Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Reviews

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February 22, 2017
In mine and many other people's opinions, I feel like Kubrick is one of the best directors of all time. He has made many films which are widely considered to be the best of their genre. "Paths of Glory" (1957) is widely considered to be one of the best war films, "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) is widely considered to be one of the best sci-fi films, "The Shining" (1980) is widely considered to be one of the best horror films, "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) is widely considered to be one of the best violent films, and "Dr. Strangelove" (1964) is widely considered to be one of the best comedies.

After an insane general named "Jack D. Ripper" triggers a plan to start a nuclear holocaust, a room full of generals and politicians desperately attempt to stop him before it's too late.

Before watching this, one would not expect for it to be a comedy since it's about a nuclear holocaust, a serious topic. However, I was very impressed with how Stanley Kubrick went and did it anyways. I feel like this is actually a very good topic to make a film off of. With that being said, it succeeds on different aspects of comedy.

One of the reasons why the comedy in this film works so good is how they get delayed so much. While President Merkin Muffley is warning Russia of the attacks, their conversation gets drawn out, and it makes the audience ask "Shouldn't they be trying to hurry?" In most other films, this would be a flaw, but since this is a comedy, this can be excused as it represents more about the comedy. Another great scene is when the U.S. army tries to take over a base with Ripper inside in hopes of finding the recall code to get the planes to abort their mission. Kubrick takes advantage of every single way how this scene could be drawn out, and it leaves the audience laughing at how unlucky everyone is getting. I'm not going to spoil how this film ends, but it's a really great scene which uses this concept.

Another great thing about this film is some of its dialogue. My favorite line from the film is: "Gentlemen, you can't fight here! This is the war room!" It's a simple line, but it's very effective. Also, some of the one-liners kind of take into effect its comedy where it delays scenes. For example, the scene where Gen. "Buck" Turgidson explains Ripper's plan to Merkin Muffley is full of many funny quotes like: "Well sir, I would say that General Ripper has already invalidated that policy!". Also, there is the classic ending quote.

Finally, there are some jokes that you have to think about in order to get what they mean. Some of them are even left up to interpretation for what they mean. For example, the scene at the end where the Russian ambassador steps away from everyone, and does something with his watch takes a bit of thinking to determine what he's doing, and how that ties in with another scene. Also, the classic quote at the end: "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk" has a ton of interpretations that can come from it. Another ambiguous joke is the increasing level of "Alien Hand Syndrome" that Dr. Strangelove experiences throughout the film. Finally, there can even be discussion for what the title of the film, and its alternate title mean, and why Kubrick chose those 2 titles for the film.

One thing I really like Kubrick for is how he tells simple, yet grand stories with his films. The comedy in this one represents that real well because the more I think about the comedy in this film, the more impressive and mind-blowing it seems.

Another great thing I got to mention about this film is its great acting. It is actually very easy for me to decide who my favorite actor is in this film, and it seems like a very obvious choice. My favorite actor from this film was Peter Sellers. He plays 3 different characters (Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove). I don't think that his performance was weak for any of these characters, and he gave a magnificent performance for all of them. However, my favorite character that he played was Dr. Strangelove. He is able to act in a weird and goofy tone without ever being annoying. It's hard for an actor to successfully accomplish this, but he did it exceptionally well. His other 2 roles were also great and believable as well. Without a doubt, he stole the show.

While Sellers is clearly the best, that's not to say that there weren't any other actors who blew me away. In fact, if I could give almost equal credit to another actor who did a great job as well, it would be George C. Scott as General "Buck" Turgidson. He also gave a convincing performance, and he stood out a lot as well. Other great actors include Slim Pickens as Major "King" Kong for his consistent, upbeat attitude that he maintained throughout the film; even at times of despair, Sterling Hayden as Jack D. Ripper for his way of sounding like this was a real life, serious film; not a comedy film, and Peter Bull as Alexi de Sadesky because of the suspicious tone he had which unintentionally gave him some charm.

In conclusion, this is another masterpiece in Kubrick's brilliant body of work. It hits numerous layers of comedy that can sometimes be pretty deep - this evokes Kubrick's talent of making simple, yet grand stories. Also, the acting is really good as well, especially coming from Sellers who played 3 roles exceptionally. It's no wonder why Kubrick is considered to be so good by his fans, and he continues to impress me even more every time I watch another one of his films.
February 20, 2017
Brilliant satire that holds up perfectly today, thanks to a superb cast and Kubrick accurately pointing out how absurd mutually assured destruction is. The main highlight of the cast is Peter Sellers, who is unrecognizable between his three roles of Dr. Strangelove, Pres.Muffley & Cap. Mandrake, giving each a distinct performance & look. Whether it's Dr. Strangelove's eccentric fights with his mechanical arm or Pres. Muffley's hilarious phone call to the Soviet Prime Minister, it is truly the finest work of one of the greatest comedic actors in history. That's not to say the rest of the cast doesn't shine, particularly George C. Scott's hilarious turn as Gen. Turgidson, who over-the-top acting & brilliant facial expressions manage to steal every scene he's in. Behind the camera, Stanley Kubrick crafts a hilarious satire that mostly plays it straight, thankfully since the idea of 'deterrence' is so ridiculous if you think about it (as Dr. Strangelove says, "What is the point of a doomsday device if you don't tell anyone about it?"). It does apply some classic spoof elements, from character names (one general is named Jack D. Ripper) to arguments over mundane things when the apocalypse is about to happen (a soldier objecting to breaking a Coca-Cola machine because it's private property is prime example). Overall, one of the funniest movies ever made since it lives up to the title, as you can will only find yourself laughing at the concept of nuclear armageddon.
½ January 7, 2017
Omg, one of the greatest movies ever made. A magnificent dark comedy, this film is hard to beat in that genre.
December 17, 2016
Funny. poignant. relevant.
November 29, 2016
Needed much more of the doctor.
November 10, 2016
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room."

