Universal Pictures | Release Date: December 8, 1978
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 168 Ratings
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Positive:
129
Mixed:
15
Negative:
24
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10
jeannieFeb 15, 2012
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.
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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7
BlakeJ.Mar 26, 2007
Ask me: "Blake, does this movie stand the test of time?" And I will be forced to honestly say, "No, in my opinion it does not." The Deer Hunter is a serious movie, filled with serious ideas, and serious actors. In his most endearing Ask me: "Blake, does this movie stand the test of time?" And I will be forced to honestly say, "No, in my opinion it does not." The Deer Hunter is a serious movie, filled with serious ideas, and serious actors. In his most endearing performance ever on scree, Christopher Walken molds Nicky into precisely the desensitized warriror Cimino must have wanted, or at least dream about. The entire supporting cast adds to the movie's sparkle and gleam of greatness. But, it is in it's lack of cohesion, and it's, ultimately, slow pacing. There is a scene that will make your heart explode, but you wont make it to that scene if you have a short attention span. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful
10
kk10Aug 24, 2010
A great movie. The movie has three parts, a wedding, the war and at last afuneral. In the first we discover the characters. In the second we fear for their lives and in the third we sympathize with them. It is a powerful movie. and also hasA great movie. The movie has three parts, a wedding, the war and at last afuneral. In the first we discover the characters. In the second we fear for their lives and in the third we sympathize with them. It is a powerful movie. and also has strong performances. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
bugsbunny2109Jul 5, 2014
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 Will Be Blood). Of course, the supporting roles are fantastic too - just look at the names: Walken andThis 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!
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
D-SliceJan 23, 2011
This movie is potentially the most powerful film I have seen in my life. Amazing performances from Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken that surely raised them to stardom. The Russian roulette scene absolutely tore me apart. That scene isThis movie is potentially the most powerful film I have seen in my life. Amazing performances from Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken that surely raised them to stardom. The Russian roulette scene absolutely tore me apart. That scene is potentially the most emotionally powerful scene of cinema I have ever seen. The amazing thing about this movie is that, while not only touching on issues of war and post-war syndrome, this movie shows us classical themes of friendship and brotherhood. I pretty much felt like I had just been punched in the face by a wave of awesomeness when it finished. This is, by far, one of the best movies ever made. Period. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
OpFreeManJul 7, 2014
Easily the best movie ever made and completely underrated on this site.
As can be seen in the reviews, the controversialists have attacked yet again.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
ScottBDec 4, 2010
My favorite movie of all time. This movie will take grasp of you and show you what a real friend is for. however it is long and somewhat slow, their is a story behind it that is dark and makes you feel like the characters are "true". iMy favorite movie of all time. This movie will take grasp of you and show you what a real friend is for. however it is long and somewhat slow, their is a story behind it that is dark and makes you feel like the characters are "true". i challenge to any contender. A true film!! Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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8
JJLawOct 22, 2005
Gritty, Vietnam-era movie about the relationship between close friends and how time and war affect their relationships. Excellent cast including Christopher Walken's best performance and Robert DeNiro.
1 of 2 users found this helpful
8
khalid01703Jul 23, 2013
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
DaveJun 29, 2006
The best, period. But, only if you are capable of appreciatiing and understanding such quality.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
DoubleFeatureSep 25, 2011
Terribly rated, also the metascore not accurate, this film deep and so aualitive about true friendship, the best story about Vietnam how the cinema reviewers dare to give it 50 points?! or 60 looks a lot of people don't even finish to watch,Terribly rated, also the metascore not accurate, this film deep and so aualitive about true friendship, the best story about Vietnam how the cinema reviewers dare to give it 50 points?! or 60 looks a lot of people don't even finish to watch, in my matter of taste very strong film with fantastic casting / acting and direction.

