• R, 1 hr. 56 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Danny DeVito
    In Theaters:
    Dec 8, 1989 Wide
    On DVD:
    Dec 18, 2001
  • Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


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The War of the Roses Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Brian Orndorf

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.

Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com | Original Score: A-

September 28, 2012
Robyn Karney
Empire Magazine

Wildly funny and deeply disturbing.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

February 11, 2008


One of the most durable -- and characteristic -- comedies of the 1980s.

Full Review Source: Film4

February 11, 2008
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

DeVito's taste for unorthodox camera angles and striking camera movements occasionally verges on overreaching but for the most part admirably serves the action.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 3/4

February 11, 2008
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 11, 2008
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

The film just keeps getting darker and more claustrophobic, like sliding down the center of a spiral.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 4/4

May 26, 2006

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 26, 2006
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Pretty good -- nice-looking -- black comedy with less copouts than usual.

| Original Score: 4/5

July 21, 2004

TV Guide's Movie Guide

DeVito exerts a control behind the camera that is otherwise almost nonexistent in contemporary American film comedy.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 4/4

July 30, 2003
Janet Maslin
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

May 20, 2003
Widgett Walls

Comedy does not get any darker than this.

| Original Score: 5/5

May 18, 2003
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum

Fun little dark comedy from the days when DeVito still knew how to make a dark comedy fun.

| Original Score: 3/5

April 1, 2003
Hollywood Bitchslap

Funny, memorable, but ultimately a little too dark to savor.

| Original Score: 4/5

March 25, 2003
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette

"bitterly brilliant black comedy"

| Original Score: 5/5

July 29, 2002
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium

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.

| Original Score: 4/5

July 26, 2002
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

If you dig black comedies, this is one of the better ones of the bunch.

Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium | Original Score: 9/10

February 20, 2002
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

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.

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 6, 2002
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

a brilliant piece of visual virtuosity

Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2002
Ryan Cracknell
Apollo Guide

It's real ugly, but darkly funny at the same time.

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 82/100

December 18, 2001
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

DeVito triumphs by instilling this caustic satire with truth and consequence.

May 12, 2001
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