DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Sean Ellis
Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy, Brian Caspe
Writing Credits:
Sean Ellis, Anthony Frewin

A WWII mission called Operation Anthropoid attempts to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 121 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 11/1/2016

• “Making of Anthropoid” Featurette
• Storyboard to Film Comparisons
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Anthropoid [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 30, 2023)

Given its title, one might expect 2016’s Anthropoid to offer a sci-fi tale. Instead, it comes from a true story that looks at an event during World War II.

Set in 1942, Nazi Germany occupies Czechoslovakia. SS General Reinhard Heydrich (Detlef Bothe) rules the land with a brutal hand.

Not content to swallow this state of affairs, the Czech government in exile sends soldiers Jozef Gabcík (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Jamie Dornan) to alter the situation. They conduct “Operation Anthropoid”, which intends the assassination of Heydrich.

Do they succeed? Obviously that exists as a matter of historical record so I don’t know if it would count as a spoiler to relate Heydrich’s fate.

However, because I like to avoid information that might damage a viewer’s screening of a film, I’ll leave this matter undiscussed. I wish I’d gone into Anthropoid without historical foreknowledge, as awareness of the end result hampers enjoyment of the film.

Of course, movies with “known conclusions” can still work despite that audience awareness. As I often note, 1995’s Apollo 13 remains tense and tight even when we know what will happen.

Also, even if the viewer understands the overall result of Operation Anthropoid, it seems much less likely folks will be aware of the fates suffered by the film’s characters. Succeed or fail, will Jozef, Jan and others they involve survive?

No spoilers there, of course, but the bigger question for me turned into whether I would care what happened to these people. Yeah, I did in an abstract way, but the film fails to develop them in an especially compelling manner.

We get the older, more cynical Josef and the younger, more naïve Jan. Neither ever seems more three-dimensional than that, and the supporting roles receive even less room to make an impact.

I do like that Antropoid shows the downside to the operation. As I went into the movie, I assumed it would treat the Czech resistance as wholly heroic and noble.

Which it essentially does, as the film rarely depicts them as anything other than patriots. However, the movie as a whole shows that maybe this endeavor wasn’t the best idea.

Again: no spoilers, other than to note that the assassination attempt occurs about halfway into Anthropoid. That comes as a surprise, for I suspect most viewers expect the story to climax with this event.

Instead, nearly half of the film involves the aftermath of the violence. Some of this shows the lead characters’ basic attempts at survival, but we also see how all this affects the population as a whole.

To some degree, though perhaps not enough in the long run. The film’s second half really does mainly concentrate on what happens to the various participants, so we don’t get a great sense of other ramifications.

I get that as a dramatic decision, but it tends to make the movie feel more one-sided than it should. As I noted, this assassination attempt probably wasn’t the greatest idea, so while I respect that Anthropoid reflects some of the fallout, it still sticks with our “heroes” to the exclusion of most else.

I find the story at the heart of Anthropoid to show intrigue, and the movie itself offers some quality elements. In the end, however, it lacks the ability to turn into anything genuinely memorable or impactful.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Anthropoid appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a generally positive presentation, though not a stellar one.

That said, I suspect the filmmakers intended for the movie to offer a less-than-stellar visual package. Anthropoid came with a “vintage” feel that didn’t appear to want to become objectively great-looking.

Sharpness was fine overall. Some softness crept in at times – again, probably intentionally – and the movie rarely betrayed terrific delineation, but definition felt more than adequate.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. The film opted for unusually heavy grain – again, likely a stylistic choice – but lacked print flaws.

Colors leaned heavy toward an amber/sepia vibe, along with some chilly blues at times. The low-key hues came across as intended.

Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows offered appealing clarity. Nothing here turned into a visual showcase, but the disc seemed to reproduce the image as intended.

As for the movie’s DTS—HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it popped to life mainly when some violent sequences arose. Because they occurred fairly infrequently, much of the movie stayed with general ambience.

That worked fine, as the mix came with a reasonable sense of atmosphere, and the low-key score offered nice spread. When the more active scenes happened, they used the spectrum in an involving manner as well.

Audio quality satisfied, with concise, natural speech. Music felt full and rich.

Effects delivered good accuracy and boasted nice heft during those occasional louder moments. Like the picture, nothing here dazzled but the image suited the story.

The Making of Anthropoid runs 30 minutes, 15 seconds. It brings comments from producers Pete Shilaimon, Mickey Liddell and Krystof Mucha, WWII veteran Generalmajor Jarosloav Klemes, executive producer David Ondricek, production designer Morgan Kennedy, costume designer Josef Cechota, Executive VFX producer Stephen Elson, and actors Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan, Alena Mihulová, Anna Geislerová, Mish Boyko, Marcin Dorocinski, Charlotte Le Bon, and Jirí Simek.

“Making” covers the movie’s development, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, effects, photography, and writer/director Sean Ellis’s impact on the production.

That sounds like a fine array of topics, and the program includes a decent collection of notes. However, too much of it sticks with praise for the project and all involved, so it doesn’t fill its 30 minutes especially well.

We also film three Storyboard to Film Comparison segments. All together, these fill 15 minutes, 11 seconds.

Instead of the traditional sketched storyboards, these show action figures filmed to demonstrate what the director wanted. This compilation becomes a fun way to see this planning work.

The disc opens with ads for Denial, Jason Bourne, Bleed for This, Kubo and the Two Strings, Bad Moms, Snowden and Hard Target 2.

Previews adds promos for Danny Collins, Eye In the Sky, I’ll See You In My Dreams, Pawn Sacrifice and Trumbo. No trailer for Anthropoid appears here.

Despite a core story that seems ripe for dramatic exploration, Anthropoid only occasionally springs to life. It simply never quite achieves the drama it aims to deliver. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio as well as a few bonus features. Antropoid represents a fascinating historical episode but doesn’t get there as a film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main