Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (13)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (2)
It is an elaborately staged tableau, a dazzling use of the camera to achieve essentially theatrical effects. And judged on that basis, Richard Attenborough has given us a breathtaking evening.
An often too-clever, sometimes moving piece.
[Attenborough] has chosen to make a big, elaborate, sometimes realistic film whose elephantine physical proportions and often brilliant all-star cast simply overwhelm the material with a surfeit of good intentions.
Dedicated, exhilarating, shrewd, mocking, funny, emotional, witty, poignant and technically brilliant.
It may seem churlish to praise a film one admires not so much for what it gets right as for what it manages to avoid getting wrong. But Oh! What a Lovely War is perhaps a special case.
The huge potential of this all-star vehicle was mainly squandered through a lack of subtlety or irony.
Stylised, satirical and ultimately moving.
It's a mammoth shame that this film has slipped down the back of the sofa of movie history.
This 1969 classic features some top names from movie history, including the late Laurence Olivier and British greats Maggie Smith and Ian Holm, and impressively staged music hall songs.
Richard Attenborough's directorial debut is a sprawling, highly stylized musical satire of WWI featuring some of Britain's very finest actors.
An impressive debut from Richard Attenborough, made memorable by its all-star cast and incredible final shot.
An anti-war musical whose originality has never been successfully repeated.
A war film unlike any other.
A strange and interesting Great War film that presents the conflict as, among other things, a garish seaside carnival to which everyone wanted a ticket. More than many films I've seen based on plays, this one incorporates elements of staging you'd expect from the theatre without any ill effects; in some scenes, it's like there's a camera in the theatre and you can see literal set pieces, while others (increasingly, as the film goes on) immerse you in the action you'd need to mostly imagine were you in a theatre. I also found in places that the film's sense of the absurd (if not its hilarity) rivalled that of Monty Python. Do we call it a satire? I think so... but its project of laying bare the conflict's human cost and its deference to the symbolic value of the poppy and the increasingly fatalistic songs of the soldiers is worth noting, too. In all it's not an overly exciting movie to watch, but it's a rich and layered document that ought to survive.
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