The Deer Hunter

Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7

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Critic Reviews

  1. While the results are far from unprofessional--the cast is uniformly good, including a characteristically slapped-around Meryl Streep...The male self-pity is so overwhelming that you'll probably stagger out of this mumbling something about Tolstoy (as many critics did when the film first came out in 1978) if you aren't as nauseated as I was.
  2. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Pauline Kael
    50
    A romantic adolescent boy’s view of friendship.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 141 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. May 4, 2011
    3
    My expectations were high. I had heard so much about this film - THE defining Vietnam film. Gritty, unnerving, fearless and provocative, andMy expectations were high. I had heard so much about this film - THE defining Vietnam film. Gritty, unnerving, fearless and provocative, and with a wide scope that broached all the mores of the times...

    What a load of guff. I'm serious. Perhaps when the film was released in 1978 it was such a great achievement to even attempt a film about Vietnam that it got a by on artistic merit. Here's the lowdown (no spoliers): *An incredibly long wedding scene that has no particular bearing on the plot (including the memorable line "f**k it" which nicely defines the movie). *Lot's of irrelevant hunting scenes (is killing a stag like... killing a man? Am /I/ the stag?). *A combat scene in Vietnam that lasts 20 seconds (when we had to sit through the wedding scene for a half hour). *A lot of repetition of the Vietnamese word 'Mao' (and slapping) *An unrealistic firefight. *Survivor guilt *Lots more survivor guilt *A bit of amnesia and one of the characters who couldn't get enough of the Vietnamese word 'Mao' in the first place. It might seem unfair to sum up a movie like this - but the fact that the movie believes its irrelevance is portentous makes it merely pretentious. Besides some very good acting from De Nero and co. the film in reality has very little to say apart from the overarching theme of "f**k it". It does not look at America in any real way, and certainly makes a determined effort to not look at all at Vietnam. It comes in at the very tail end of the Vietnam conflict, makes some overarching gesture saying: well war makes you go mad, and then stands back at a distance marveling at the tragedy of it all. If you are going to have irrational characters, at least give their irrationality due cause. If you are going to make a film, hire an editor at some stage. If you are going to write a story about war, attempt to the utmost of your ability to feature that war. If you are going to make a film about deer-hunting, make a film about hunting deer. Do not give it an hour of screen time just to facilitate some tenuous symbolic meaning.
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  2. Feb 15, 2012
    10
    The Deer Hunter is a masterpiece. It is the most powerful film to ever be created, PERIOD.
    The acting of DeNiro and Walken, and Streep is
    The Deer Hunter is a masterpiece. It is the most powerful film to ever be created, PERIOD.
    The acting of DeNiro and Walken, and Streep is flawless. I am so grateful this movie was made, and I have it to enjoy throughout my lifetime.
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  3. Jul 5, 2014
    10
    This site has grossly underrated The Deer Hunter. The performance by De Niro is the second best I've ever seen (after Day-Lewis in There WillThis site has grossly underrated The Deer Hunter. The performance by De Niro is the second best I've ever seen (after Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood). Of course, the supporting roles are fantastic too - just look at the names: Walken and Streep! I've seen people terrified by the portrayal of war and then teared-up by the impact the war had on the characters. Directing, acting, writing and even cinematography; it uses them all to perfection. It is my 8th favourite movie and will never lose it's incredible impact!
    If you plan on watching it, please watch past the first hour (many people think it's boring) and I guarantee your enjoyment for the remainder of the movie!
    Full Review »