With the Oscar-nominated film, "1917," director/co-writer/producer Sam Mendes masterfully brings some of the epic scale and chilling, violent reality of World War I to the eyes and ears of audience members. 

Dean-Charles Chapman ("Game of Thrones") portrays Lance Corporal Blake, a slightly baby-faced British soldier who is tasked with traveling and delivering a message to warn Col. MacKenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch) to stand down along the front line of battle. The message states that German forces are only simulating a retreat so they can later ambush the unsuspecting British Army. Blake is told by Gen. Erinmore (Colin Firth) that he also can make contact with his brother, who also is a soldier.

As great as Chapman is as Blake, it's co-star George MacKay, who portrays Lance Corporal Schofield, Blake's colleague and friend, who shines even brighter amid the echoing gunfire and deafening blasts of black smoke. Schofield is reluctant to join his friend in what certainly will be a dangerous mission. He agrees to the two-man mission, but naturally, keeps his eyes wide open as they creep across the damp, war-torn landscape.

There are slight tones of "Apocalypse Now," "Blade Runner 2049," and, on a much lesser scale, "Boogie Nights" — three films that really don't have a lot in common with each other — that are seen and felt throughout the R-rated "1917." A sense of unpredictability that is almost too much to bear, and multiple occurrences that aren't as random as they initially seem are 100-percent captivating. 

Most of the camerawork in "1917," overseen by Oscar-winning cinematography legend Roger Deakins ("Blade Runner 2049," "Rise of the Guardians"), is near-peerless perfection, and a few scenes do recall some of the strangely beautiful, desert-based imagery of "Blade Runner 2049."

Oh, and here's the only true spoiler that will be allowed here: "1917" is filmed and presented as a single shot. Audience members, 98 percent of the time, won't see anything or anyone before the movie's characters see them. No doubt there were at least a few splices that were employed to hold "1917" together, but the film looks, sounds and feels like a real-life experience, flowing in its mesmerizing way and gently commanding awe and respect from its audience.  

Final grade: A-