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Winter in Wartime Reviews

Tom Long
Detroit News
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Writer-director Martin Koolhoven hits just the right balance of domesticity and oppression here, setting up the film's tense second half with sweet early touches of naivete.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

April 29, 2011
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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It's got a grown-up artfulness, but "Winter in Wartime" could become a lot of boys' favorite movie.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

April 29, 2011
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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What makes "Winter" really special is its complex exploration of the theme of heroism.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

April 22, 2011
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Director Martin Koolhoven's film about one boy's struggle to make sense of the absurd - of the inhumanity of war and its effects on everyone around him.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

April 21, 2011
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Winter in Wartime benefits from top-notch production values and a sturdy performance from its young lead, Martijn Lakemeier.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

April 14, 2011
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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If you've seen one slow-motion "Noooooooo!" as a firing squad lets loose, you've seen 'em all.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

April 7, 2011
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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There's the potential for rich psychological head games here, and "Winter in Wartime'' flirts with them before giving itself over to contrivances.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

April 7, 2011
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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It's an affecting, if somewhat flavorless, journey.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

April 2, 2011
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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View the Second World War through a child's eyes and the result isn't hard to predict: a loss-of-innocence tale. Winter in Wartime is the boilerplate version, with the already dramatic facts of the era ramped up to melodramatic levels.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

April 1, 2011
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
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Perhaps best suited to young teens, who will get a peer's view of life during wartime that will make them question what they would do, were they to face similar circumstances.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 31, 2011
Leba Hertz
San Francisco Chronicle
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Koolhoven is able to strip away both visually and mentally our idealized cinematic notions of how the resistance fighters lived. It's a lonely existence. It's stark and it's scary. And it makes for a compelling movie.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

March 24, 2011
David Denby
New Yorker
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The film is stirring and visually beautiful but not quite interesting enough, morally or formally, to be first-rate.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

March 21, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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A few of the performances are fine. But this is still a story we've heard before. Only this time, as it's being told, someone's playing his favorite records far too loud.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 18, 2011
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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"Winter in Wartime" may serve as a useful way to introduce teens to what World War II in Europe was like.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

March 18, 2011
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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The movie immerses you in the consciousness of a restless boy desperate for initiation into the rest of his life.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

March 17, 2011
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
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Koolhoven elicits strong performances in the handsomely photographed feature but fails to sustain tension, creating a work that's smooth and reassuring, never truly gripping.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

March 17, 2011
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Carefully written, sensitively directed and beautifully acted...

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 3/4

March 16, 2011
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
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Koolhoven's philosophical probing of human limitation among the good guys is all but overwhelmed by his commercial instincts and undeniable skill at juggling realism with genre.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 15, 2011
Boyd van Hoeij
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Dutch helmer Martin Koolhoven finds the perfect blend of classical cinema and arthouse sensitivities.

Full Review Source: Variety

July 6, 2010
Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
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Young Lakemeier's performance is poignant without ever falling into sentimentality.

July 6, 2010
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