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War Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

"You'll be disappointed in the film but satisfied by the sheer volume of bloodshed." Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 2.0
    36

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Lacking even the galvanizing action sequences that would have compensated for suffering through its formulaic plot, this is a thoroughly forgettable exploitationer that will not enhance its stars' resumes.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Variety Joe Leydon

    Quickly devolves into a standard-issue crime drama laced with routine martial artistry.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    There are few cinematic crimes more heinous than making a boring action movie. Sadly, that's what the first hour of Triads-versus-Yakuza thriller War is.

    Read Full Review

  • See all War reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

What is it good for? Bloody fighting, apparently.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this violent Jet Li action movie -- which is full of body-smashing, martial arts-style fights, plus shooting, punching, knifing, and car crashes -- isn't for kids. Bare-breasted, thong-clad club dancers serve as a visual indication of the villains' corruption (one woman is given as a "present" to Rogue, but no sexual activity is shown). Jack smokes cigarettes, especially at the beginning of the movie, and there's plenty of drinking, though much is in the background. Language is frequent, usually angry, and mostly consists of "f--k."

  • Families can talk about the appeal of violent action movies. Why are filmgoers so entranced by fight scenes? Does the style of fighting affect how much you enjoy watching it? Families can also discuss the concept of revenge, which the movie revolves around. What is gained by revenge? Is violent vengeance ever justified? Parents, talk with your kids about the difference between real life and fantasy -- even teens. Point out that consequences exist -- even if it makes you feel humorless. The fact that violent movies stimulate parts of the brain is worth a reminder.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Cops, crime gangs, and civilians betray each other repeatedly, then seek vengeance in the most violent forms.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Violence is incessant, beginning with cops battling Yakuza members (hand-to-hand fighting and kicking, shooting, stabbing). An early scene shows the brutal murder of Tom's family (frightened wife and child, burning house), which sets up the movie's vengeance theme. Rogue's assaults include throat-cutting, slicing off an ear, shooting, and sticking a sword through a hand. A dog with a bomb on its collar explodes; Jack tortures a suspect by pushing at a bloody wound; a fighting ring shows men slamming against the cage; Kira wields sharp blades; when a man is shot in the head, blood spurts graphically; a father's head appears in a box sent to his daughter.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Bar scenes feature topless, thong-wearing dancers; Chang sends Rogue a prostitute: She strips off her dress and reveals giant breasts and a thong. Cops joke about women on the street being prostitutes (one refers to the other's mother as "working tonight").

  • language false5

    Language: Lots of typical action-movie profanity, some of it subtitled, including frequent uses of "f--k," and fewer instances of "s--t," "hell," "damn," "son of a bitch," and "ass." Also a couple of slangy references to genitalia ("pr--k," "p---y").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Mostly expensive cars, including a sleek Spyker C8 Spyder.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Jack smokes several times; his partner notes that it's an "oral fixation" that he should give up. The villain smokes several times as well. Various background characters drink in bars, some "bikers" drink on the sidewalk, and Chang offers Rogue a drink a couple of times, but he refuses.

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