War of the Buttons (2012)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


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

Rating: PG-13 (for language and some thematic elelments)
Genre: Art House & International, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Christophe Barratier, Louis Pergaud, Stéphane Keller, Philippe Lopes-Curval
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 16, 2013
Box Office: $45.6k
Runtime:
The Weinstein Co. - Official Site

Cast


as The Teacher

as Simone, the Haberda...

as Lebrac's Father

as The Aztec's Father

as Bacaillé's Father

as Lebrac's Mother

as Bacaillé

as The Cove

as The Aztec
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for War of the Buttons

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (11)

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."

Full Review… | October 31, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Barratier can't seem to do anything with it other than keep raising the violence and anger.

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The two threads aren't really woven together into the sort of tight, overarching theme that the film seems built to convey.

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | October 12, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Seeing the French Resistance through the eyes of little kids yields a cutesy, simplistic and sentimental would-be fable in "War of the Buttons."

Full Review… | October 12, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | October 11, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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.

itsjustme2004
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

½

In "War of the Buttons," boys will be boys. In this case, it is rural France and boys from one town wage a campaign against those from another town. What starts out with graffiti gets increasingly violent. In the meantime, there is a real war going on in 1944, with France being occupied by the Nazis. And Simone(Laetitia Casta) takes the opportunity to enroll her goddaughter Violette(Ilona Bachelier) at the local school.

"War of the Buttons" is a movie that is somehow simultaneously cloying and heavy-handed.(And as a proud coward, I resent it whenever somebody is called out for their cowardice.) Throughout, the movie is resolutely sentimental about a trying time for many people. In this case, the characters seem very naive about what has been going on for the previous four years of occupation.

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

½

One of two new film adaptations of the classic 1912 French novel. The second, made in 1962, remains my favorite but I have never seen the 1936 version or the other 2011 version. This one resets the story during the German occupation in WW II. That allows the filmmakers to add some commentary on prejudice and fascism but seems to me to detract from the original story's anti-war message. I found the atory to be a bit too abbreviated but the acting was very good and the scenery very pleasant. A good movie and pleasing family entertainment.

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