My Rate: 8 and half out of 10
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
UCLASep 16, 2005
Great movie. Not Deniro's best but still one of his great movies.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
D.T.Sep 20, 2005
This is to Vietnam what "Best Years of Our Lives" was for World War II. An excellent telling of war affecting a small town. Lives are changed for those who go as well for those who stay behind. Acting is at the peak of it's period - This is to Vietnam what "Best Years of Our Lives" was for World War II. An excellent telling of war affecting a small town. Lives are changed for those who go as well for those who stay behind. Acting is at the peak of it's period - along with Dog Day Afternoon, the best of the 70's. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JonathanOct 2, 2005
My favourite movie of all time. GREAT!!!!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
ERG1008Aug 24, 2010
People in a small working class town, friend gets married, go to Vietnam, get capture, Russian roulette, escape, Two go back home, one doesn't.
It takes a while to get going but builds the characters up & you get a feel of where these people
People in a small working class town, friend gets married, go to Vietnam, get capture, Russian roulette, escape, Two go back home, one doesn't.
It takes a while to get going but builds the characters up & you get a feel of where these people are from & who they are.
Brutal in parts (the capture scene is very intense) but also some excellent cinematography in the hunting parts.
Really strong cast & I'd say one of De Niro's best films.
Slightly long but a very good film indeed.
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
VidsRuleSep 27, 2012
This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it's even better on bluray. With this movie you are witnessing this people, places, and circumstances; you are not watching a bunch of actors read a script. It is like they placed camerasThis is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it's even better on bluray. With this movie you are witnessing this people, places, and circumstances; you are not watching a bunch of actors read a script. It is like they placed cameras aroung a small steel towm, and around vietnom and simply observed. I am there with these characters and I lose friends when they die or withdraw. Oh, and Robert D's character Micheal is the most powerful character ever put on film. This movie always competes for the #1 spot for me. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
jalindApr 1, 2013
I agree with some of the criticisms about the pacing of the film, particularly the drawn out wedding scene. Perhaps it was done to subtly define details in some of the characters and the relationships with each other, which I would concede itI agree with some of the criticisms about the pacing of the film, particularly the drawn out wedding scene. Perhaps it was done to subtly define details in some of the characters and the relationships with each other, which I would concede it does, but feel there might have been some less lengthy ways to accomplish this.

I do not see The Deer Hunter as a "Vietnam War" film per se. So many either expect or want it to be just that, and therefore fault it for failing to "define" that war historically, politically or morally, and for not having a high level of historically factual accuracy. Those who want to see films about that would be better served by We Were Soldiers, Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket (these three have some flaws; take them in aggregation). I believe Deer Hunter is more a broader commentary about war in general and what it does to those directly or indirectly affected by it, either by having been in combat or in close relationships with those who were. The Vietnam War was the immediate societal and cultural experience of the time to use as a vehicle for it, and a number of aspects of the film are metaphorical. I do believe it captures with some insight, the (heavy) industrial, blue collar small towns in middle America that are much more heavily laced with provincialism and blindly unquestioning "zealous patriotism" compared to the more critical, cosmopolitan attitudes found in major metropolitan regions (patriotism without the zealotry).

