The World Wars Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
4.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: Narrated by Jeremy Renner, this three-part, six-hour miniseries covers World War I and World War II by utilizing reinactments, interviews, as well as commentary from political figures such as Sen. John McCain, British Prime Minister John Major, and Gen. Colin Powell, to illustrate the experiences and decisions that went into the wars. Expand
  • Genre(s): Movie/Mini-Series, Documentary, Educational
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    May 27, 2014
    80
    It’s a smart, imaginatively made and unusually sweeping look at what happened to the world from Sarajevo in 1914 to Hiroshima in 1945, or as Churchill put it, “one story of a 30 years’ war.”
  2. Reviewed by: Ray Rahman
    May 23, 2014
    75
    The lush narrative style is alluring, but when Adolf Hitler starts to feel like a pulpy Batman villain, you'll suspect this isn't the most insightful ­account available. [30 May/6 Jun 2014, p.111]
  3. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    May 23, 2014
    70
    The World Wars has a few annoying habits, including pared-down descriptions that can be depressingly inane.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    May 23, 2014
    60
    Nobody will accuse it of being ponderous or academic. It's expensive-looking and shallow but long.
  5. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    May 27, 2014
    60
    There is much to like and learn from the miniseries. Alas, executive producer Stephen David and his creative team seem intent on getting in their own way, cluttering up the inevitably fascinating narrative (offered here by Jeremy Renner) with all manner of clunky historical reenactments, hyperbolic characterizations and a soundtrack that should be shot for treason.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    May 23, 2014
    50
    A three-part, six-hour undertaking that proves fitfully interesting despite its offputting narrative approach.
  7. Reviewed by: Alasdair Wilkins
    May 27, 2014
    42
    This impulse for larger-than-life storytelling does mean that The World Wars is terminally superficial.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 11 out of 13
  1. Jun 9, 2014
    9
    This is an excellent way to inform the unwashed what happened during that time. Most lower rung intelligence idiots have no idea the loss that occurred back then, and should be reminded of the facts. The upper rung intelligence snots who have disdain for anything that isn't produced by the BBC or HBO, also need to understand that not everyone is a queer thinker like they are.
    If this is the way to get people to realized that 100 million people died in a fruitless disaster then I call it a success.
    Expand
  2. May 26, 2014
    7
    Correction to my earlier review. I watched Episode 1 again. The idea of following the key players and events that were involved in both wars is a good idea. Lots of money spent on the production but not enough research on the authenticity of the arms and equipment used. The use of British rifles by the German troops and the post-war German revolutionaries and the WWII rifles used by the German troops was wrong for WWI. I doubt that the American rifle used by Churchill in the British trenches was correct. Because of my correction I bumped up my rating by one. Expand
  3. May 28, 2014
    3
    There are many historical errors, as pointed out by others It is quite unsatisfying and glossed over for anyone familiar with the period and the events portrayed.

    Hitler is often shown as a dwarf surrounded by subordinates that tower over him. He was 5'9", which was average for that time. This rather obvious misrepresentation is not necessary.

    Overall I found it tedious..
    Expand
  4. May 29, 2014
    2
    All you need to know about this "documentary" is that spends more time on a little anecdote about Patton mounting a gun on a car to chase Mexicans than it does on the entirety of the Russian revolution. Expand
  5. Jun 23, 2014
    1
    Hurrah,,, the US saves the World once more,, dear oh dear,, can you guys ever get off your rather rotten ivory tower?
    I guess one only has to
    see who funded the show to see how the bias plays such an important role in a show that should have been amazing.
    Such a shame,, this was a missed opportunity and The History channel seems to have become the latest Fox news,, so sad.
    Expand
  6. May 29, 2014
    1
    I suppose the "great man" approach has merit when covering some topics, but the world wars cannot be adequately treated by following the few included in this miniseries. It seems to me that a whole lot less re-enactment with dramatic music and more facts would have been in order. There were a couple of things that were brought out that I did not already know. But, considering the inaccuracies that I noticed and the ones that other reviewers noted and that I didn't find, I had better check. It is surprising that the professional reviewers gave the program as high ratings as they did; maybe they are more interested in the "production values." Expand
  7. nrn
    May 30, 2014
    0
    I did not watch the first two episodes, only the one on WWII. Perhaps the first two were better. I thought that the WWII segment was the absolute worst history I have ever seen. I would flunk a high school student who wrote such. I realize the challenge of telling the story of WWII in an hour or less, but this effort was over dramatized with imagined conversations, mentioning only two U.S. generals - MacArthur and Patton - and making the war in Europe out to have been a personal contest between Patton and Hitler. From what I read elsewhere many of the film segments were inaccurate as well. It essentially discounts the war at sea and in the air - aside from Midway. It gives false impressions of how we (Patton) just marched up Italy and how until the Bulge we just advanced across France from the moment we landed in Normandy. I frankly think the WWII segment is so badly done that it is worse than nothing in terms of educating the public about WWII. The choice of commentators - including Cheney and Rumsfeld was truly curious. I wonder if Douglas Brinkley is not embarrassed that he took part in the program! I would give this program no stars - a definite thumbs down! Expand

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