Paths of Glory (1957)
One of the great anti-war movies, a sub-genre Stanley Kubrick would return to time and again over the course of his career. With its subtle variations in tone and temperament, Paths of Glory evokes a broad spectrum of emotions in its relatively sparse running time, ranging from ridicule and amusement to suspense, anger, sorrow and, ultimately, a glimpse of hope. This is certainly one of Kubrick's most economical movies, and it's remarkably well-made. Every scene and segment is tight, telling and technically proficient. Kubrick creates realistic scenes of battle with very simple means and is able to make the more academic subject matter in the second half of the film come alive and feel palpable, well helped by a passionate Kirk Douglas. Paths of Glory was a bold film, aesthetically and artistically. And like most of Kubrick's films, it holds up remarkably well. It's still one of his best. The evocative score is by Gerald Fried.