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Waltz with Bashir (2008)



Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 143
Fresh: 137 | Rotten: 6

A wholly innovative, original, and vital history lesson, with pioneering animation, Waltz With Bashir delivers its message about the Middle East in a mesmerizing fashion.


Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 1

A wholly innovative, original, and vital history lesson, with pioneering animation, Waltz With Bashir delivers its message about the Middle East in a mesmerizing fashion.



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 42,806

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Ari Folman's animated, quasi-documentary Waltz With Bashir follows the filmmaker's emotional attempt to decipher the horrors that unfolded one night in September of 1982, when Christian militia members massacred more than 3,000 Palestinian refugees in the heart of Beirut as Israeli soldiers surrounded the area. Folman was one of those soldiers, but nearly 20 years after the fact, his memories of that night remain particularly hazy. After hearing an old friend recall a vivid nightmare in

Jun 23, 2009


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All Critics (143) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (137) | Rotten (6) | DVD (12)

Persepolis meets Full Metal Jacket in Ari Folman's powerful and original animated war film.

September 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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These depictions of the dementia of war have a hallucinatory power that can stand alongside those of Apocalypse Now.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The message of the futility of war has rarely been painted with such bold strokes.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
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Special, strange and peculiarly potent.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
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The look of Waltz with Bashir is what is most arresting. It's a deep, multi-plane style of animation that incorporates photo-real settings, realistic renderings of the people and under-animated movement, especially of faces.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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A wholly original and emotionally devastating animated documentary confessional.

February 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (2)
Detroit News
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As hypnotic as the animation is, it distracts from the film's clear problems.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

The flatness of the Flash animation keeps visual bombast to a minimum, even during surreal interludes.

February 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

Every scene fizzes and crackles with creative charisma as we are carried on an emotional journey of epic proportions.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Despite the director's refusal to come to terms with Israel's role in the Sabra-Shatila massacre, this is a pacifist film that ranks with "Platoon" and other classics.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source:

Waltz with Bashir uses vivid, hand-drawn animation to bring to life interviews Folman conducted with friends who were involved in the Lebanese war in the early 1980s.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinematical

[This] investigation into the dark regions of horror, culpability, and memory is all the more powerful because of his film's rueful hilarity.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

As Folman makes peace with his past, he also makes a strong argument against war. Waltz with Bashir is a haunted and haunting film, one that resonates long after the final fadeout.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Folman's use of animation permits an audience to engage with the events, such as they are recalled, in a way that the simple testimony of those involved could not achieve.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Visually striking, but there is a significant problem in that Folman and his fellow veterans are presented as victims rather than victimizers.

December 13, 2009 Full Review Source: EDGE Boston
EDGE Boston

Waltz With Bashir does what many films have done before; that is convinces us that war is hell, but it does so in way that is frightening and engaging in an entirely new way.

December 2, 2009 Full Review Source:

Waltz is a challenging film in the best sense of the word. It asks questions about the nature of memory and life during a time of war without providing any pat answers.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

An arresting concept, yet the resulting film is skimpy, numbing, and less searching than it believes it is

August 26, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comments (3)

it feels like a fever dream, but moves forward with the churning internal logic and dogged persistence of a mystery-thriller

June 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Folman's personal journey to recover/understand his own memories in the context of a great national nightmare is a unique, arresting documentary that will stick with you for a good long while. I was so glad I was able to see it.

May 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinerina

Par le biais d'une approche filmique unique et novatrice, Ari Folman dresse un portrait sensible, effrayant et révoltant de la guerre.

May 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Panorama

Audience Reviews for Waltz with Bashir

This animated movie tells the story of a film-maker visiting former comrades from the time of Isreali-Palestinian war. For some reasons, Ari does not remember details of a certain battle and hopes for his old friends to fill in the gaps. In the shape of a quasi-documentary he interviews the former soldiers and slowly pieces the puzzle of a special massacre together, told in flashback sequences. The animation is very unusual but quite brilliantly solved, simplistic yet effective and impressive. In many regards this film does not have to hide behind the classic war films to describe the terrors. To add real footage of the victims of the massacre in the last seconds was not really necessary, though.
July 5, 2012

Super Reviewer

Waltz With Bashir is an animated documentary (possibly made out of guilt) that artfully accounts the filmmaker's forgotten, but haunting memory of the 1982 Lebanon War, Sabra and Shatila Massacre. Ugly history presented with irresistible creativity and charm. A strong and powerful work that explores the psychological trauma by warfare. The God-awful screams at the end are haunting.
September 10, 2011
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

Lavish and innovative animation only strengthen what is a bold and hard hitting document of the atrocities of war and the toll conflict takes on the mindset of those thrust into the middle of it. A gorgeous and powerful work of art.
June 18, 2011

Super Reviewer

The Israel & Palestine conflict never makes an easy topic for discussion. It tends to split people, and split quite passionately. This however, doesn't address the politics of the conflict but focuses more on the atrocity and brutality of war.
On realising he has no memory of serving in the Israeli Army during the First Lebanon War in 1982, Ari Folman tracks down his old buddies to hear their stories of the conflict, and try to solve the mystery of his own psychological blindspot.
This is a documentary that's one of the most original of it's kind, thanks in large to it's strikingly powerful artwork. It consists of a serious of investigative interviews with director and war veteran Folman and his comrades who served with him during the conflict and like the stories they relate, the interviews are also included in the animation. Had the interviewing been done without employing the use of animation, this may not have held our interest as much as it does, and helps bind the film into a coherent and visually stunning experience. Having served as an Israeli soldier, Folman wisely doesn't justify his actions. If anything he abhors them. As he pieces the stories together, the revelation of his deep rooted memories are harrowing and no wonder he developed temporary amnesia. He psychologically blocked his memories due to the atrocities and sheer brutality of the massacre - that he witnessed - of Palestinian men, women and children. Despite, the heavy subject matter and the backdrop of war and barbarism, there are still scenes of such power and surreal beauty.
A gruesome, visually stunning film, that captures an eerie feel throughout and despite being shocking, it carries a very important message. Unlike anything you'll have seen before. Superb!
April 13, 2011

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Foreign Titles

  • Waltz With Bashir (DE)
  • Waltz With Bashir (UK)
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