I had high hopes for this movie because of Robert Zemeckis, Brad Pitt, and Marion Cotillard. I definitely went into it prepared for a WWII movie, full of action and special effects. And to be clear, this movie certainly DOES have action and special effects (what Zemeckis film doesn't?), but it goes beyond that.
The actions scenes, when they do happen, are well choreographed and fun to watch. They also earn the movie it's rating, and are brutal but not overbearing. Marion and Brad are both convincing, proving to the audience that they are well- trained spies who don't hesitate to kill.
Something I found very interesting about this movie is that while it's not primarily a war film, it did provide a very interesting look at what life was like for people. This was a time when people partied like the world was ending. Drinks, drugs, sex, etc. But this was also a time when people sometimes watched planes get shot out of the sky. It's a fascinatingly personal way of portraying the war, and the people living through it.
The special effects are stunning, Zemeckis seamlessly blending reality and effects. Many scenes are simply breathtaking. It's puzzling how the movie manages to be both classic and modern.
As I mentioned though, this movie is more than just war and special effects. By the end, there are a few clear themes; putting what's best for those you love above your own needs, and trying your hardest to believe the best of/trust those closest to you. Even if it means you have to break some rules, or even put your own life on the line.
The ending, which some say is overly-sentimental, hit a chord that worked for me. It showed the lengths people go to to protect their family. However people complain about the Forest Gump ending, and that one makes me cry almost every time I see it. So if I'm in the minority here, I'm not at all surprised.
One last thing that I thought this movie did very well, was showing just how difficult it would truly be for spies to fall in love. For the first half of the movie, the two are basically brought together and drawn to each other because of their abilities. They live, supposedly, very similar lives. They are evenly matched. They fit together in every sense because of their mastery of espionage. And yet, once the twist comes along, that same mastery of espionage is what tears them apart. Marion's ability to lie, once a great asset, is now their greatest enemy. It's a wonderful way to weave the story together, and makes for some excellent tension as well as irony.
Overall, Allied is absolutely a mix. It has espionage, it has war, it has assassinations, it has parties, it has family, it has romantic/steamy (quite steamy, might I add) moments, it has costumes and scenery, it has a mystery to be solved, etc. And some of these things it does magnificently. Some of these things it does just well-enough. But it does it all. Which is more than can be said for most movies these days.
This movie certainly deserves the R rating. There is nudity, multiple sex scenes, a decent amount of violence, language, drugs.
If you are a fan of classic movies, watch it. Is it perfect? No, it certainly has weak points and flaws. But overall I was thoroughly entertained by it. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and I will definitely be buying this on Blu-Ray, hopefully with lots of insight into how this film was made and what technologies Zemeckis used.