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Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    A masterpiece... The genius of Dr. Strangelove is that it's possible to laugh -- and laugh hard -- while still recognizing the intelligence and insight behind the humor.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Village Voice Michael Atkinson

    The hard-charging originality of the screenplay—the equivalent of turning "The Hot Zone" into a Farrelly comedy—suggests a deficient legacy of credit to Terry Southern's corner.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Seen after 30 years, Dr. Strangelove seems remarkably fresh and undated - a clear-eyed, irreverant, dangerous satire. And its willingness to follow the situation to its logical conclusion - nuclear annihilation - has a purity that today's lily-livered happy-ending technicians would probably find a way around.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    This landmark movie's madcap humor and terrifying suspense remain undiminished by time.

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  • 90

    out of 100


    George C. Scott as the fiery Pentagon general who seizes on the crisis as a means to argue for total annihilation of Russia offers a top performance, one of the best in the film. Odd as it may seem in this backdrop, he displays a fine comedy touch.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Black comedy Kubrick classic for smart teens+.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens who view this movie may need some background to understand the sense of helpless peril of the Cold War years. More important, they may need some preparation to understand the nature of black comedy, and some may find it very disturbing, particularly the unconventional ending.

  • Families can talk about the nature of war and peace (begin with Ripper's quote from Clemeanceu about war's being too important to be left to the generals) and about the best ways of ensuring an enduring peace. What do you think of making fun of issues like madness and nuclear war? If the movie were to be made today, what details would be changed? Who do you think the nuclear threat would come from? 

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: It is a comedy about nuclear war -- in addition to the mushroom clouds and reports of planes being shot down, there's an off-camera suicide.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Many references, mostly euphemistic, beginning with a suggestive opening shot of one plane refueling another. The imagery (and to a lesser extent, the dialogue) create a link between men's sexual impulse and their interest in war. Buck and his secretary (who's wearing a bikini) are clearly having an affair, and the men are delighted with the idea that in a post-nuclear world they may be obligated to impregnate many women.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Soviet leader reported to be drunk.