As other reviewers have mentioned already, this production is flat, uninspiring, and a little heavy on the propaganda. Seen through the eyes of a platoon of Russian soldiers set on defending Stalingrad at all costs, this story quickly becomes a patchwork of ill-conceived features that only undermine the real importance of this tragic event. Sensationalized combat scenes meant to appeal to those who like playing video games give it an air of unreality; a thinly veiled attempt to lionize Russian defenders creates characters that talk and act like automatons; and a couple of quirky features such as the absence of subtitles and the occasional annoying monotone voice of a narrator to move things along. It is obvious that too much has been done to fix up this movie for the North American market. One thing in its favour, however, is that it does not let up when it comes to presenting this epic battle in all its mindless fury. In the end, the viewer is left with a collection of images that are supposed to explain that humanity can co-exist with, and even triumph over, savagery in war. The problem here is that the story is not very compelling because the main characters are not allowed to be themselves; they all seem to be operating according to a very controlled script: kill or be killed.