Movie Reviews

Review: A War Fights Dramatic Tension On and Off The BattleField



Company commander Claus M. Pedersen (Pilou Asbæk) and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark Claus’ wife Maria (Tuva Novotny) is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him – and his family back home. — (C) Magnolia

A War is a timely and effective movie about the battles fought on and off the field. From the Afghanistan terrain to the domestic life of reconnecting to family to battling accusations in a court room setting, the protagonist in A War has multiple fights to overcome.


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The Good:

A War knows drama from various standpoints. Viewers feel embedded in the action among the chaos of loud explosions, brisk gunfire, and snap decisions. Within that tension, one could see how someone can end up in that nerve racking scenario and wonder what they would do. Void of little judgement, I appreciated how A War humanizes someone like Claus. Most (indie) movies and the media would It is easy to see how someone can quickly make a careless decision in the middle of a war zone. I liked the tension A War put its characters in. I didn’t know whether to root for or cheer against Claus. This was a frustrating place to be.


The Bad: 

The worst thing I could say about A War is that it is my least favorite Oscar nominated foreign language film. And this is no fault of its own. From the soon to be classic Son Of Saul, the arty bleakness of Embrace of the Serpent, the sweeping scope of Theeb, and the fiercely feminine Mustang, everything else that was nominated is just better. Usually, I wouldn’t like one of the movies nominated, but not this year. Though it lingers in my mind, I will not to hold this against A War. It just isn’t fair. Likewise, it ran just a little long in the third act. A faster resolution would’ve worked better.

Overall A War grabs the attention of viewers offering a different view of war I am not familiar with. Very few war dramas show the perspective of taking place in a court room recalling what happened in earlier scenes that weren’t flashbacks. The second half ends up stronger then the first half which isn’t common among dramatic movies. I can recommend it for people thrilled by the drama of realistic war torn action and those who enjoy escaping via the courtroom trials.



  • Acting - 7/10
  • Cinematography - 7/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7/10
  • Setting/Theme - 6/10
  • Buyability - 5/10
  • Recyclability - 6/10
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