A Midnight Clear (1992)



Critic Consensus: Beautifully filmed and wonderfully acted, A Midnight Clear is a holiday war film in search of a wider audience.

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Movie Info

Based on a novel by William Wharton, A Midnight Clear is set in the Adriennes Forest in December of 1944. A group of American GIs, all of whom have been together a bit too long, cling to the vestiges of their peacetime interests to remain sane. None are brilliant soldiers, though Will Knot Ethan Hawke is the one who exhibits the strongest leadership qualities. Billeted at a chateau, the soldiers begin hearing strange noises emanating from a graveyard, the handiwork of a group of mischievous German soldiers. The two enemy camps draw closer to one another as Christmas approaches, due in great part to the influence of GI Vince "Mother" Wilkins Gary Sinise. A sudden, impulsive hostile act results in the wholesale -- and unnecessary -- slaughter of the German soldiers. Though the exteriors are convincingly mid-European, the film was actually lensed in Utah.
Action & Adventure , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Ethan Hawke
as Will Knott
Gary Sinise
as Mother Wilkins
Arye Gross
as Stan
John C. McGinley
as Maj. Griffin
Larry Joshua
as Lt. Ware
Frank Whaley
as `Father' Mundy
Dave Jensen
as Sergeant Hunt
Curt Lowens
as German Soldier
Kelly Gately
as Young Hero German
Bill Osborn
as Sargeant
Andre Lamal
as German
David Jensen
as Sergeant Hunt
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for A Midnight Clear

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (12)

The sentiments aren`t fresh, but the skill of the writing and a superior ensemble American cast makes the drama memorable.

Full Review… | November 30, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A Midnight Clear doesn't do as much as it might with its characters. But as a parable of human folly and fragile hope, it has considerable impact.

Full Review… | December 4, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

[Gordon] clearly relishes the story's many ironies, and he's often successful at sharing his enjoyment of them with us.

Full Review… | December 4, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

It's so determined to be haunting that it gives up the ghost.

December 4, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

A Midnight Clear -- not quite a great war movie but certainly a sensitive, bright and supremely moral one -- shows how courage itself can be a kind of insanity.

Full Review… | December 4, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Despite such peculiarities, or perhaps because of them, A Midnight Clear has a quirky, haunting quality, delivering good performances all around, but especially from Sinise, Hawke and Frank Whaley.

Full Review… | December 4, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Midnight Clear

A provocative and introspective World War II drama, A Midnight Clear explores the complexities of war. While on a recon mission in the Ardennes forest in the winter of 1944 an American intelligence unit comes upon a German platoon that wants to surrender. Starring Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinise, Peter Berg, and Kevin Dillon, the film has a strong cast. The performances however, aren't that good; but then neither is the writing. Still, the plot addresses some interesting issues of morality, along with the challenges faced by soldiers. Additionally, the sets and costumes create an authentic World War II look and feel. A Midnight Clear has some problems, but even so there's something compelling about the characters and their story.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

This is my second favorite movie ever and may just be the best war movie ever made. Poetic, very clever, and incredibly moving.

Matt Wiggins
Matt Wiggins

One of my favorite movies ever. A Midnight Clear is criminally underrated and unappreciated. The film masterfully crafts a desolate atmosphere of hopelessness in World War II Belgium (Battle of the Bulge). The entire structure, character development, and progression are just so wonderfully done that you can't help but be touched by the end of the movie. It's certainly a gem that leaves you speechless, but be careful as the movie is the most depressing movie I've ever seen. Realism at it's finest.

J.J. Wang
J.J. Wang

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