Theater of War Image
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: In the summer of 2006, Meryl Streep took a time out from making movies, and she took on the role of a lifetime: the lead in Bertolt Brecht's classic anti-war play Mother Courage and Her Children. And for the first time she allowed a camera crew to document her rehearsal process. Theater of War not only takes us back-stage with one of the greatest actresses of our time, it also takes us back in time, uncovering the story of Brecht's flight from the Nazis, his years in exile, and his eventual return to Germany where he first staged Mother Courage. Along the way, Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner and others explore the terrifying theme of Brecht's masterpiece: why does history repeat itself in an endless cycle of violence and warfare? (White Buffalo Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Because this is also a document of an actress actually at work, much of the movie's pleasure comes from watching another brilliant performance take shape as Ms. Streep tries out different line readings, gestures and poses in her search for Mother Courage.
  2. 75
    What is the value of art in times of strife? Should people be sitting in the theater or rioting in the streets? Walter's film reminds us that once there was a man whose work made no distinction between the two.
  3. Intriguing and educational. For partisans of Bertolt Brecht, it's mandatory.
  4. Engrossing and timely, this crackles with ideas about art, politics, religion, and the terrible costs of war.
  5. 67
    Though Theater Of War is informative--both about Brecht and about the effort it takes to mount a big New York production--Walter overreaches in trying to connect Brecht’s anti-war sentiment with contemporary protest movements, and doesn't do more than dabble with the themes of truth and representation in documentary filmmaking.
  6. 63
    All of this makes an interesting, if not gripping, film about the play, the playwright and the lead-up work to a stage production. It also leaves me wanting a great deal more.
  7. Reviewed by: James C. Taylor
    50
    Walter's doc can't decide whether it wants to be about Brecht, Streep, or Mother Courage herself.

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