Life During Wartime - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Life During Wartime Reviews

Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
January 3, 2011
I'd never have predicted something this mediocre.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 8, 2010
Life During Wartime, which feels like a movie made to fulfill a contractual obligation, says nothing new, nothing that Happiness didn't already say, only better.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 27, 2010
The daring director is still a fascinating craftsman, but now we don't feel welcome in his dollhouse.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
August 27, 2010
For all of Solondz's mischief, we sense he likes his unhelpable characters, and that they maybe like each other. A little bit, anyway.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
August 27, 2010
An easy film to dislike, a piece of cake to admire and all but impossible to love. But I think that's part of the intent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 19, 2010
Solondz treats his characters with all the compassion of a child frying ants with a magnifying glass.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
August 13, 2010
The question is: Who wants to watch these people?
Top Critic
Michael Upchurch
Seattle Times
August 13, 2010
Solondz, through the troubled voice of 13-year-old Timmy, does rigorous justice to the difficulties of forgiving and/or forgetting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 12, 2010
Lachman and Solondz have a gift for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and that ray of hope amid the hopelessness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 6, 2010
[Solondz] seems mired in simply rehearsing his characters' most fatal flaws.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 6, 2010
Todd Solondz keeps attempting the impossible and deserves credit for trying.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 5, 2010
At times, it makes you realize Solondz may be the closest heir we'll get to Robert Bresson, the French filmmaker of human despair and mysterious grace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 5, 2010
This is the Solondz world. I think he's a brilliant filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
August 2, 2010
[Solondz'] best to date...
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John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
July 30, 2010
Derives its blackly comedic bite from being both tragic and immediate.
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
July 30, 2010
A taut and tantalizing mix of salty bites and lazy blanks...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
At the Movies
July 26, 2010
I can't stand the moral universe that we're dealing with here.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 26, 2010
Not having been a big admirer of Happiness, I don't see the vast achievement in bringing that movie up to date, but a few of the performances and sequences resonate.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 23, 2010
Mr. Solondz exaggerates in the direction of mockery, yes, but his lurid colors, emphatic musical effects and dead-center framing also betray a commitment to melodrama that can only be sincere.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 23, 2010
While it obviously isn't for all tastes, this is a big, thematically rich step forward -- mostly it's about tolerance and forgiveness -- from the empty provocation of Solondz's Storytelling and Palindromes. About time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 23, 2010
Life During Wartime relies on uncomfortable black humor and moments of sincere drama to involve viewers. But everything is encased in artifice and the movie becomes a chore to take in.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
July 22, 2010
Solondz sees life as misery and actors as instruments. In his hands, they're pianissimo, vibrato, fortissimo -- and never in harmony.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
July 22, 2010
In retrospect, Todd Solondz probably should have hung it up after Happiness.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 22, 2010
There's repetitious talk about forgiving and forgetting, and debate over which is preferable, but Solondz doesn't seem particularly interested in either.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 21, 2010
In a staring contest with his audience, Solondz never blinks. He picks and picks at the themes that consume him, and he doesn't care who stays and who leaves. Me, I'm rapt.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
July 21, 2010
Life During Wartime slices deeply into its characters' weaknesses...But also in evidence is an unlikely vein of forgiveness (or maybe it's oblivion).
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 21, 2010
There's no arc here, no real pathos, and the direction is like watching snow melt on the side of a road.
| Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
July 20, 2010
Daring the discomfited viewer to laugh at shame and suffering, and then wonder why we're laughing, Todd Solondz is back.
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
July 20, 2010
Solondz may not have softened with age, but his creations have undoubtedly grown wiser because of it.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 12, 2010
Solondz conjures a world that's rotting away from the inside, in which only the children -- freckle-faced Dylan Riley Snyder and Emma Hinz -- weep over the loss of moral authority.
Top Critic
Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
July 6, 2010
A heady mix of deadpan humor that boldly uses such topics as pedophilia, race and terrorism to plead the need for forgiveness at a personal and national level.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
July 6, 2010
Winning result, which reels off one riveting scene after another, stands as both a unique sort-of sequel and a film that requires no prior reference points; it's entirely satisfying either way, though even richer if you recall the antecedent.
Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
April 22, 2010
Solondz's ongoing interests ... ensure some shocks but his underlying interests are sincere and humane: the consequences of trauma, the capacity for self-delusion, the possibility of change and the necessity of forgiveness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5