The War of the Roses (1989)
Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 38
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 7
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 40,314
Divorce lawyer Danny De Vito warns his prospective client that the story he's about to tell isn't a pretty one, but the client listens with eager intensity -- as do the folks out there in the movie in the audience. The War of the Roses can best be described as a slapstick tragedy concerning the decline and literal fall of a marriage. After 17 years, Oliver (Michael Douglas) and Barbara (Kathleen Turner) Rose want a divorce. Not for this couple is there anything resembling a "civilized
Dec 8, 1989 Wide
Dec 18, 2001
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
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DeVito's taste for unorthodox camera angles and striking camera movements occasionally verges on overreaching but for the most part admirably serves the action.
Trying to wring yocks from a deranged couple locked in mortal combat over possession of their house is more suited to film noir than black comedy.
De Vito's quirky camera angles and Kathleen Turner's steely-eyed spite inject a sadistic comic-strip madness into a film that for once has the nerve to see its nastiness through.
DeVito's direction is distinctively odd (with a lot of low-angle shots looking up at things), enjoyably mischievous and always somehow mindful that there may be, at the heart of all this comic mayhem, something substantial going on.
DeVito triumphs by instilling this caustic satire with truth and consequence.
Greatly amusing, but its lasting achievement is DeVito's atmospheric authority, shaping a genuine filmmaking triumph in style and mood that deserves a standing ovation.
One of the most durable -- and characteristic -- comedies of the 1980s.
Pretty good -- nice-looking -- black comedy with less copouts than usual.
DeVito exerts a control behind the camera that is otherwise almost nonexistent in contemporary American film comedy.
Comedy does not get any darker than this.
Fun little dark comedy from the days when DeVito still knew how to make a dark comedy fun.
Funny, memorable, but ultimately a little too dark to savor.
"bitterly brilliant black comedy"
For anyone who ever spent Valentine's Day alone with a bottle of scotch, for anyone who ever watched the love of their life go stomping out the door, for anyone who ever gazed in hatred at the happy couple spooning in public... this is the movie for you.
If you dig black comedies, this is one of the better ones of the bunch.
A sharply observed look at how optimism turns to dread, the dangers of possession, and a coda for a decade too often guilty of all of the above.
Audience Reviews for The War of the Roses
- Gavin D'Amato: There are two dilemmas that rattle the human skull; How do you hold on to someone who won't stay? And how do you get rid of someone who won't stay?
- Man in Chair: Why would somebody sell a million-dollar house for $200,000?
- Gavin D'Amato: Who knows--divorce, loan sharks, drugs, sudden death--the point is, you get to capitalize on a fellow human being's misfortune. That's the basis of real estate.
- Gavin D'Amato: No. No, Oliver - you don't even deal with her. You avoid her: women can be a lot meaner than we give them credit for. Never underestimate her as an adversary. Don't even talk to her.
- Gavin D'Amato: "What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? An excellent start." I used to resent jokes like that. Now I see them as simple truths.
- Oliver Rose: You say it's mine and you can have everything in the house.
- Barbara Rose: Ok. It's mine.
- Oliver Rose: Im going to go piss on the fish.
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Latest News on The War of the Roses
November 13, 2013:War of the Roses Sequel in the Works
It'll focus on the children of the squabbling couple played by Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner...
October 11, 2012:Danny DeVito Goes on Honeymoon with Dad
DeVito returns to the director's chair for a comedy about a jilted groom forced to spend his...
February 27, 2012:Danny DeVito Talks The Lorax
He also promises you'll be able to buy a "War of the Roses" Blu-ray soon.