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Review: Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Master of the Air’ Is Inspiring In More Ways Than One

Review: Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Master of the Air’ Is Inspiring In More Ways Than One

A remarkable new series has taken flight on Apple TV+.

Based on Donald L. Miller’s book of the same name, Masters of the Air, the latest miniseries from award-winning duo Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, follows the harrowing and heroic tales of the 100th Bomb Group of the United States Army Air Forces, men who took to the skies in B-17 Flying Fortresses to bring the fight to Nazi German during World War II. With a narrative that captures both the epic scale of their missions and the intimate struggles of individuals, the series weaves a tale of bravery, sacrifice, and the bonds formed in the crucible of war.

The cast, led by Austin Butler as Major Gale “Buck” Cleven and Callum Turner as Major John “Bucky” Egan, delivers performances that are as compelling as they are heartbreaking. Egan, a fiery leader driven by a fierce desire to make a difference, and Cleven, the calm and collected counterbalance, anchor the series with their dynamic relationship. Their portrayal of friendship, leadership and the toll of command adds depth to the high-stakes drama unfolding in the air and on the ground.

But it’s not just the exciting aerial sequences that capture our attention — although, to be clear, those are both technically astonishing and emotionally gripping. Rather, it’s the unwavering commitment to humanizing the soldiers who fought with conviction. The series doesn’t shy away from the grim realities of war, depicting both the physical and psychological scars carried by those who survive. It’s a poignant reminder of the cost of freedom and the valor of those who pay its price.

The series also highlights the soldiers’ battle with their faith, resilience and redemption. Amidst the chaos of war, the airmen lean on God and one another as they engage in physical and emotional battles. Through it all, the series is an often-needed reminder that even in the darkest times, the human spirit can find light.

The series’ sixth episode premieres Feb. 23 on Apple TV+.

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