Of the two user reviews I see here, I see an obvious divide not on the actual movie but on politics. Whether it be one user gushing that the battle scenes are perfect (they are not) or another incorrectly saying the modern Ukrainian army's uniform is "second-hand American" (anyone with eyes knows that the Ukrainian pattern is not the same as the American ACU pattern). I will say this and be done with it: Yes, it is obvious this movie has a very, very specific leaning to what it wants to make you feel. Given modern events it is not and should not be surprising. If you decided to watch a Ukrainian-made film about a time in history Ukrainian soldiers boldly laid down their lives against an overwhelming enemy and think that parallel message won't be there, you are fooling yourself. Now enough of the politics, onto the review.
Kruty 1918 is not an amazing, blockbuster movie. It is also not an absolutely terrible one. If you go in expecting Hollywood levels of acting, effects, and writing, you will be let down.
The movie follows a rather easy-to-forget cast of young student cadets who join an auxillary regiment to fight for the newly formed Ukrainian People's Republic against the Bolshevik Red Army forces. The main character is the son of one of the young nation's top generals, followed by his traitorous older brother (who is jealous over a love interest),and some other students. The characters were honestly poorly developed, and the one who stuck out the most was the Russian general antagonist. This is where the movie lost me if anything, because the Red Army general is written out like a cliche sociopathic sadist. They do not waste a moment to paint the picture that the Russians are led by a drugged-up, morbidly eccentric weirdo. It is very hard to take the movie seriously at that point.
Story-wise I felt there was a big lead up to the titular battle, only for it to feel like a sad balloon slowly being deflated. The battle effects were underwhelming, and ultimately it was hard to understand how the battle was significant at all the way it was portrayed. Meanwhile in the background story, the protagonist's brother is doing spywork for the Russians... because he's upset the girl he likes likes his brother more? I never truly understood that plot point.
There are deaths that I know the movie wants me to feel emotional about, but I simply can't. The characters are just too underdeveloped. Even the reactions by other characters when one dies, and it's clear we're supposed to feel something, seem almost comical. "Oh dear, Oleksandr is dead. Oh well."
Overall, the movie by American standards is not good. However for something out of a place like Ukraine, it's not bad. While the heavy national overtones are not subtle in the movie, and honestly greatly take away from it, one should not go into this movie expecting different. That being said, this movie did make me aware of some complicated history of Ukraine I didn't know about before and made me do some more personal research.
I say give the movie a shot, but just know what you'll be getting into.