why. Wadja's use of space is extraordinary, and his deep focus photography enables action to be staged in the foreground and background, necessitating repeat viewings.Through form and precise characterisation, Wadja effectively conveys the uncertainty of a transitional post-war identity, and Cybulski portrays this confusion admirably with complete conviction.
Rated 10 Mar 2018
90
87th
Em honra de Grażyna Staniszewska (1936 - 2018) Não há como negar que é um filme cool, muito devido ao carisma de Cybulski, mas certamente não estou entre os grandes admirados que o colocam entre os melhores filmes já feitos, mesmo com a fotografia deslumbrante. Blurayrip no Makingoff.
Rated 27 Nov 2018
50
20th
Might be the combination of watching on little sleep and the complex plot, but this ranged from very challenging to outright impenetrable for me. The lighting in this is beautiful though.
Rated 15 Sep 2019
60
35th
But for the age of the main character, this is essentially a coming-of-age film inside a political drama. There's a certain "cool" he exudes (helped by the sunglasses), but ultimately being asked to be a gun-for-hire after he thinks he's found love puts him in a quandary. Unfortunately, as the film delves a bit into the political posturing of Poland right after World War II, there's a lot I'm sure I missed.
Rated 13 Jan 2010
94
88th
126
Rated 08 Jan 2021
65
67th
A few great scenes (Maciek and Andrzej reminiscing in the bar over flaming glasses of vodka), great deep focus cinematography and an incredible performance by Cybulski don't fully make up for the dead weight in this movie, the aimless narrative, the way the subplot with Szczuka's son never gets closure, or the arty symbolism (inverted crucifix in a bombed out church) that conceals the dramatic vacuum at its core. Not bad, not quite a masterpiece.
Rated 10 Mar 2021
58
60th
Not quite the masterpiece I expected, but not as heavy/serious as I feared either. First scene grabs your attention; cinematography is great and characters interesting. Knowledge of Polish history helps, but doesn't prevent from enjoying the film. It's easy to believe that it has influenced numerous later films; characters are intercrossing smoothly and blunt portrayal of violence & extramarital affairs must have been bold at the time. I just ended up admiring it more than really enjoying it.
Rated 08 Sep 2021
70
67th
Good movie, which would have been better if not for some overacting at the end.
Rated 24 Nov 2021
100
97th
I can't say enough about this movie. I'm sure a black and white film from Poland, made in the late 50's is a tough sell, but it's well worth finding this one. Will secure a spot in my Top 500 of all time. Just well made, compelling throughout and incredibly shot.
Rated 09 Aug 2022
79
46th
Aside from the opening scene, it starts a little slow. Actually, most of the film is like this and I'd be lying if I didn't feel a little zoned out at times. Anyways, as the film unfolds, there are some pretty damn cool shots sprinkled throughout. The more I think about the plot, the deeper is seems than off my initial viewing. This film is old. Maybe I had to be there? Beautiful cinematography and decent acting, but not enough of the rest to truly elevate.
Rated 06 Jan 2023
73
49th
Pretty good but probably a bit overrated drama/war movie about a resistance fighter. Good film, but I didn't get out of it what a lot seem to. It's good looking and the story is relatively interesting, but it never really fully came together for me.
Rated 07 Aug 2023
81
78th
American or Hungarian?
Rated 20 Jul 2010
6
70th
Visually, perhaps the best I've seen so far from Wadja (yeah sorry that includes Kanal, not much else though) but the story left me fairly uninterested.
Rated 03 Nov 2014
70
57th
The camera and actor blocking reminded me a lot of Spielberg - a clear reference point for his career.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
93
88th
# 135
Rated 07 Mar 2016
90
88th
Dug it a lot. So much subversive energy found in cinema of this era in this area of our world. And from that energy came some pivotal, quintessentially cinematic moments and tales. This is no exception.
Rated 28 Feb 2016
18
96th
Star Rating: ★★★★★
Rated 24 Nov 2013
5
70th
compared to his debut feature a generation, this is sort of an anti-coming-of-age tale, as a young man struggles between love and rebellion, and ends up with neither. also, that film had a wild-eyed revolutionary spirit, whereas this one is more exhausted with things. some of the narrative decisions might not have worked entirely, but it's pretty insightful and moving.
Rated 24 Mar 2015
90
80th
A thoroughly engaging existential meditation on whats demanded from being part of a revolution and a thoughtful historical examination on the fragmented state of a nation (Poland at the end of WWII). Wajda evokes many emotions through his careful use of imagery but the film's main strength lies in Cybulski's portrayal of Maciek, filled with romantic dreaming, youthful passion and a doubt in everything but the desire to live true.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
94
88th
#126
Rated 19 Dec 2008
94
88th
118
Rated 11 Feb 2013
85
92nd
Brilliantly shot. The main character is the polish resistance equivalent to Breathless' Michel Poicard.
Rated 05 Jun 2018
92
98th
A film that is brilliantly shot and directed, while also touching on unconventional elements of war. It weaves between moral dilemmas perfectly, all within the crux of transitioning between war and peace. Its use of post-WWII history is a bit confusing for people not aware of the history, but it gives a much stronger context to the films events which will likely resonate with the Polish people. This movie is not only an essential historic film but a cinematic marvel in its own right.
Rated 04 Jun 2018
74
84th
Interesting and impressive shot composition aids a story about the disorientation and meaninglessness attending the moment at which war is brought to an end, but when "peace" has yet to be established. Zastrzezynski would die the following year, and both Cybulski and Kobiela would be killed in accidents before the age of 40.
Rated 02 Jan 2014
70
44th
Impeccably photographed, but story didn't entirely connect. Some interesting scenes discussing the end of the war and people's places in it, but Maciek's intellectual struggle with violence could have been explored more deeply.
Rated 11 Feb 2017
44
29th
Yes, that's exactly how art films were made by the maestros of that time - crowded rooms to show the circus of party politics, a dandy Resistance fighter with existential doubts, an amour fou for the poetry. Being bored by the narrative stasis of it all I looked at how the camera moved, at what was hidden and what was revealed, where the irony and the symbolism lay. Not that I really want to care about such pat things.
Rated 01 Sep 2017
74
49th
A film potent with the time it was made in. Given that it takes place nearly in real-time, it sags in the middle (especially with an uninvolving romance), but certainly picks up as things get heightened as they approach the climax.
Rated 17 May 2011
91
91st
The film's strength is definitely in its look--the framing, the lighting, the crispness of the shots, the fluid use of the camera, and the jarring cuts. The sequence in the crypt is the real stand out, with the dangling crucifix offering one of the most striking and meaningful shots in this--or any--film. The story is also compelling--particularly the central character Maciek, who vacillates between love and murder. He knows that choosing one will effectively eliminate the other from his life.
Rated 24 Dec 2009
88
62nd
A really stylish film about the last days of war and the Polish resistance. The opening scene is fantastic and the rest of the film is downright classic.

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