I Declare War - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

I Declare War Reviews

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October 27, 2016
2 gangs of teenagers spend their summers playing war games in the woods only they take it very seriously, risking friendships and lives along the way. Their imaginary weapons are replaced with the real thing on screen, perhaps a comment on teenage attitudes towards violence or maybe just to help the viewer realise how seriously the players are taking this game, it's never really explained. For anyone familiar with the many war films that have been released over the years, you will find many familiar plot strands and cliches, from the obsessive military strategist who is willing to sacrifice his own men for the win to the crazed rogue soldier who no longer plays by the rules and goes full Colonel Kurtz. I thought it was a well played out film obviously made by people with love for the genre.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2016
Honestly, this is a really cool concept for a movie. A kids' game of Capture the Flag where make-believe and reality merge where the kids weapons, made of sticks and rocks, become actual guns and grenades in their own imagination. So, really, it's a film about the importance of fostering kids' imagination and letting them be creative in their own way. But, oddly enough, it's also about how kids grow up in a violent environment, right down to the very games the play and how that fosters a mentality where they grow up to think that war is perfectly normal. It's not like the film explicitly states this, I think it lets the film play out without interjecting too much of an agenda into it, but it's something that you definitely pick up on as you see these kids pretty much behaving in ways that adults do when put in the same in, obviously, more serious situations. So the film definitely works in a number of different ways. It's also got a surprising little narrative arc when it comes to the PK, Skinner and Kwon. So I like how they explore that and PK's willingness to sacrifice his best friend in order to win the game. It does come across kind of silly, when the only way you can be killed is being throw with a balloon full of some red-like liquid resembling blood, but it does say a lot about the type of person PK might grow up to be if he goes down this path, particularly if, if his intelligence at strategy is to be any factor, he becomes a high-ranking soldier at one point. The willingness with which he is able to sacrifice those closest to him in order to win a battle is definitely not one of the positive parts of his personality. So I thought that was cool, but I think the movie does do a good job at being entertaining as well. It's a good movie, but I don't think there's really enough here to justify this as a full-length movie, it has a sort of samey feel to it, there's not a whole of thematic variety in the film, though I did really Jess' arc as the person who's been most affected by the casualties of war as she keeps seeing someone, her crush, that isn't there as he was "killed" earlier in the game. I thought that was clever and might've been some of the best stuff in the entire film. But, really, this is a movie that doesn't really come together as well as its concept might suggest. This was, honestly, better suited as a short movie as opposed to a full-length one. With that said, however, I still quite enjoyed this movie. It might not be perfect, but they do find a way to make it entertaining while also being slightly thought-provoking. This isn't Ex Machina, after all, but it does bring up some interesting questions, so I'd recommend it. It's not great, but there's some good stuff here that audiences will enjoy.
½ June 2, 2015
Wasn't Sure Of Itself, Was It Satire? Was It Serious? Continually Loses Pace & Direction, Lacked Finess, At Times Looking Like A Comically-Bad Dystopian-Thriller, Where Others (Lord Of The Flies, Hunger Games) Have Performed The Genres Far Better, This Was Laughable & Quite Lame.
June 2, 2015
If I let my 11-year-old self float to the surface, I really like this. I'd completely relate with everything. Forts, hideouts, competition with your buddies, girls to secretly desire, Capture The Flag, fake weapons, strategizing, cussing like a drunken sailor!

As an adult, I still like it. It's rookie kid actors sound like rookie kid actors, which can distract. And the paint ballon was a grenade and the kill shot, which I found odd. There are few little points like that. However, it does a pretty good job capturing the imagination of kids with several solid character arcs. Awesome way to spend a super-low budget, too.
½ February 4, 2015
Okay movie that showed how some kids actually are given the situation but the ending felt very sudden with no proper conclusion :( great idea but not done as well as I had thought it would have been :(
September 6, 2014
A good idea spoiled by poor direction of he acting and a lack or care of the plot.
August 11, 2014
Really thogh movie but like fruit.
½ June 24, 2014
An amazing movie about adolescent imagination and ego.
May 22, 2014
In the tradition of 'Mean Creek' and 'Lord of the Flies' comes a poignant dark comedy that puts a timely spotlight on the games kids play and the consequences of seemingly innocent actions when fun gives way to danger--War ... It's child's play!!
April 22, 2014
Unique, engaging, and sinisterly fun.
April 22, 2014
Unique, engaging, and sinisterly fun.
March 2, 2014
A great movie showing how horrible kids can be to one another. I really enjoyed this movie.
½ February 16, 2014
Ben begonnen met deze met een argwanend oog te bekijken. Ik dacht dat dit zo een kinderfilm was die nog net goed was om als volwassene ook eens te bekijken op een rustige avond, maar dit bleek toch meer te zijn. Goeie film met een goed verhaal achter. Hoe een spel kan leiden tot meer! Niet onmiddellijk de keiharde actie maar eerder ingetogen, maar wel met een paar goeie momenten waarbij je jezelf afvraagt of je zelf ook als kind zo gedacht en geredeneerd hebt. Toch aan te raden!
½ February 14, 2014
One of my favourite films of the year. Relive your youth!
January 12, 2014
Establishing the premise and boundaries in the opening minutes, this part war film/part coming of age drama blurs the lines between fantasy and reality as 2 groups of kids play a rather extreme version of capture the flag. Their twig rifles and slingshots become sub-machine guns and cross bows as the viewer is transported into the children's imagination.
The very impressive young cast deal with a complex and witty script very well. It's basically a story of the complexities of friendship, betrayal and female seduction.
It's a very amusing riot. It has the influence of Lord of the Flies and a hint of Apocalypse Now, only the violence is mostly make believe...mostly. Michael Friend's Skinner is quite the Brando of the piece. He is kray kray.
½ January 12, 2014
A movie about kids playing a war game and their relationships are put to the test just to win. If you are a kid don't be fooled by the cast of characters. Seriously this movie was more messed up than I suspected it to be. The Entire cast are children, with the exception of a few overly emotional teenagers whom have no problems throwing the 'F' bomb without a care in the world.
January 11, 2014
What starts as a game of war turns into an excellent examination of the perils of growing up. It made me nostalgic for the days when I used to play similar war games. I am amazed and thankful that in our current anti-gun climate that a movie like this could be made.
December 23, 2013
I cant make up my mind about this film. One the one hand The symbolism is really heavy handed & silly. But I think it could be useful as teaching tool.....seeing it gets you thinking. ....I just not sure
½ November 28, 2013
The idea was great, but as it often is with child actors: the kids weren't that great. Also many decisions the characters made did not make sense from the movie's own perspective.
November 24, 2013
Not sure what the movie was about. The story didn't seem to go move- add up. Most of the kid's seemed to have psychological problem. Felt like it was a experiment done on mental kids !!!
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