Cedar overcomes the generic characters and formulaic "which innocent will die next in an ironic twist" plotting by his attention to detail.
| Original Score: 3/5
The soldiers feel stuck and so do we.
| Original Score: 2/4
Powerful portrait of an officer and his soldiers facing up to what it means to serve in an army of a fallible, democratic country that spins an explosive pyrrhic victory
| Original Score: 10/10
It doesn't come like a full-length, filmed history lesson at all. In fact, it's a pretty fascinating, sometimes disturbing tale about the emotional and physical toll of combat.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Engaging war drama that subtly mixes in several different genres to intriguing effect, though it occasionally relies too heavily on cliches.
Clearly something has gone MIA in moving from the small pictures into a cohesive big one.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
As long as soldiers have gone into battle they have struggled with the rightness of their actions and their purpose in the field -- no matter how firm their resolve at the outset.
| Original Score: 3/4
The film is slow and rather too long (and a bit preachy), but always intense, and its intentions are certainly clear.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
[A] blistering antiwar film.
In the end [it] isn't about victory or defeat... It's about surviving another day, doing one's job, and getting back to family.
Even if they do finally get to leave, the film's dispiriting message seems to tell us, in eight centuries there will probably be a new set of soldiers guarding Beaufort.
The camera never leaves the beleaguered compound, and Beaufort itself becomes a character in the story, a surrealistic zone of tunnels, bunkers and sandbags, about as far from the possibility of heroism as possible.
It makes an urgent case for the futility of most wars, which serve immediate political goals that afterward don't seem terribly important.
Culturally specific war movie leaves non-Israelis wondering what we missed
This Oscar-nominated drama makes excellent use of its location and ensemble cast.
A fine war picture, one that spotlights war's wastefulness and futility, and humanizes its soldier characters.
| Original Score: B+
[Director Joseph] Cedar gives a surreal, dreamlike quality to many scenes, underscoring the soldiers' isolation.
A war drama about waiting, and the director, Joseph Cedar, does a terrific job hanging danger and crushing tedium in the air, side by side.
Despite the unremitting focus on the claustrophobia of outpost life, it's hard to ignore the by-now hoary tropes of the war movie with which Cedar litters his screenplay.
An achingly honest account of the daily fears faced by soldiers.
| Original Score: 4/5