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

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 21, 1946
DVD Release Date: October 30, 1997
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Critic Score: 96% 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.

Michael Atkinson
Village Voice

William Wyler's heartbreaking postwar ballad seems even more radical today than it did in its Oscar-thick heyday. It's as non-propagandistic as an unemployment line.

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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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Sean Axmaker
Stream on Demand

By all rights, the homecoming drama The Best Years of Our Lives should have been another well intentioned film left to the dated dustbins of history, but World War II vet William Wyler put more soul into this picture than anything else in his career.

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Kate Cameron
New York Daily News

As far as this review is concerned, it is the best picture to come out of Hollywood since the end of the war.

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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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S. James Wegg

In our own era of continuous armed conflicts, innocent deaths and PTSD, the public's naiveté about the "glories" of war has long since faded to black...

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Keith Uhlich
Time Out

[A] powerful, if cumbersome prestige picture.

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Abel Green

One of the best pictures of our lives.

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Witney Seibold

The Best Years of Our Lives is one of the most timely and immediate Best Picture winners in Academy history, beating even Mrs. Miniver in terms of topicality.

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More reviews for The Best Years of Our Lives

Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
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 V
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