The War of the Roses
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The War of the Roses
Divorce lawyer Danny De Vito warns his prospective client that the story he's about to tell isn't a pretty one, but the client listens with eager intensity -- as do the folks out there in the movie in the audience. The War of the Roses can best be described as a slapstick tragedy concerning the decline and literal fall of a marriage. After 17 years, Oliver (Michael Douglas) and Barbara (Kathleen Turner) Rose want a divorce. Not for this couple is there anything resembling a "civilized understanding": Barbara wants their opulent house, and Oliver isn't about to part with… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"DeVito's taste for unorthodox camera angles and striking camera movements occasionally verges on overreaching but for the most part admirably serves the action."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"DeVito's direction is distinctively odd (with a lot of low-angle shots looking up at things), enjoyably mischievous and always somehow mindful that there may be, at the heart of all this comic mayhem, something substantial going on."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Greatly amusing, but its lasting achievement is DeVito's atmospheric authority, shaping a genuine filmmaking triumph in style and mood that deserves a standing ovation."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"The film just keeps getting darker and more claustrophobic, like sliding down the center of a spiral."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Comedy does not get any darker than this."
‑ Widgett Walls,
"Trying to wring yocks from a deranged couple locked in mortal combat over possession of their house is more suited to film noir than black comedy."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"DeVito triumphs by instilling this caustic satire with truth and consequence."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Wildly funny and deeply disturbing."
‑ Robyn Karney, Empire Magazine
"Pretty good -- nice-looking -- black comedy with less copouts than usual."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Fun little dark comedy from the days when DeVito still knew how to make a dark comedy fun."
‑ Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
"De Vito's quirky camera angles and Kathleen Turner's steely-eyed spite inject a sadistic comic-strip madness into a film that for once has the nerve to see its nastiness through."
‑ , Time Out
"[A] deliciously jaundiced perspective on matrimony."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"One of the most durable -- and characteristic -- comedies of the 1980s."
‑ , Film4
"DeVito exerts a control behind the camera that is otherwise almost nonexistent in contemporary American film comedy."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Funny, memorable, but ultimately a little too dark to savor."
‑ Oz, Hollywood Bitchslap
More reviews for The War of the Roses on Rotten Tomatoes

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