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War of the Buttons (2012)



Average Rating: 4.3/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 9

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 2,077

My Rating

Movie Info

Set in occupied WWII France, War of the Buttons tells the tale of pre-teen rebel Lebrac (newcomer Jean Texier) and the "war" he leads between two rival kid gangs from neighboring villages. Once Lebrac falls for Violette (Ilona Bachelier), a young Jewish girl who is new in town and in danger of being exposed by the Nazis, the children are faced with putting their own conflicts aside to protect her and confront the very real war happening around them. -- (C) Weinstein

Sep 16, 2013


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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (17)

Although it's updated to World War II and alludes to the Holocaust, this golden-hued remembrance is about as horrific as "Hogan's Heroes."

October 31, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Barratier can't seem to do anything with it other than keep raising the violence and anger.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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The two threads aren't really woven together into the sort of tight, overarching theme that the film seems built to convey.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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Though it's handled with little subtlety, the way the atmosphere of suspicion in Vichy France filters down to the kids is a smart slant on the material.

October 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Seeing the French Resistance through the eyes of little kids yields a cutesy, simplistic and sentimental would-be fable in "War of the Buttons."

October 12, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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It does not attempt to provide a complete or even vaguely realistic depiction of the rural French resistance in the endgame to World War II.

October 11, 2012 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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WWII drama is overly cute but has worthy lessons for tweens.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The cast is fine, especially the boys, and the cinematography lush and wistful, but the score is pure fromage and the storyline sacrifices tension for romance.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

It's a pretty familiar story, but it's done with tender care and definite style. Director Christophe Barratier fills the movie with a refreshing sense of wonder, imagination and innocence.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

"War" feels very much like a Disney made-for-TV movie from a few decades ago with its simple solutions to complex problems and its endless close-ups of begrimed, adorable faces.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Ultimately there's only marginally more edge to this treatment of World War II than there is to the average episode of "Hogan's Heroes."

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Young Texier holds the screen and could be a star in the making.

October 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Adorable but sentimental, an earnest whitewash of a painful period during World War II.

October 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

The film's trailer doesn't lie. What you see is what you'll get ... A warning for those who can't watch The Sound of Music all the way through: the adorable factor hits the roof

October 14, 2012 Full Review Source:

Barratier makes the viewing event obvious in theme and location, yet his classic Hollywood approach results in a satisfyingly glossy, endearingly acted movie.

October 12, 2012 Full Review Source:

World War II-set tale of children from neighboring towns who battle each other has some cute moments, but unsuccessfully walks the line between a light coming-of-age story and serious subject matter.

October 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Though this version transplants the tale to World War II, it doesn't try for any nuanced commentary on the conflict.

October 11, 2012 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Steeped in bromidic period detail and weepy strings, this is a quintessential Weinstein-brand prestige picture, an offense-free portrait of the final days of World War II as a locus of poignantly lost innocence.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for War of the Buttons

Hollywood hoakeyish remake of a really great 1990's film of the same name. I liked it. I thought that it was really sweet, and fun. Of course, I am a sucker for films revolving around children. But, I still think that it was well done...regardless of what the critics say.
December 3, 2013

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Foreign Titles

  • Krieg der Knöpfe (DE)
  • War of the Buttons (La nouvelle guerre des boutons) (2011 / II) (UK)
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