Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 97 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there’s a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can’t remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images. [Sony Classics] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. It is personal filmmaking of the highest order, recognized with an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    The images of war that Folman and his chief illustrator, David Polonsky, conjure up have a feverish, infernal beauty. Dreams and reality jumble together.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Brunette
    60
    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.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. Apr 23, 2013
    10
    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 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.
    Expand
  2. iainf
    May 5, 2009
    10
    Whilst let down by the animation in some parts of the film, overall the unique visual style this film encorporates captures the feel of the film's narrative perfectly. From the electrifying start, to the shocking and emotionally wrenching ending, Waltz With Bashir never ceased to disapoint. One of the best films to come from Israel of all time. Expand
  3. Feb 2, 2011
    10
    My favorite animated movie hands down. Beautifully done, haunting, and goes to depths of horror that you wouldn't think is real, but unfortunately it did happen. If it was not so grotesque this should be shown in all classes in high school or college and teach people about religious, ethnic, and racial tolerance. Expand
  4. Bzzt
    Dec 29, 2008
    9
    More than just a film truly a personal act of self expression.
  5. JeffKerr
    Sep 4, 2009
    9
    Very powerful. The folks labeling it propaganda are off base. This film isn't about the war in Lebanon; it's about war, period. Even so, I don't see where it excuses Israel. Rather, if you take Ari as a metaphor for his country, he is horrified to realize that his actions enabled the killers. Expand
  6. JanY
    Feb 14, 2009
    7
    Amn excellent film in terms of its animated appeal, but the story loses its strength of emotional appeal and would become easily forgotten. What value does this film project, except to say that in wars, none who is responsible for killing the innocents, directly or indirectly, has the right to claim victory. Oh yeah, the film does confirm the fact that the many, who fight in wars and survive, will never live a normal live. But it never does end the fact that there will still be many who would sign up to fight and do exactly what their commanders tell them to do... morally or immorally, ethically or unethically. If anything, this film will only confirm that Israel will continue to be associated with the killing of mass innocents and thus continue to prompt endless revenge against the nation and its citizens. Does any nation really want its citizens to continue living out nightmares and guilt? Apparently, Israel does! Expand
  7. SimonM
    Jun 26, 2009
    0
    Propaganda effort that attempts to excuse Israeli involvement in Lebanon. Cleverly done in admitting a portion of the blame and having the protagonists feeling amnesiac guilt. Ignores the current west bank and does not refer to it once despite the impossibility of ignoring it. No Lebanese co accused to share the blame in that I reckon. Expand

See all 29 User Reviews

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