What a fantastic movie, full of acrid wit and enthralling performances. Peter Sellers is a delight as always, but the whole ensemble is strong and superb. A delicious satire.

9/11/16: Watched again, still 5 stars. Forgot how fantastic the cinematography is, stunning black and white.
November 6, 2016
One of the best farces ever made
October 10, 2016
Probably one of the best satires ever produced, featuring Peter Sellers at what is arguably his best. This film is highly entertaining, though-provoking and laugh inducing, and 52 years later is still relevant. Not only one of, if not the best, satires ever made, but one of the best movies ever made, period.
September 20, 2016
A work of perfection.
½ September 19, 2016
It's always nice when you can watch a highly-regarded film and instantly appreciate why people love it so much. Dr. Strangelove is downright hilarious while also making a strong statement about the dangers of nuclear weapons. I love movies like this where most of the cast plays it straight, and allows the great script to provide the comedy. In fact, aside from some physical comedy from Peter Sellers, everyone behaves as if this is a serious drama. The cast is off-the-charts with awesome actors. I could go through and compliment each and every one, but let's just say they are all marvelous. Sellers obviously deserves a little extra credit because he plays 3 different characters with such skill that I never even thought about whether it would be better with separate actors in the roles. Some of the aerial footage looked extremely artificial, probably because of the limited techniques they had available to them at that time, but it's a pretty minor quibble in an excellent film. Perhaps my favorite aspect of Dr. Strangelove is how it constantly offers a ray of hope, as if everything might get fixed. Then, once your hopes are high, it pulls the rug out from under you and a series of mistakes keep things escalating. Perhaps my biggest complaint about this film is that it's not long enough. I know that's crazy, but I was having such a good time that I wanted the fun to continue and there were a few characters who needed a little more screen-time to completely flesh out their part in the story. However, this is a superb film that takes a stand, but also has enough humor to entertain people who don't care at all about that standpoint. Highly recommended!
September 18, 2016
A clever and biting satire of the Cold War era. A rare example of brilliant wit.
September 18, 2016
10 out of 10:

Dr Strangelove offers an intelligent look at the Cold War by having really funny moments, great directing, and great performances.
September 9, 2016
one of the best movies ever!
½ September 7, 2016
A film that studies the human psyche in a elegant manner, with a great comedic punch and grade A entertainment value.
September 6, 2016
A masterful satire on the story of the Cold War and the conflict between USA and Russia by master director Stanley Kubrick, combining humor with a strange realism and great performances lead by the always great Peter Sellers.
September 3, 2016
Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) C-93m. [4 Stars] D: Stanley Kubrick. Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Peckins, Keenan Wynn, Peter Bull, James Earl Jones. Perhaps Kubrick's best film is painfully funny black comedy satire with Sellers playing three roles: "serious" British captain, irritated U.S. president, and mad creator of "the bomb"; Hayden is outstanding as whacked-out, sexually-fueled general, and Scott as bomb-loving major stealing the picture. Never runs out of gags, or laughs. The "War Room" is quite possibly the most famous movie set in film history; Peckin's death scene equally memorable. One of the all-time classics. And who could ever forget that final scene?
August 27, 2016
In my original review of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove," I gave the film 4 1/2 Stars, calling it "an outrageous black comedy." Having given the film a proper re-watch, I have now realized that, while not retracting from my earlier statements, that this 1964 satire is one of cinema's most obliviously perfect movies.
August 24, 2016
It's simple, if you don't know every line by heart, you ain't.
August 23, 2016
Kubrick is such a remarkable director that only he could make a movie so revolutionarily hilarious about the Cold War and yet it's so difficult to even place it in my Top 5 of his works (and yes, his next film, '2001: A Space Odyssey' would be my favourite movie ever made), though for Peter Sellers, a rare actor whom Kubrick would work with more than once, this would have to be up there with 'Being There' and 'The Party' in terms of my favourite works of his.

Slim Pickens often noted that this film established his career. Unfortunately, many so-called film aficionados of today won't bother either with black-and-white movies or films made before 1970, which is a shame, because this is clearly a wonderful work that more people today should see.

Do yourself a favour and watch it if you haven't already done so.
August 11, 2016
Just too strange for me.
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