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M*A*S*H (1970)

tomatometer

88

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 52,333

My Rating

Movie Info

Although he was not the first choice to direct it, the hit black comedy MASH established Robert Altman as one of the leading figures of Hollywood's 1970s generation of innovative and irreverent young filmmakers. Scripted by Hollywood veteran Ring Lardner, Jr., this war comedy details the exploits of military doctors and nurses at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in the Korean War. Between exceptionally gory hospital shifts and countless rounds of martinis, wisecracking surgeons Hawkeye Pierce

PG,

Classics, Comedy

Ring Lardner

Jan 8, 2002

20th Century Fox

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September 20, 2013:
Hit Movie Songs from the 1970s
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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (4) | DVD (32)

For me, M*A*S*H contains as much depression as humor.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's the first real film of the 1970s.

July 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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This is still watchable for the verve of the ensemble acting and dovetailing direction, but some of the crassness leaves a sour aftertaste.

June 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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In the end M.A.S.H. succeeds, in spite of its glaring faults.

June 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
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It shows Altman's stylistic signature in embryonic form.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the reasons M*A*S*H is so funny is that it's so desperate.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

That it's is so much of its moment doesn't mean that it's aged poorly... it's brash enough and inventive enough to still feel like a work of radicalism, more than 40 years on,

August 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

[VIDEO ESSAY] "M*A*S*H" ruthlessly satirizes the hypocritical U.S. military, and de facto the U.S. Government, for its systemic hypocrisies and arbitrary means of doling out Draconian punishments to friends and foe alike.

August 26, 2012 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Rollicking, biting, satirical classic is so 1970.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Altman chronicles the sardonic wasteland with a camera that's always in the wrong place at the right time

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

A good dint lower than its reputation, more so if you look at it not as one of the seminal 1970s films but instead as the first chapter from the finest filmmaking career spent examining the American mystique.

September 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Impudent and bold, M.A.S.H., Altman's most commercial film, satirizes the glorification of war, military bureaucracy, social hypocrisy, repressed sexuality and other norms than have lost their validity.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A black comedy that rings hollow today.

April 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Altman boiled away the muddled meat of literary pretension intended to smokescreen the essence of war: blood on the one side and semen on the other.

July 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

A battle against the idea that 'a war movie' had to be a serious affair.

April 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

If its bite and sass have diminished for today's new audiences ... consider that a testimony to the attitude, style, and technique it pioneered and infused into American popular movies.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com
DVDJournal.com

One of Altman's bona-fide masterpieces. Even better than the subsequent TV show. (Easily.)

April 3, 2005
eFilmCritic.com

Altman's best film and most influential.

January 5, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

Robert Altman's biggest success to date is also one of his least interesting films.

November 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Ahead of its time and still one of the most effectively subversive comedies ever to emerge from a major studio.

January 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for M*A*S*H

While certainly the humor is dated, M*A*S*H is still witty and smart, and has an episodic format that works well.
March 21, 2014
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

The staff of a mobile army surgical hospital work and play near the front lines of the Korean war. Robert Altman's satire was released just as the tide of public opinion had began to turn against America's presence in Vietnam and is clearly an analogy for the war, but unlike most other stories rooted in that particular conflict, M*A*S*H doesn't have any real moral message or even plot to get your teeth into. It's a loose collection of sketches in which double act Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland crack wise, play practical jokes, football and golf in between stints in surgery. And that's it. It's never even particularly funny; more mildly amusing than laugh out loud funny (although Roger Bowen's distinctly unmilitary camp commander did raise a few chuckles from me) but it is always entertaining. Successful enough to spawn a long running TV sitcom, M*A*S*H is a fun if slight diversion that'll amuse but never change anyone's world.
March 15, 2012
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

I just don't get what was so great about M*A*S*H*. Maybe satire was not common at the time, and maybe subverting the army and various wars wasn't either. OK. But for a film to be so directionless - and frankly, unfunny - was disheartening. Pointless escapade after pointless escapade, and no real purpose for them revealed in the end. I'll give credit to the acting, though, and to Altman for tipping his hand early with the advertisements over the loudspeaker about the empty, fun war movies the soldiers in theatre were expected to watch. Juxtaposing the humourous situations with the hospital scenes helped the film invoke some gallows humour, except for the fact that it wasn't particularly funny: oooh, we pulled down the tarp and exposed the hot girl; wow, we played golf and scammed a trip to Tokyo. These war stories are the stuff of real life, I'm sure, but the movie itself is as boring as those stories, told by someone with no real plot in mind, to someone who wasn't there. The audience isn't really in on this joke at anytime, and as a war movie, it pretty much ignores the war. Huge letdown; this is apparently a seminal American film, but there was nothing here for me.
January 19, 2012
danperry17

Super Reviewer

A classic hilarious example of quality black comedy. M*a*s*h has so many funny quotes and characters that it'll make you laugh more and more upon multiple viewings. Some jokes of which there are very few are however hit and miss.
November 6, 2011
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

    1. Maj. Hot Lips: Oh, Frank, my lips are hot. Kiss my hot lips.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Sgt. Gorman: Goddamn army. Goddamn army. Goddamn army jeep.
    – Submitted by Forrest P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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