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La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion) Reviews

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Senses of Cinema

La Grande Illusion is a sublimely poignant and lucidly insightful commentary on the social legacy of the Great War in Europe.

Full Review Source: Senses of Cinema

February 8, 2012

Total Film

Poetically photographed and poignantly performed, this is a film rich in humour and, above all, humanity towards its characters. Even 60 years on, it remains deeply moving.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 4/5

February 8, 2012
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's still one of the key humanist expressions to be found in movies: sad, funny, exalting, and glorious.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

February 8, 2012
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's an excellent film, with Renoir's usual looping line and deft shifts of tone, though today the balance of critical opinion has shifted in favor of the greater darkness and filigree of The Rules of the Game.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

February 8, 2012


Another Renoir masterpiece, rightfully ensconced nearly the tops of many lists of the greatest films ever.

Full Review Source: Film4 | Original Score: 4.5/5

February 8, 2012
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An artistically masterful feature, the picture breathes the intimate life of warriors on both sides during the [First] World War.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 26, 2009
Emanuel Levy

Among many distinctions, Jean Renoir's anti-war masterpiece, made two years befor WWII, was the first foreign-language film to be nominated for legit Oscar--Orson Welles said that if he had to choose one great film, it would be Renoir's.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A

February 5, 2008
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film

The script sears like a whip-crack, with one-liners peppering the action, yet never getting in the way of the film's emotional depth.

Full Review Source: Eye for Film | Original Score: 5/5

June 25, 2007
Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly

One of the greatest anti-war films ever

| Original Score: 5/5

June 12, 2007
Steve Crum
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

Superb Renoir work should be seen by all.

| Original Score: 5/5

November 30, 2006
Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Renoir films have a way of talking about one thing while being about another.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Cole Smithey


| Original Score: 5/5

October 27, 2005
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Perhaps the greatest anti-war film ever made.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A+

April 16, 2005
Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks

You don't know war films can be like this until you see it: elegant, humane, seriocomic, deeply wounded, with a sublime regard for life that exceeds all borders.

| Original Score: 5/5

July 27, 2004
John Esther
Pasadena Weekly

One of the greatest films of all time.

| Original Score: 5/5

August 22, 2003
Frank S. Nugent
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Renoir has created a strange and interesting film, but he owes much to his cast.

| Original Score: 3/5

June 12, 2003
Beth Accomando

La Grande Illusion, even after more than a half a century, is still a phenomenal work of art-- elegant, eloquent and powerfully moving.'

Full Review | Original Score: 10/10

March 30, 2003
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium

Others cite The Rules of the Game, but I think this is Renoir's best work.

| Original Score: 5/5

February 24, 2003
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Achieves that rare distinction of having a precise vision of an earlier time, making that vision relevant to its own time, and remaining strangely contemporary in any age.

Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Original Score: 5/5

October 17, 2002
William Arnold
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Its story is so perfectly (and economically) told, its characters are so rich, human and civilized, and its dialogue so intelligent and revealing that the film wraps a spell around you that's hard to describe but impossible to forget.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: A

April 3, 2002
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