Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 29, 2013
    70
    I Declare War holds off as long as it can before dumping its emotional payload. Until then, the film gets uncomfortable laughs from the games children play, and play for keeps.
  2. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Jul 29, 2013
    75
    The narrative meanders on occasion, the conceit can seem repetitious, the editing is loose. Nevertheless, buoyed by the naturalism of its exclusively young cast, the picture effectively gets into your head and under your skin.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 29, 2013
    80
    There’s social commentary in all of this, but it takes a back seat to a surprisingly compelling narrative of the two combating teams.
  4. 75
    It’s engrossing, violent, frightening and funny in the ways it captures the way kids speak with no adults around, and the way kids act when society’s rules take a back seat in time of war.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 29, 2013
    80
    The directors (Lapeyre also wrote the film) have gathered a terrific bunch of young actors for the film, which plays at times like a “Lord of the Flies” knockoff but also has something original to say.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 20, 2013
    60
    While it's enjoyable enough to watch, there's no slam-dunk takeaway here.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Sep 5, 2013
    30
    The concept is thought-provoking but the execution is flat-footed.
  8. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Aug 23, 2013
    70
    Co-directors Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson balance humor and fun with a little fear in a thoroughly accessible way.
  9. Reviewed by: Steve Davis
    Aug 28, 2013
    67
    In the end, I Declare War is both enthralling and a little frustrating in its refusal to fit neatly in any box. Its unpredictable tone clicks back and forth between the comical and the serious like the safety catch on a firearm.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Aug 24, 2013
    50
    The film rarely takes us past its rather obvious conclusions about the potential bestial nature of kids and how that may translate to the larger battlefields.
  11. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Aug 27, 2013
    70
    Exciting and thoughtful, scraped free of the empty provocations of the wicked-pixie Hit-Girl scenes in Kick-Ass, I Declare War offers movie thrills—smartly plotted betrayals and escapes—as well as its share of disappointments.
  12. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Aug 28, 2013
    58
    The problem, mainly, is that Lapeyre’s kids are stock types: runts, bullies, toadies, a girl with a big crush. In essence, they are kids’-movie tropes pretending to be war-movie tropes — one layer of generic material being used to cover another.
  13. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Sep 5, 2013
    42
    A crude sketch of a film that could barely withstand a short-form, but instead has been stretched to agonizing feature length by directors Robert Wilson and Jason Lapeyre.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Aug 29, 2013
    50
    Imagination is what these filmmakers could use more of, as their ingenious concept doesn’t develop much beyond a gimmick.
  15. Reviewed by: Annlee Ellingson
    Aug 29, 2013
    70
    An entertaining and insightful portrait of boyhood.
  16. Reviewed by: Odie Henderson
    Aug 30, 2013
    38
    I Declare War is like high school English class, rife with confusing symbolism and full of sound and fury that ultimately signifies nothing.
  17. Reviewed by: Nick Hilton
    Jun 3, 2014
    40
    Unfortunately, despite its good central idea, Lapeyre and Wilson's execution is disappointingly poor.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Jun 2, 2014
    5
    Una pelicula que muestra como viven algunos jóvenes que tienen muchas libertades de ver de hacer lo que quieran. buenas actuaciones pero creo que hay una parte donde se vuelve muy lenta como unos 10 minutos . Full Review »
  2. Aug 30, 2013
    3
    I could almost forgive some of the violence and racial slurs if the film had been fun or had an important message, but this film does neither. I enjoy films involving kids in a much more adult themed way such as Kick Ass or kids involved in fun adventures such as Goonies. This film left me cold to the point where it's almost offensive. D Full Review »