The most poignant of the metaphors are the deer hunting and the controversial Russian roulette. I don't believe the latter was ever intended to be historically accurate. It is an extremely powerful means to carry self-destructive aspects of PTSD and "survivor guilt" in particular with the seeming randomness of death in warfare, not knowing if one will survive from one moment to the next at times with each combat action being yet another round of Russian roulette. Instead of watching the film expecting it to portray "what" happened in Vietnam, view it from a perspective of how war indelibly changes those who were drawn into it, and their relationships with others as participants, family and close friends. As one of those who is part of the Vietnam War generation and served quite a few years in the army, I saw it when originally released. It was unsettling and took me a few days to realize this is what the film is about. Each viewing since then, including very recently, has confirmed it.
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
peterbJun 21, 2013
Ironic, well thought out portrayal of how the working class become cannon fodder in times of conflict. A refreshing change from the usual Hollywood propaganda, this film makes a good point about the inanity of war in as much that the mainIronic, well thought out portrayal of how the working class become cannon fodder in times of conflict. A refreshing change from the usual Hollywood propaganda, this film makes a good point about the inanity of war in as much that the main characters are Russian descendants that end up fighting for American interests in Vietnam during the Cold War. The tone is sarcastic, and mood is sombre with a theme tune by Stanley Myers that does it justice. Good acting from Meryl Streep along with the main cast. It is a pity that the film does not propose any solutions but it stands well as a criticism of war, American patriotism and empire-building at the expense of the others. Expand
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9
SpangleNov 29, 2014
The Deer Hunter truly lives up to the hype and more for me. Absolutely brilliant film. Entirely sombering and one of the most emotionally distressing films I have ever seen. I honestly feel as though I may have PTSD after watching this one,The Deer Hunter truly lives up to the hype and more for me. Absolutely brilliant film. Entirely sombering and one of the most emotionally distressing films I have ever seen. I honestly feel as though I may have PTSD after watching this one, it was just that emotionally powerful and resonant. Many claim that this one is a little slow and overlong, but I never saw that honestly. One of the main points of criticism is the wedding sequence, but if you cannot tell that the joy and happiness in that sequence is meant to directly juxtapose the sadness and emotional turmoil of the rest of the film, I am honestly sad for you, because that is one of the most brilliant pieces of this one. An entirely beautiful sequence, I could honestly watch the wedding for the entire three hours, because at least I would not leave this one feeling emotionally defeated. The Russian Roulette elements, and the characters' transformations from the first one to the final one, are immaculately filmed and just so impactful throughout. The direction from Michael Cimino is truly remarkable, as is the acting from the two true stars here; Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep. Walken steals the show throughout, but Streep's emotionally vulnerable performance (especially considering what was happening in her personal life with John Cazale at the time) is heartbreakingly beautiful and stands tall as one of the best performances in a film littered with them. Finally, the final half hour is pitch perfect filmmaking and, while entirely distressing, just so mesmerizingly perfect you cannot look away. However, in spite of all this, it is a touch long and in terms of war films, I do think Downfall and Saving Private Ryan are superior, though I would rank this one over other Vietnam films such as Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. As a whole, The Deer Hunter is not for everyone, but I can entirely see why it is a classic and, to me, it deserves to be 100%. Expand
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10
MoneyMaker101Jan 31, 2015
One of the greatest movies I have ever seen.The plot is interesting and characters are really emotional and this movie shows all problems of war and how war meaningless is.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
TributeManJan 4, 2016
What do you think you are, God?

Łowca jeleni... co za film... co za genialny film. Jest baaardzo dużo filmów wojennych, które pokazują nic poza wybuchami i darciem mordy żołnierzy. W przypdaku Łowcy jeleni jest na odwrót. Nie ma wielu scen
What do you think you are, God?

Łowca jeleni... co za film... co za genialny film. Jest baaardzo dużo filmów wojennych, które pokazują nic poza wybuchami i darciem mordy żołnierzy. W przypdaku Łowcy jeleni jest na odwrót. Nie ma wielu scen akcji, a historia powoli się rozwija. Mamy dużo czasu na poznanie bohaterów i wzajemnych relacji. Robert De Niro jest genialny w tym filmie. To prawdopodobnie jedna z jego najlepszych ról. Polecam każdemu kto lubi długie filmy, które są nastawione tylko na głęboką i wzruszającą historię, a nie wyłącznie odmóżdżającą sieke.
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10
talisencrwJul 18, 2016
With director Cimino's recent death and his reputation in tatters since the debacle of 'Heaven's Gate', I decided to visit 'The Deer Hunter'. Though over three hours long, it's astonishing, paced so achingly right and I can see why heWith director Cimino's recent death and his reputation in tatters since the debacle of 'Heaven's Gate', I decided to visit 'The Deer Hunter'. Though over three hours long, it's astonishing, paced so achingly right and I can see why he rightfully earned the 'carte blanche' that would unfortunately lead to his downfall (as well as an entire studio's) as soon as he made his next film. But to reach such heights and to have such ambition--as well as undeniable talent--is a victory in and of itself. Just armed with the main five actors alone, at the zenith of their craft, a fine script (really the first interesting and well-deliberated Vietnam film to hit the big screen) and Vilmos Zsigmond behind the camera meant that this would prove something special. Scenes that will haunt you forever. My favourite shot is the incredible 360-degree pan shot around Linda's bedroom when she realizes she's given up on Nick and is going to declare her love to Michael--extraordinary stuff. What's YOURS?

Many film lovers who despise Cimino's work instantly clam up when 'The Deer Hunter' is mentioned...and there's a reason for that. It's deservedly considered one of the finest American films of the 70's--a decade that was chock-full of great ones.
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