Joyeux NoŽl (Merry Christmas) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joyeux NoŽl (Merry Christmas) Reviews

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 14, 2014
Unfolding slowly, then building in momentum like the hymns themselves, this entire sequence is tremendously affecting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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December 14, 2014
You can't watch this film without thinking about modern wars and about how much easier it is to demonize a foe when language and customs are more at odds.
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Craig Outhier
Orange County Register
December 14, 2014
For all their friendship and yuletide charity, the men must return to battle, and the miracle of Christmas does little to alter the course of war. By the end of it, they must decide if they've witnessed their own grand illusion.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 27, 2007
Some might castigate its unabashed sentimentality, but I found myself moved, especially when I recalled that this was supposedly the war to end all wars.
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
August 3, 2006
It's a respectful, sobering tribute to the flickering of humanitarian spirit amid the darkest days of conflict and, as such, surely a Christmas film for the ages.
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
June 22, 2006
Well-photographed and acted, Joyeux NoŽl suffers most from the inevitable comparison with its betters, such films as Paths of Glory or All Quiet on the Western Front.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 21, 2006
It's a marvelously entertaining history lesson -- glossy, emotional and touching.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
March 31, 2006
Its noble intentions do not negate its lumpy ordinariness.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 30, 2006
A poignant and rousing carol for peace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 30, 2006
Lovely and moving.
| Original Score: B-
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 24, 2006
Ultimately it fades away quickly from memory; a sad fate for a good story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
March 23, 2006
The film ends with a moving and surprisingly sophisticated meditation on the definition of moral duty.
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 23, 2006
The story's factual weight compensates for the film's schmaltzy telling. We might grimace at some of the movie's machinations, but it's hard not to be moved by the humanity it depicts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 17, 2006
A beautifully lensed and acted European co-production that blends historical fact with sentimental drama to forge a powerful anti-war statement.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 14, 2006
It makes for a fascinating exploration of the human experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
March 11, 2006
Carion has given it exactly the qualities that often appeal most strongly to moviemakers and humanists: social breadth, warmth, humor, sympathetic characters and a passionate sense of justice.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 10, 2006
[Images of WWI are] terrible, but shadowy and distant, and it takes an extraordinary film on the order of Joyeux Noel to make it all suddenly vital, immediate and human.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Germain
Associated Press
March 10, 2006
An elegantly crafted drama that derives its eerie, ethereal mood as much from the sounds of war -- and their absence -- as the sights of combat.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 10, 2006
It's hard not to admire the film's sense of nobility. It's harder not to find the movie dull.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 9, 2006
Joyeux Noel has its share of bloodshed, but the movie is about a respite from carnage.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 6, 2006
Writer/Director Christian Carion wrings every drop of emotion possible from these tales, and he delivers a film so corny that at times it might have given Frank Capra pause. But you know what? It worked on me.
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Lisa Nesselson
Variety
March 3, 2006
The message is powerful with storytelling to match.
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
March 3, 2006
It tells an evocative story that withstands the sentimentality of the film-making.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
March 3, 2006
The true story here is so astonishing that there was no need for the film to resort to obvious dialogue (the characters keep spelling out what we have just seen) or heavy-handed characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
March 3, 2006
You can't go wrong with an uplifting, anti-war story like this, but director Christian Carion trowels on the schmaltz.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
March 2, 2006
A glossy French antiwar movie with melted snowflakes in its eyes.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 2, 2006
The fraternal atmosphere speaks powerfully of the triumph of the human spirit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
March 2, 2006
The movie deftly and subtly limns the precarious line between basic human goodwill and institutionalized hatred.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 2, 2006
The camaraderie is heartbreaking because we know it will only be a matter of hours before they are once again at each other's throats.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
March 2, 2006
What might have been a great movie is watered down into a nice one peopled with lots of down-home folk you'd really like if only they felt the slightest bit real.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 1, 2006
Profound, beautifully made and deeply touching.
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
February 28, 2006
Though a painless time-passer, Joyeux NoŽl ultimately contributes little to the venerable anti-war genre.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Jessica Winter
Village Voice
February 28, 2006
Carion is no Jean Renoir, but he does strike an appealingly low key of tender, faintly goofy affinity between the combatants.
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Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
October 8, 2005
Writer-director Christian Carion has fashioned a deeply moving and uplifting piece that should find appreciative audiences everywhere.