• Released
  • October 12, 2012
  • (NY, LA)
  • PG-13 , 1 hr 39 min
  • Art House/Foreign
    Drama
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75

Washington Post

By Michael O'Sullivan
Moving without being melodramatic, War of the Buttons is a tale of the worst -- and the best -- that people of all ages are capable of.
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60

NPR

By Ella Taylor
War of the Buttons deftly folds France's unsavory collusions into a rather more rousing tale of resistance. I don't doubt that some of these heroics happened. But the way they're framed conveniently takes the edge off saying sorry.
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50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Amy Biancolli
To be fair, War of the Buttons is a film with a modest agenda. It does not attempt to provide a complete or even vaguely realistic depiction of the rural French resistance in the endgame to World War II. Instead, it provides a fable.
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50

Boston Globe

By Tom Russo
But when there's such a lighthearted, boys-at-play manner about the story's established aspects, it creates an odd disconnect from the World War II tolerance lessons that the filmmakers seek to add. War and persecution are bad, kids - except when it's all in good fun.
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50

Portland Oregonian

By Marc Mohan
War of the Buttons means well. But ultimately there's only marginally more edge to this treatment of World War II than there is to the average episode of "Hogan's Heroes."
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50

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joe Williams
War of the Buttons is handsomely crafted and it's touting tolerance, but as long as we open the gates to the Trojan horse of historical simplification, there's a danger that Hollywood could attack us with "The Goonies Go to the Gulag." Be vigilant!
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40

Arizona Republic

For a movie that aspires to be heartwarming, it sure does inspire a lot of eye rolling.
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25

New York Post

By Kyle Smith
The parallels between the kids' war and the real one are made far too obvious by Christophe Barratier, who made the equally treacly "The Chorus" and infests the movie with nonstop musical goo.
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20

Time Out New York

That War of the Buttons shows no insight into how a nation's will could be so easily subdued is disappointing; that it shows no curiosity on the subject is inexcusable.
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12

Slant Magazine

By the time the drama is wrapped up with a bow and every child has learned a valuable life lesson, even the gap-toothed little tyke there solely for comic relief has begun to grate.
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40 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.