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Kelly's Heroes (1970)


Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 16
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 3
Fresh: 1
Rotten: 2


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 30,766



Movie Info

Like M*A*S*H and Catch-22, both released the same year, this military comedy takes place in an earlier war but is really a thinly disguised treatise on the modern-day insanity and avariciousness then unfolding in Vietnam. Clint Eastwood stars as Kelly, a former lieutenant whose illusions about the glory of war, if he has any, are lost when he is busted in rank for following some poorly considered orders in World War II France. After capturing a friendly German officer, Kelly learns the … More

PG (N/A)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Troy Kennedy Martin , Albert Espinosa , Pau Freixas
In Theaters:
Aug 1, 2000


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Critic Reviews for Kelly's Heroes

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (4) | DVD (10)

An attempt to blend the war epic and the caper film that doesn't quite come off.

Full Review… | November 19, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Nearly satirical in its overall effect, plot caroms between cliche dogface antics, detailed and gratuitous violence, caper melodramatics, and outrageous anachronism.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Interesting only in so far as it reveals Eastwood's nonchalant attitude to the blockbuster.

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

The action is flashy and intermittent, deliberately wallowing in a mire of revisionist grot, churned up vistas of European mud. Time has made it more intuitive and caustic a film, than its daft reputation might suggest.

Full Review… | November 19, 2013
Empire Magazine

A terrific guys-on-a-mission movie.

Full Review… | November 19, 2013

This humorous, lively, and entertaining picture could be described as a caper film set against a WW II backdrop.

Full Review… | November 19, 2013
TV Guide's Movie Guide

...the filmmakers clearly intended the movie to be a carefree caper, and if one views it that way, it can pass an entertaining few hours.

Full Review… | July 1, 2010
Movie Metropolis

A strange but mostly satisfying hybrid of WWII actioner and anti-war satire... [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | June 6, 2010
Groucho Reviews

Much fun amongst WWII w/Eastwood, Savalas, Sutherland, and Rickles.

February 19, 2008

It was too crudely done to have much effect as satire.

Full Review… | December 31, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Funny and entertaining

May 24, 2005

Isn't really about the Second World War, but rather about the senselessness of the Vietnam War . . .

Full Review… | March 15, 2004

Very entertaining war movie with just the right touch of Vietnam-era cynicism

November 6, 2003
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

One of the best WWII films ever made.

August 8, 2002
IGN Movies

The bastard father of Three Kings

July 26, 2002
Hot Button

Unclear notions of heroism and crime ... packaged as escapist, mainstream entertainment

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for Kelly's Heroes

A motley collection of American GIs hatch a scheme to steal $16 million in gold bullion from a bank behind the German lines. Very much a product of the wave of anti-Vietnam films of the time, Kelly's Heroes has more in common with the likes of Catch 22 and MASH (both released the same year) than your average gung ho WWII movie. Clint Eastwood at his prime heads up a brilliant cast of offbeat hustlers and crackpots including Telly Savalas as a hard nosed sergeant and the pick of them all, Donald Sutherland, as a hilariously anachronistic hippy tank commander who goes into battle bearing country & western and paint balls. The plot is a marriage of The Dirty Dozen and The Italian Job and is never afraid to chop and change genres; the war elements providing the action and pyrotechnics and the heist the quirky characters and comedy, all ending up in an amusing homage to Sergio Leone as Clint enters into a western showdown with a Tiger tank. It's a massive XY pleaser and as such its appeal may be lost on the female population but it was one of my favourites as a boy and has lost none of its appeal after all these years. Groovy, baby.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


This military comedy about the hunt for millions of dollars in gold bars makes war look more like an adventure than an actual threat. Sure, people die and there is plenty of suspense, but the overall mood of the film is rather cheerful. That's mostly thanks to a motley cast, including tongue-tied Eastwood, grumpy Savalas and crazy Sutherland. Especially the final taking of the little town's bank is excellently filmed and pretty enthralling. A few stabs at the silliness of military ranks and command chains are also thrown into the mix. A very entertaining caper adventure with pretty impressive action scenes and a very lovable solution. It's particularly refreshing and are in WW2 films that a German opponent would listen to reason.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer


Kelly's Heroes is an overrated movie in my opinion. I like Donald Sutherland a lot and I hadn't seen a movie in which I didn't like him until now. His character is annoying and really ruined the movie for me. It wasn't just him though. I hated Don Rickles and Carroll O'Connor too. I didn't find this movie funny at all and it ran on way too long for what it was. I did really like the minefield scene though. It was the one part of the movie that was actually entertaining and gave me hope for the rest of the movie. One of the few Eastwood movies I didn't care for.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer


A bunch of crackpot soldiers, tired of war, sets off to what seems to be an impossible gold hunt. Shot in the background of WW2, this is a part action, part black comedy movie, not to mention an anti-war satire. Despite Clint Eastwood's presence, the man who steals the show is Donald Sutherland as the Hippie mercenary, Oddball.

Sajin P A

Super Reviewer

Kelly's Heroes Quotes

Crap Game:
Ya make a DEAL!
Big Joe:
What kind of a deal?
Crap Game:
– Submitted by Jack H (2 years ago)
But for 1.6 million dollars, we could become heroes for three days.
Why don't you say something rightous or hopeful for a change? [to Moriarity]
Crap! [to Oddball]
Big Joe:
Well then, why the hell aren't you up there helping them? [fix the tank]
[answers] I only ride em I don't know what makes em work.
– Submitted by rick b (2 years ago)
I'm grabbing some waves.
– Submitted by Tim R (2 years ago)
Crap Game:
[into field phone] Hogan? Yeah, it's me. Listen... I gotta favor to ask ya. Will you quit cryin... I haven't even asked ya yet! What the Hell's the matter with you?
– Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
Big Joe:
[shouting to the captured German Colonel] Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining. And the only good thing to say about the weather: it keeps our air corps from blowing us all to Hell because its too lousy to fly, versteh?
Col. Dankhopf:
[he understands] Ja, ja, versteh.
Big Joe:
– Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
Big Joe:
[shouting in the radio] Look, Mulligan! I don't think I'm getting through to you! You're dropping your damn barrage on our position! The reason you can't hear me is because you're firing your mortars at your end, and they're dropping here, on our end! No, the Krauts are not here! We're here! Mulligan, your bombs are coming down on our head! I don't know where the Krauts are! Just lift your goddamn barrage! Over!
– Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)

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