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Paths of Glory (1957)



Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 33,677

My Rating

Movie Info

When soldiers in World War I refuse to continue with an impossible attack, their superior officers decide to make an example of them.

May 15, 2001

United Artists

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All Critics (51) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (3) | DVD (11)

More than 20 years after Mr. Cobb's novel was first published, Mr. Kubrick reminded us that human folly is rarely checked for long. A half-century on, he is still right.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kirk Douglas gives one of his finest performances as the intelligent and courageous Col. Dax.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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The sardonic rhetoric may be laid on a little heavily at times, but the movie is blunt and scornfully brilliant.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
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While the subject is well handled and enacted in a series of outstanding characterizations, it seems dated and makes for grim screen fare.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (7)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This masterpiece still packs a wallop, though nothing in it is as simple as it may first appear; audiences are still arguing about the final sequence, which has been characterized as everything from a sentimental cop-out to the ultimate cynical twist.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The final scene, in which Kubrick presents close-ups of soldiers watching a captured German girl being forced to sing for their pleasure is nothing short of masterful.

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

A reminder both of [Kubrick's] extraordinary formal virtuosity and his powers as a satirist.

May 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Independent

Kirk Douglas and Timothy Carey are outstanding among the troops on the front line, while Kubrick's relentlessly probing camera offers constant evidence of a film-maker at the height of his powers.

May 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

It is arguably the best film about the first world war, and still has a reasonable claim to being Stanley Kubrick's best film.

May 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian

Some kind of corrupted masterpiece.

May 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

The scenes of trench warfare are frighteningly vivid, and Kirk Douglas gives a searing performance as the officer assigned to the hopeless task of defending the three men.

April 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

You can sense Kubrick stretching his cinematic wings in this prime slice of Hollywood liberalism.

March 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian

profound, poignant, and eloquent

January 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Stanley Kubrick often spoke out against war in his film, using violence as a weapon against the audience's sensibilities. Never was he more convincing as here.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

watching it is to watch the birth of the one of the greatest filmmakers of the second half of the 20th century

October 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

For all its chilly symmetry and beauty, the sheer injustice shown will have your pulse racing.

October 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Stanley Kubrick's best meditation on war (yes, Full Metal Jacket fans, you heard me).

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source:

Truly a Kubrick classic with strong Kirk Douglas performance.

January 21, 2007
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

Working with a big budget for the first time, Kubrick superbly marshals the battle scenes. But the behind-the-scenes military wrangling seems so regimented and preordained that there's not much left to respond to.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Star Kirk Douglas used to say he didn't have to wait 50 years to know that Paths Of Glory would 'always be good.' He was right.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Paths of Glory

Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory is a classic film dealing with a different side of war, this is an anti war picture, and the way Kubrick tackles the subject is very well done, and he crafts a solid war drama that is thoroughly engaging from start to finish. The film boasts impressive performance, especially from Kirk Douglas. This is a classic antiwar picture, one that showcases Kubrick's directorial style perfectly, and he directs a simple, yet very effective story, which in turn just adds more depth to the tone of the film. Stanley Kubrick was a great filmmaker, and with Paths of Glory he delivers a classic that works very well because the story is simple, but it discusses an important issue, and that's usually what makes for a truly memorable and engrossing film to watch. Paths of Glory is a must watch for Kubrick fans, especially genre fans, and this is well paced affair, that is never dull, tedious or too long. The Length of the film is just right, and like I said, the film evokes important issues, and is a powerful film going experience, one that only Stanley Kubrick could have delivered, and this is a fine film that would show hints of what was to follow in his later work. Kubrick always made films that stood out cause of their subjects, and his work pushed boundaries and with Paths of Glory, this is a film that is significant in its message, and it's a film that you soon won't forget because not only is the story very good, but the acting is exceptional as well. Paths of Glory is a near perfect affair that ranks among the directors finest works.
May 19, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

April 23, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Paths of Glory is rightfully thought of as one of the greatest anti-war films ever made. Stanley Kubrick's simplistic but beautiful direction is perfectly suited to getting the heart of the story across. It is a niggle that everyone is American in this 'French film' but it is a shame to miss the point because one can't see beyond it. It's as important today as it has ever been and it is as powerful.
December 31, 2013

Super Reviewer

After a self-serving general sends a battalion on a suicide mission, a colonel defends three soldiers accused of cowardice during the First World War.
Stanley Kubrick, the genius behind Full Metal Jacket, directs another fantastic war film. Though Paths of Glory is more character-based than Full Metal Jacket, the battle sequences are nonetheless incredibly choreographed and compelling. The film slows down once it gets to the trial, and it is then that questions of honor and integrity in the face of extraordinary circumstances emerge as the film's primary themes. The characters become types, but that doesn't stop Kubrick from being able to get us to sympathize with their plights. Colonel Dax, especially, becomes an interesting character because he's forced to face his own failures and his ability to define himself erodes. Kirk Douglas captures these nuances, and Adolphe Menjou makes a great villain.
Overall, this is one of Kubrick's finest films.
December 10, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

    1. Gen. Mireau: The men died wonderfully.
    – Submitted by Bill W (22 months ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Wege zum Ruhm (DE)
  • Paths of Glory (1957) (CA)
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