Private Peaceful (2014)



Critic Consensus: Private Peaceful's deliberate pace will test the patience of many viewers, but its lush visuals and moving screenplay may offer sufficient compensation.

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Movie Info

Private Peaceful tells the story of two devoted brothers who struggle through a harsh childhood and adolescence in rural Devon, England, before enlisting in the military for the First World War. They experience the brutal realities of the trenches and the killing fields of Flanders, and are forced to make life-altering choices in order to remain loyal to each other through the dehumanizing reality of this unprecedented war. (C) BBC Worldwide
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Jack O'Connell
as Charlie Peaceful
George MacKay
as Tommo Peaceful
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Critic Reviews for Private Peaceful

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5)

Melancholy runs deep in "Private Peaceful," a richly appointed British period piece about fraternal loyalty adapted from the book of the same name by "War Horse" author Michael Morpurgo.

Full Review… | October 30, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A World War I fable that's as stiff as an Eton collar and as plodding as a draft horse.

October 30, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

A long, long, trail a-winding, to be sure. But fans of PBS, history and a certain kind of old-fashioned moviemaking may fall in.

Full Review… | October 29, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

O'Connor captures all the beauty of these rural childhoods without skimping on the harsh realities of 20th-century feudalism.

Full Review… | October 28, 2014
Village Voice
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 21, 2013
Top Critic

O'Connor shows his old-school expertise in the charming country childhood sequences, where the film feels most individual and alive.

Full Review… | October 11, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Private Peaceful


So. I was confused. This was listed as a new release on Rotten Tomatoes, but when I looked it up on IMDb, it's from two years ago. Which makes sense, because the late Richard Griffiths is in it. And then I figured it out. Jack O'Connell, one of the leads, is about to be famous. If you don't know his name, you will. He received critical praise for the English movie Starred Up, and is about to make his big movie debut in Unbroken, the biopic about the Olympian who became a POW in WWII. So. This is his House at the End of the Street, his Non-Stop. Which were filmed before Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o were famous, and released after/as they were becoming household names. So, anyway, back to the movie itself. It wasn't that good. Hence all of my justification for watching it in the previous paragraph. The dialogue is bad. Like I cringed a couple of times. The pacing is slow, the plot gets overly sentimental. It's just a lot. The story beneath it all is actually quite interesting, but it just didn't work for me. The cast tries their hardest to make it all work, and they're not bad, but they were fighting an uphill battle in a blizzard. So, just wait until O'Connell's new war movie comes out, it will most likely be better.

Jillian Leff
Jillian Leff

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