Based on the story of a strategic misfire by the Allied forces towards the end of World War II, it's an unconventional war tale retold expertly by director Richard Attenborough.
In 1944 Paratroopers representing Britain, the U.S. and Poland (amongst others) were flown in over eastern Holland to take over a series of bridges on the River Rhine. A bold strategic maneuver made in order to give geographical advantage to the Allied forces and speed up the retreat of the German army. Suffice it to say it doesn't all go smoothly and… well, the rest would be spoilers.
A cast like I've never seen make this one a reet treat, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine, Sean Connery and Gene Hackman most memorably. With turns from James Caan, Robert Redford and someone called Laurence Oliver or something. Everyone does a great job 'Hack'mans dodgy Polish accent aside and the star personas are not distracting in any way (Tom Cruise makes no appearance). After seeing the amazing battle scenes with hundreds and hundreds of extras, a real city that looks one quarter demolished, the epically suspenseful long-take tracking scene with James Caan's Jeep in the forest, you can't help but find yourself muttering the old adage "They don't make them like this anymore".
Sprinkled with enough British charm and wit to make you spit crumpet into your tea and with cinematography that has you nodding and exclaiming "oh yes, world class" repeatedly to your disinterested partner, the story is complex yet clear. We move between plot strands often enough to make the 3 hour duration totally immersive and entertaining. Turn on, jump in and jog on old chap. But put the kettle on first would you? Jolly good.