Catch-22 (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Catch-22 (1970)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Joseph Heller's scathing satire is adapted to the screen by Buck Henry and bitingly directed by Mike Nichols. Alan Arkin is terminally mordant as Yossarian, stationed on a Mediterranean island during World War II, who wants to be labeled unfit for duty so that he doesn't have a chance to fly a bomber and get killed. While Yossarian is trying to figure out a way to keep from getting killed, Colonel Cathcart (Martin Balsam) is equally busy increasing the missions because he wants to have an article written about himself in The Saturday Evening Post. This increased pressure on the men result in the soldiers acting extremely erratic in their behavior. In the end, Yossarian must decide whether to stick out a war in which all the soldiers have become madmen or abandon his efforts to be declared unfit for flying and simply go AWOL.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Joseph Heller, Buck Henry
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 22, 2001
Paramount Home Video


Alan Arkin
as Capt. John Yossarian
Martin Balsam
as Col. Cathcart
Richard Benjamin
as Maj. Danby
Jack Gilford
as Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka
Art Garfunkel
as Capt. Nately
Bob Newhart
as Maj. Major
Anthony Perkins
as Chaplain Capt. A.T. ...
Paula Prentiss
as Nurse Duckett
Martin Sheen
as Lt. Dobbs
Jon Voight
as Milo Minderbinder
Orson Welles
as Gen. Dreedle
Seth Allen
as Hungry Joe
Bob Balaban
as Capt. Orr
Susanne Benton
as Gen. Dreedle's WAC
Peter Bonerz
as Capt. McWatt
Norman Fell
as Sgt. Towser
Buck Henry
as Lt. Col. Korn
Austin Pendleton
as Col. Moodus
Marcel Dalio
as Old Man
Evi Maltagliati
as Old Woman
Liam Dunn
as Father
Jon Korkes
as Snowden
Gina Rovere
as Nately's Girl
John Brent
as Cathcart's Reception...
Phil Roth
as Doctor
Jack Riley
as Doctor
Wendy D'Olive
as Aardvark's Girl
Felice Orlandi
as Man in Black
Alan Alda
as Extra
Collin Wilcox-Horne
as Nurse Cramer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Catch-22

Critic Reviews for Catch-22

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (4)

The film is cynical and bitterly cold. Nichols has hit one out of three virtues.

Full Review… | November 23, 2014
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Though the vertiginously absurdist logic of the book is hopelessly fractured, some of it does filter through (the mostly superb performances are a great help).

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Nichols has done the same thing in "Catch-22" that he did in "The Graduate." He's given us a funny beginning, then switched tones and gone serious.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Quite simply, the best American film I've seen this year.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

If you liked M*A*S*H, You'll love this!

October 26, 2008
Tsunami Magazine

What a strange and mesmerizing folly.

Full Review… | October 13, 2008

Audience Reviews for Catch-22


I have not read the book, which seems to be a prerequisite for enjoying this movie, which I do, immensely

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


Very good antiwar dark comedy that is a bit underrated. Many reviews that I've read make this as one of the worst war films ever made. Although far from perfect, this is a very good film that is held together by a great cast of actors. This is one of those films that have a darkly humorous tone and sometimes you don't know when to laugh because of its sometimes serious content. Overall the film is pretty laid back in the sense that the jokes are good, and it evens out the serious aspect of the film. I feel that this is an underrated film and it definitely is much better than what people have said it was. The script is terrific and effective directing by Mike Nichols make this a terrific film worth seeing if you love the war film genre. For what it is, it manages to be entertaining, and fun and have an anti war message. Catch-22 is a well acted picture that balances satire and serious overtones perfectly. By the film's conclusion things become a tad more insane and the comic relief is stripped away and the dramatic angle of the plot take over. Catch --22 is a well crafted picture that resonates with its message. The cast is wonderful, and each brings something unique to the screen which makes this film standout as a terrific satire of war. With a great performance from its lead actor, this is a must see picture for those wanting to watch something different in the war genre. Lots of fun from start to finish, this a wonderful film despite its imperfections.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

An terrific surrealist dark antiwar satire.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Catch-22 Quotes

– Submitted by Kia M (21 months ago)
– Submitted by Kia M (21 months ago)
– Submitted by Kia M (21 months ago)
– Submitted by Kia M (21 months ago)

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