|United Artists | Release Date: August 15, 1979||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Remember the weird beauty of the massed helicopters lifting over the trees in the long shot, and the insane power of Wagner's music, played loudly during the attack, and you feel what Coppola was getting at: Those moments as common in life as art, when the whole huge grand mystery of the world, so terrible, so beautiful, seems to hang in the balance. Read full review
As befits both its tortuous hand-to-mouth genesis and the devastating conflict it reflects, this is a film of pure sensation, dazzling audiences with light and noise, laying bare the stark horror – and unimaginable thrill – of combat. And therein lies the true heart of darkness: if war is hell and heaven intertwined, where does morality fit in? And, in the final apocalyptic analysis, will any of it matter? Read full review
Movies have always been - at their most extravagantly appealing, sensually exciting and rationally disturbing-pieces of art with the power to bypass our defences. A few times in the history of movies, one caught glimpses of a power that could turn the screen experience into a hallucinatory celebration of irrationality, of pure feeling, and even, perhaps, of insanity. Apocalypse Now goes further in that direction more successfully than any movie ever has. [21 May 1979]
Apocalypse Now is the ultimate war movie, a riveting adventure story, a searching and deeply committed probing of the moral problem of the Vietnam War -- and something more than all of these, transcending categories and genres in a way that only true art, and specifically true movie art, does at its best. The film seethes with violence, horror, madness, irony, humor, sweetness, anger, despair and hope, but the seething is controlled by the hand of a master. [20 Aug 1979, p.57]
No other movie released this year is as much of a filmgoing necessity as Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now Redux.
Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now lives up to its grand title, disclosing not only the various faces of war but also the contradictions between excitement and boredom, terror and pity, brutality and beauty. Its epiphanies would do credit to Federico Fellini, who is indirectly quoted at one point. Read full review