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The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, It's a Wonderful Life is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing.
All Critics (74)
| Top Critics (13)
| Fresh (69)
| Rotten (5)
| DVD (12)
While it isn't the best picture to come out of Hollywood this year, nor is it Capra's masterpiece, it tells a good story and its conclusion has a heart-warming effect on the audience.
It's a Wonderful Life is a wonderful title for a motion picture about which practically everyone who sees it will agree that it's wonderful entertainment.
The most well-loved of all Christmas movies.
It's a Wonderful Life is about hunger. It's about greed. It's about the many ways a good man is stymied. Finally, it's about George Bailey, whose decency prevents him even from killing himself.
Capra is an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director. But all of his details give the impression of contrived effect.
It's a Wonderful Life is a pretty wonderful movie.
A movie people will have a good time watching with their families for enduring decades.
There's sex and death here, elation and depression, hope and despair.
One problem with the film is that it's only in the acquisition of money and the community subjugating their own savings and needs for George, that his rebirth can be complete.
Paralyzing joys are the very heart of George Bailey's dilemma; they are, to borrow words from George's father, "deep in the race."
Forget the Christmas connection: This all-timer can be watched any time of the year.
The inspirational, thoroughly festive ending is guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes.
Juggling with your emotions union first viewing, you really do not know what kind of film you are in for her. "It's a Wonderful Life" follows George Bailey as he starts up a banking company, get's married, and becomes one of the wealthiest men in town. What is hidden in the background is that his status is all about to change when the company loses all of it's money, right before Christmas. Debating suicide, George is then shown by his guardian angel, what life would have been like for the town if he hadn't been born. The payoff to this film is one of the most emotionally satisfying endings to any film I think I have ever seen. It really makes you appreciate life no matter how harsh, easy, brutal, or depressing it can be. Life can be happy as long as you make it that way. Terrific screenplay, amazing direction, great camerawork, and a cast that brought me to tears by the end, "It's a Wonderful Life" is one of the definitive Christmas movies. Halfway through this film, you may question if it seems worth watching all the way through, because it almost feels like a different film, but it is all worth it in the end. Brilliant film all around.
Maybe considered a timeless classic, however I wish time had moved a little faster during the movie. For me a forgettable movie that drags in places. Huge fan of Stewart, not a huge fan of this movie!
Joyous, timeless classic! I can't say I've seen many movies from the 1940's, let alone any Christmas ones, but this was a very pleasant viewing experience, in several senses of the word. James Stewart is fantastic and brings a lot of vigor to his performance, but above all it's got a story that can be applied still today. It isn't confined to the values of the era, as it's broadly and universally human in its message. Basic themes like love, loss, greed and empathy, provides it with a wide spectrum of emotions that we can all relate to in some way (which is pretty amazing, considering it's over half a century old). A riveting, jolly and beautifully narrated holiday tale, that will add some extra lustre to your Christmas.
Capra finds the most perfect balance between bittersweet and optimistic in this timeless holiday tale, to remind us that life is always worth it, even in the worst of circumstances. A wonderful story that resonates for a very long time after it is over.
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