User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 3 out of 23

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  1. May 19, 2014
    6
    Directed by famous Robert Altman, a guy who inspired his actors to improve, this movie is about surgeons who use to treat wounded U.S. soldiers fighting in Korean War. Though the premise sounds like it is a serious movie, it is actually satirical black comedy set in background of Army Hospital.
    The movie follows three surgeons named Hawkeye, Trapper Joe and Duke, who spend their free time
    in womanizing and drinking. These three protagonists or "anti-hero" may be one of most unlikable characters to put on screen with not much of redeeming quality except the fact they are good surgeon who saves lives of soldiers. They like to break rules for their benefit and bully anyone they don't like or does not cooperate with them. Though the audience should be rooting for them as they are rebelling against authority which is strict, it is pretty difficult to root for them as the authority they are rebelling against is not so bad. I mean they get to play, womanize and drink in their free time. What makes rooting for them even harder is the fact that antagonists (Hot Lips and Colonel Blake) are actually likable character who are humiliated and bullied just for the sake of fun. The audience is supposed to laugh at these people but it is difficult to laugh when the pranks played to nice people are cruel and unnecessary. Here, not only lead characters are misogynist, but the whole movie's storyline in misogynist. Worst of all is the leading characters never feel ashamed for their cruel joke.
    Though the movie is often referred to "anti war satire", the movie does not feel anti war at all, because the protagonist does not suffer from war much but instead they are having time of their life. There is no excuse or good reason for their bad behavior.

    Saying all this, I am not saying movie is bad. The director was quite revolutionary for the technique used in movie, which sets the atmosphere of a dirty hospital and even brings to your world. If you want to see the movie for its direction, do watch this. But if you are expecting good humor, entertainment and a smile on your face, you will have hard time. You will enjoy this movie, only if you are ready to drop your moral and sanity.
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  2. Mar 4, 2012
    6
    I come from the most peaceful time militarily in number of years. I've always known the stigma around Vietnam, and lord knows the concept of vulgar comedies has thrived in my lifetime. South Park, anyone? And though I know little of the Korean War, I get that M*A*S*H was groundbreaking when Robert Altman unleashed the film version of the book in 1970 because it not only made light of war, which, when the book was released in 1968, was a hot topic, but also because of the unique pacing of the film and the astoundingly vulgar situations, by even today's standards. The film, I didn't know, was originally given an X rating. However, I always thought the TV series was painfully boring. I still think it is one of the most overrated shows ever. So the desire to see the original film was not in me. Yet, I did. My take is that there is vulgar and there is disturbing. If I took M*A*S*H contextually at its time in history, I get it's relevance. I realize there was nothing like this movie at the time, and has been little like it since. I praise it for being such a groundbreaking film, but to watch it for the first time in 2012 is a hard thing to do. Especially as a Gen-Exer, who can't appreciate why making fun of war so strongly is a humorous thing. Why being so insensitive to women, blacks and authority in general while at war makes absolutely no sense to me. I found the movie dull. I may have chuckled a couple of times, but maybe this movie's genius is that it is such a strong portrayal, albeit unrealistic, of what war does to its participants and the inhumane conditions it expects modern people to accept, so the way they cope is to cure the boredom and sadness with as much outlandishness as can entertain them. I understand that the book was meant to be a satirical and over-the-top comedy about war told from someone who was very much against war, but had to participate in war, but calling it a comedy is stretching things a bit far. At best, it's an inside joke. To me, it just wasn't funny. Expand
  3. Jan 15, 2012
    9
    MASH delivers in the same ways all the truly great New Hollywood films do. It challenges both traditional Hollywood filmmaking (through unconventional titles and end credits, over-lapping dialogue and ad-libbing) and American government policy of the late 1960s (though the film is set in the Korean War, the subtext is clearly about the far more contemporary and relevant Vietnam conflict) Genre-smashing maverick Robert Altman directs, and he and writer Ring Lardner Jr put an interesting spin on the war film by including a liberal dose of black humour and satire. The MASH camp is presented like a highschool, with all the archetypal characters associated with that location - you've got the by-the book senior students (Robert Duvall's Major Frank Burns and Sally Kellerman's Major "Hot Lips" Houlihan), the jocks (Donald Sutherland's Captain "Hawkeye" Pierce, Elliott Gould's Captain "Trapper John" McIntyre and Tom Skerritt's Captain "Duke" Forrest), the nerds (Rene Auberjonois' Father "Dago Red" Mulcahy, John Schuck's dentist Captain "Painless" Waldowski, Gary Burghoff's Corporal "Radar" O'Reilly) and even an incompetent principal (Roger Bowen's Lt. Colonel Blake). The screenplay quite rightly won an Academy Award, and all the dialogue has a very naturalistic, believable feel. It's probably worth re-watching the film a few times to pick up on all the jokes - there are so many brilliant throw-away one-liners that are lost in amongst the overlapping dialogue. That's MASH's crowning achievement really - yes, it's intellectual, political and extremely well made and performed, but above all else it's side-splittingly funny. The film works on multiple levels, but works the best as an extremely black comedy that is as hard hitting now as it was in 1970. Collapse
  4. Aug 27, 2010
    7
    As a movie with no running plot, the screenplay has to purely rely on the antics of all the characters interacting with each other to keep some sort of tether to the ground. Unfortunately, this tactic doesn't really start working until about 30 minutes into the film, when the viewer can finally start understanding some of what the hell is going on between the surplus of characters. Overall, it's just not as cohesive and smooth as Altman's later work, but is still a great directorial debut. Also, to be fair, it does have more than its share of hilarious and memorable moments. Expand
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. A somewhat adolescent if stylish antiauthoritarian romp about an irreverent U.S. medical unit during the Korean war
  2. 100
    We laugh, that we may not cry. But none of this philosophy comes close to the insane logic of "M*A*S*H," which is achieved through a peculiar marriage of cinematography, acting, directing, and writing.
  3. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    80
    Bitterly funny with perfect set-piece after perfect set-piece.