The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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View All How I Won the War News
All Critics (14)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (7)
| DVD (2)
Patrick Ryan's novel has been adapted into a screenplay which, as directed by Richard Lester, substitutes motion for emotion, reeling for feeling, and crude slapstick for telling satire.
Dated, maybe, but Lester's gruesomely black anti-war comedy still looks inventive, and manages occasionally to hit home with its blend of surreal lunacy and barbed satire.
I am afraid Mr. Lester has not added a single discouragement of war, but simply a little discouragement toward patronizing too-pretentious films.
I got no impression from this film that Lester really, personally, cares very strongly one way or the other about war. It was only a currently fashionable subject, a good excuse to make a movie.
Lester's op-pop style, jump cutting from incident to incident, seems too inherently cheerful for the material, which features fountains of stage blood.
It suggests an overaged boyishness almost incapable of relating to the hard-nosed, dry, sardonic war films supposedly under attack here.
A film so critical of others' attitudes should perhaps have given more positive vetting to its own.
Thought provoking, at very least, John Lennon starrer.
This seemingly incongruous mixture will work for some viewers, and, though the seriousness of Lester's intent may not be appreciated by everyone, most should at least find something here to make them laugh.
It still has an edge most films would shy away from. It's brilliant, bitter, defiant and angry.
This war farce (about World War II) is just not funny.
Ambitious, stylised British satire. Written and acted with conviction, it pulls no punches.
George Bernard Shaw once wrote that England and America are two countries separated by a common language. Nowhere is that more apparent than here in How I Won the War. The accents are so thick and the humor so uniquely British that even when I could understand it I couldn't understand it.
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