I Declare War
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Armed with nothing more than twigs, their imaginations and a simple set of rules, a group of 12-year-olds engaged in a lively game of Capture the Flag in the neighborhood woods start dangerously blurring the lines between make-believe and reality. Rocks = Grenades. Trees = Control towers. Sticks = Submachine guns. The youthful innocence of the game gradually takes on a different tone as the quest for victory pushes the boundaries of friendship. The would-be warriors get a searing glimpse of humanity's dark side as their combat scenario takes them beyond the rules of the game and into an… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This Canadian feature cleverly mixes archetypes from war films and coming-of-age movies, defamiliarizing both genres in the process."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"The performances may be slightly uneven across the cast of a dozen distinct personalities (plus a dog), but overall the effect works because, after all, they're just playacting ... right?"
‑ Annlee Ellingson, Los Angeles Times
"A breath of fresh air, whether you're looking for a good movie about kids or a good war picture."
‑ Dan Schindel, Movie Mezzanine
"... feels more like a sociological experiment than compelling drama."
‑ Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue.com
"I Declare War plays like a C-student's final exam essay on Lord of the Flies. Any interest in the game is overridden by the massive amounts of allegory lifted straight from Golding's novel."
‑ Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com
"Co-directors Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson do little more than repeatedly echo the pic's theme after establishing the basic conceit of Lapeyre's script in the opening minutes."
‑ Joe Leydon, Variety
"Imagination is what these filmmakers could use more of, as their ingenious concept doesn't develop much beyond gimmick."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Globe
"Both playful and nostalgic, it's the kind of movie that stands to be appreciated on some level by anyone who has ever pointed a stick and yelled, Powpowpow!"
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"If you have a point to make, try not to make it too succinctly in the first five minutes of your film."
‑ Gabe Toro, The Playlist
"Lapeyre hints that a game of War might get real"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"[A] surreal, strangely effective look at childhood imagination."
‑ Jordan Hoffman, New York Daily News
""I Declare War" captures the awkwardness of preadolescence as well as any film since "Stand By Me.""
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"It's both a nostalgic ode to the creativity of youth and a tragedy of growing up, wrapped in the graying dynamics of war as playtime..."
‑ Mark Bell, Film Threat
"Its unpredictable tone clicks back and forth between the comical and the serious like the safety catch on a firearm. But no matter what you ultimately think about it, you can't deny one thing: It's not like anything you've seen before."
‑ Steve Davis, Austin Chronicle
"I Declare War works best not as a Lord of the Flies riff but as a solid look at how close middle-school emotions are to the surface and how imaginary wars become real-life conflicts in the space of a too-harsh word."
‑ Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman
More reviews for I Declare War on Rotten Tomatoes