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Patton 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


    War is hell, and Patton is one hell of a war picture, perhaps one of the most remarkable of its type ever made.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Patton remains to this day one of Hollywood's most compelling biographical war pictures.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Still mesmerizes on the strength of George C. Scott's chew-your-behind performance. [5 Nov. 1999, p.6E]

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    The movie holds up far better than its detractors guessed - splendidly, in fact - not only thanks to Scott's spellbinding acting, but to the epic imagery, Coppola's (and Edmund North's) highly intelligent script and Schaffner's lucid, perfectly controlled direction.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    George C. Scott's Oscar-winning portrait of the megalomaniacal warrior general is still the glue holding together this blunt study of war as the ultimate human (and dehumanizing) game.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Not a war film so much as the story of a personality who has found the right role to play. Scott's theatricality is electrifying.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    A huge, initially ambivalent but finally adoring, Pop portrait of one of the most brilliant and outrageous American military figures of the last one hundred years.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Oscar-winning biographical war epic is complex, violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Patton is an epic war movie, and a biopic about General George S. Patton Jr. It was a big hit in its day and won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It includes widescreen battlefield violence, with shooting and explosions; dead bodies and blood are shown in the aftermath. Patton has a potty mouth, though he tends to stay away from very strong language: "s--t" is heard only once. Far more common is "bastard," "goddamn," and "son of a bitch." There's also some brief innuendo, though no sexual situations. Patton smokes a cigar and occasionally drinks at military functions. The movie is a very complex mix of celebrating military strategy and excellence, but also commenting upon the evils of war, though it's apparent that Patton himself comes out looking like a hero either way. It will be a good discussion starter for mature teens.

  • Families can talk about the movie's war violence. How harsh or disturbing is it? Is it thrilling? How does it compare with movies today? 
  • Is Patton a hero? How is he left at the end of the movie?
  • When Patton makes his public apology after slapping the soldier, is it believable? Does he seem repentant, or just defeated?
  • Is there anything more you would like to know about Patton after seeing this movie?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: This movie has a very complex nature. It celebrates military strategy, but at the same time questions warmongering and military thought. It could be argued that the former comes out more strongly than the latter, and that violence itself is celebrated.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Patton is shown as a great strategist and a great leader, but he's also inflexible and intolerant of others who do not regard war as highly as he does. He continually claims to love war and fighting, and wishes for more. He's both punished and rewarded for this behavior. In the end, he comes out looking something like a hero, despite his behavior.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: There are several battles, marked with dropping bombs and explosions, and shooting of guns (mostly shown from a distance). In the aftermath, there are many dead bodies, some covered in blood. In one disturbing sequence, Patton shoots and kills a couple of donkeys that are blocking a road. (Their deaths are off-screen.) In a famous sequence, he slaps a soldier for being a "coward."

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some minor, infrequent sexual banter, such as references to "fornication," "whorehouses" and "pimps."

  • language false3

    Language: Patton has a potty mouth, and swears in just about every scene, though he tends to stay away from the strongest language. "S--t" is heard perhaps once. More common is "bastard," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "crap," "ass," "butt," "damn," and "hell."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Patton smokes cigars, and can be seen sipping wine and drinking vodka at occasional fancy dinners.