Rare it is that a film can have such great potential and completely blow it. It's hard to say what did this film in: the cinematography was very good, the cast good, the aesthetic vibe of Stalingrad was there. Terrible things included:
* political commentary: yes, we know the Soviet system sucked but boring and bloodless political speeches at inappropriate times does not move the story.
* unlikely romance: sure, we want the lonesome, hickish sniper to get the girl, but is it likely?
* stereotyping of Germans and a complete under-utilization of Ed Harris' range in the film (no pun intended)
* stereotyping of Russians and an under-appreciation for the role that vodka played in the defence of Stalingrad (a sober look at history will confirm what I'm saying...)