Panfilov's 28 Men

Gaijin Entertainment

History Action Drama
105 min     6.94     2016     Russia


USSR, Late November, 1941. Based on the account by reporter Vasiliy Koroteev that appeared in the Red Army's newspaper, Krasnaya Zvezda, shortly after the battle, this is the story of Panifilov's Twenty-Eight, a group of twenty-eight soldiers of the Red Army's 316th Rifle Division, under the command of General Ivan Panfilov, that stopped the advance on Moscow of a column of fifty-four Nazi tanks of the 11th Panzer Division for several days. Though armed only with standard issue Mosin-Nagant infantry rifles and DP and PM-M1910 machine guns, all useless against tanks, and with wholly inadequate RPG-40 anti-tank grenades and PTRD-41 anti-tank rifles, they fight tirelessly and defiantly, with uncommon bravery and unwavering dedication, to protect Moscow and their Motherland.


Wuchak wrote:
_**Eastern Front drama and action as the Red Army clashes with aggressing Nazi hordes**_ In mid-November, 1941, the remaining 28 men of a Soviet division protect Moscow from German invaders with vastly superior weaponry on a snowy landscape. "Panfilov’s 28" (2016) is surprisingly well done on a technical level for a film that only had a budget of $1,700,000 (thru crowd-funding). If you like Eastern Front WW2 films like “Cross of Iron” (1977), "Dear Elza!" (2014) and "T-34" (2018), you’ll probably appreciate it, but IMHO it’s the least of these. At the same time, I have a friend who ranks it as one of his favorites. The problem for me is that there’s zero action until the 39-minute mark and the conversations of the men up to that point, while well-written/executed, are relatively dull. Furthermore, this is a straight war flick that honors the heroes of the (supposedly) true-life battle near Dubosekovo, so don’t expect any unlikely romances or twists. Like “Gettysburg” (1993), it’s simply about modern warfare, the men who fight it and their reasons for fighting. Despite the realism of everything, including the trench-oriented combat, the movie strangely put me to sleep (but maybe I was just tired). The story is, in essence, the Soviet version of 300 Spartans with one of the soldiers even bringing up that historical account during a march. But the account has proven to be a fabrication of a Soviet newspaper for propaganda purposes. However, it IS true that small groups of Red Army soldiers on the Eastern Front boldly faced hordes of oncoming Germans troops with superior firepower to protect their Motherland. And it’s not like Americans and Brits haven’t made scores of fantastical WW2 pictures with some amount of historical realism, like “Where Eagles Dare” (1968) and “Fury” (2014). One thing that’s amazing is that almost all the tanks used in the movie are miniatures and I didn’t even notice! Except for one actual-size model tank built for the movie, the tanks are 1:16 detailed models. The sequences shot inside the tank, however, used a full-scale model of tank internals. The film runs about 2 hours and was shot at Ivanovo, Ivanovskaya oblast, Russia, with studio stuff done in St. Petersburg. GRADE: C+