War of the Buttons (2012)
Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 17
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.3/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 9
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 2,068
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
Oct 12, 2012 Limited
Sep 16, 2013
The Weinstein Co. - Official Site
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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."
Barratier can't seem to do anything with it other than keep raising the violence and anger.
The two threads aren't really woven together into the sort of tight, overarching theme that the film seems built to convey.
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.
Seeing the French Resistance through the eyes of little kids yields a cutesy, simplistic and sentimental would-be fable in "War of the Buttons."
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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."
Adorable but sentimental, an earnest whitewash of a painful period during World War II.
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
Barratier makes the viewing event obvious in theme and location, yet his classic Hollywood approach results in a satisfyingly glossy, endearingly acted movie.
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.
Though this version transplants the tale to World War II, it doesn't try for any nuanced commentary on the conflict.
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