Waltz with Bashir


Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    A bravura documentary which balances the personal and the political as it peers into the First Lebanon War, its animated approach never feeling like a novelty. Astonishing, unforgettable: you have to see it.
  2. 100
    Provocative, hallucinatory, incendiary, this devastating animated documentary is unlike any Israeli film you've seen. More than that, in its seamless mixing of the real and the surreal, the personal and the political, animation and live action, it's unlike any film you've seen, period.
  3. An absolute stunner, a feature-length animated documentary, from Israel, in which the force of moving drawings amplifies eerily powerful accounts of war, shaky remembrance and rock-solid repression.
  4. It has taken an animated film to go where live-action dramas and even documentaries haven't--to tickle our synapses and slip into our bloodstream.
  5. Waltz With Bashir has transcended the definitions of ''cartoon'' or ''war documentary'' to be classified as its own brilliant invention.
  6. The best movie of 2008? The most revealing war film ever made? The greatest animated feature to come out of Israel? All these descriptions could apply to Waltz With Bashir.
  7. Waltz With Bashir is a supremely courageous act, not only as a piece of filmmaking, but much more so as a moral testament.
  8. It is personal filmmaking of the highest order, recognized with an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film.
  9. This psycho-thriller, a Golden Globe winner and presumptive favorite for the foreign-film Oscar, itself is revelatory.
  10. 100
    A thinking person's horror movie, about real horror and horrifying echoes: The parallels between the Holocaust and the massacres are pronounced.
  11. What begins as an introspective odyssey examining the effects of war on the young Israeli soldiers turns into a provocative exposé on the Sabra and Shatila massacre.
  12. 100
    Views war from the inside out and the outside in. It carries the shock of full disclosure.
  13. It's encouraging to see a nation so aware of its public image and defensive about its military decisions examine a dark day in its history.
  14. 91
    The film ends on an absolutely sick-making note, with live-action footage of the massacre and its aftermath.
  15. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    The images of war that Folman and his chief illustrator, David Polonsky, conjure up have a feverish, infernal beauty. Dreams and reality jumble together.
  16. 90
    The results, in my judgment, are stunning...and at certain moments during the film I wondered whether I had myself fallen asleep and was dreaming its hellish, haunted images.
  17. 90
    A memoir, a history lesson, a combat picture, a piece of investigative journalism and an altogether amazing film.
  18. 89
    Be forewarned: Folman closes his film with a grisly, real-death denouement that may give you some nightmares of your own. As well it should.
  19. 88
    Get ready to be knocked for a loop.
  20. 88
    Haunting is the best word for Waltz With Bashir, a striking animated documentary - not an oxy moron, despite how it sounds - from Israel.
  21. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Waltz With Bashir not only breathes but it howls - and sobs and curses and croons and, in the end, when sound proves useless in the face of calamity, falls into awful silence.
  22. 88
    Folman is an Israeli documentarian who has not worked in animation. Now he uses it as the best way to reconstruct memories, fantasies, hallucinations, possibilities, past and present. This film would be nearly impossible to make any other way.
  23. 88
    Waltz With Bashir isn't only a harrowing anti-war plea, it is also an eloquent and deeply moving argument that it is critical to never forget human atrocity, lest the past be repeated.
  24. 80
    It's these surreal touches, deployed with tactical restraint, that make the picture extraordinary and convey the febrile atmosphere of warfare, where by fear, horror -- and later guilt -- distort and distend perception and memory.
  25. This animated documentary, from former Israeli soldier Ari Folman, blends both tactics to devastating effect. Perhaps only animation could give us the distance that makes his subject bearable: the personal cost of his own participation in the 1982 Lebanon War.
  26. 80
    Ari Folman's broodingly original Waltz With Bashir -- one of the highlights of the last New York Film Festival -- is a documentary that seems only possible, not to mention bearable, as an animated feature.
  27. 80
    Ari Folman, the director of Waltz with Bashir, has made a movie so unusual that it overflows any box in which you try to contain it. Call it an adult psycho-documentary combat cartoon and you're halfway there.
  28. 80
    The tragic, violent true-life tale that concerns Waltz with Bashir is rendered even more powerful in animated form than it would likely have in life-action.
  29. Animation may be the ideal medium for replicating dreams, and in this unsettling feature by Ari Folman it also proves well suited to autobiography.
  30. 75
    The trouble with Bashir's extraordinary technique is that it lacks the confrontational realism of live footage; the extreme stylization of the animation can be distancing, making it hard to relate the images to real events and people. But that's also part of Folman's point.
  31. Profound, and profoundly affecting.
  32. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    This is a powerful, poignant and provocative film, told in an unconventional and effective fashion.
  33. The chosen style of animation leads to a distracting choppiness that renders the movements, gestures and facial expressions of the interviewees unconvincing. The other problem is that, memory naturally being something that returns in fits and starts, the film is rarely able to sustain any consistent narrative thrust.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 123 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. May 13, 2015
    Well that was dark movie, but it was great.

    The story is about the atrocities of war, they're not sure if their dreams are real, imaginary,
    Well that was dark movie, but it was great.

    The story is about the atrocities of war, they're not sure if their dreams are real, imaginary, or just the gateway to a flood of memories they'd rather not have to face.

    Waltz with Bashir is the best animated movie for adults and film lovers out there. The movie is dark, shocking and it was good choice to make it animated, why you ask well with animation you can animate whatever you and I'm talking about you can make it gritty, happy, depressing or realistic, and the animation in this movie fitted the tone perfectly.

    I'm not going to talk any more of Waltz with Bashir and I know I should tell you all about the movie but I think this one is special and to the people who haven't seen yet and just came across this review, the only thing I have to say to you is go watch it knowing nothing and see what kind of experience you get, if you hate that's fine it's your opinion but if you love it good for you.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 23, 2013
    Ending up watching this movie is so much like waking up from a bad dream, when everything beside us, all of a sudden becomes harsh realityEnding up watching this movie is so much like waking up from a bad dream, when everything beside us, all of a sudden becomes harsh reality from long-forgotten vivid images. Ari Folman takes us to a frightening post-war world where everyone seems to be living in a trance, hiding form their own memory from days past. A war documentary like this, is one of its kind, and the never-seen-before animation technique adds something really different in this movie. It lets you stuck in your sofa, thanking god because your teenage was never like this. And you didn't have to see another haunted ocean.

    Watch. And think. And imagine. Because its real. And not so real.
    Full Review »
  3. May 25, 2012
    I'm glad that they animated a war film, which is very unique. The story is very deep with emotion and the feeling. The animation is justI'm glad that they animated a war film, which is very unique. The story is very deep with emotion and the feeling. The animation is just fantastic, well-mad for a war film. Everything is amazing about this film from start to the intriguing ending. One of the best animated films of all time......... Full Review »