The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

A memorable film about the aftermath of World War II in the United States., this film opens with the homecoming of three veterans to the same small town. The movie exposes the reality of altered lives and the inability to communicate the… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 30, 1997
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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: An engrossing look at the triumphs and travails of war veterans, The Best Years of Our Lives is concerned specifically with the aftermath of World War II, but its messages speak to the overall American experience.

Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York

William Wyler's powerful, if cumbersome prestige picture ...

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Elliott Stein
Village Voice

Although it contains moving passages, Best Years is not much more than a conventional drama on the problems of servicemen attempting to adjust to life in postwar America, well served by an all-star cast and Toland's ingenious deep-focus setups.

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David Stratton
At the Movies (Australia)

It's a masterpiece, a combination of a genuinely felt emotional narrative and a microcosm of a country recovering from war.

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Richard Brody
New Yorker

Profoundly and sensitively balances the private demons of scarred veterans and the press of public policies that leave their mark on daily life.

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Abel Green

One of the best pictures of our lives.

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Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

The nation's problems are right there in plain sight, just as clear as cinematographer Gregg Toland's typically precise deep-focus shots.

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TIME Magazine

Like most good mass entertainments, this picture has occasional moments of knowing hokum; but unlike most sure-fire movies, it was put together with good taste, honesty, wit -- and even a strong suggestion of guts.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Surprisingly modern: lean, direct, honest about issues that Hollywood then studiously avoided.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

This enduring classic remains perhaps the best film ever made about the hardships endured by soldiers returning home from war.

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More reviews for The Best Years of Our Lives

Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhćes
A deeply touching and significant post-WWII classic that depicts the psychological trauma and several obstacles encountered by veteran soldiers of different… More
Chris Weber
Before films like The Deer Hunter (among others) provided commentary on the readjustment of soldiers after the Vietnam War, this film tackled the way in which… More
Pierluigi Puccini
Patriotism and lenght aside, an evocative and passionate melodrama with soulful performances.
AJ Verser
An interesting, but long, drama about life after returning from WWII.
Jonathan Hutchings
It definitely gets a little too syrupy at times, but William Wyler's ode to returning veterans is a remarkably bold and frank look at post-WWII America… More
Jon Lantz
The editing on this film could have been a little tighter, which would also have made this film a little shorter as it was quite a long film. The acting was… More