The slick filmmaking - the movie has a glossy, Hollywood-ready feel that sometimes tips into the cutesy - works against its themes.
Rachel Saltz - New York Times
The two threads aren't really woven together into the sort of tight, overarching theme that the film seems built to convey.
Tom Russo - Boston Globe
Corny ... a revisionist fantasy of French heroism.
Jon Frosch - Village Voice
Seeing the French Resistance through the eyes of little kids yields a cutesy, simplistic and sentimental would-be fable in "War of the Buttons."
Kyle Smith - New York Post
Though it's handled with little subtlety, the way the atmosphere of suspicion in Vichy France filters down to the kids is a smart slant on the material.
Sheri Linden - Los Angeles Times
Gabe Toro - The Playlist
Although it's updated to World War II and alludes to the Holocaust, this golden-hued remembrance is about as horrific as "Hogan's Heroes."
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The cast is fine, especially the boys, and the cinematography lush and wistful, but the score is pure fromage and the storyline sacrifices tension for romance.
Peg Aloi - Boston Phoenix
Barratier can't seem to do anything with it other than keep raising the violence and anger.
Tom Keogh - Seattle Times
WWII drama is overly cute but has worthy lessons for tweens.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
"War" feels very much like a Disney made-for-TV movie from a few decades ago with its simple solutions to complex problems and its endless close-ups of begrimed, adorable faces.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
It's a pretty familiar story, but it's done with tender care and definite style. Director Christophe Barratier fills the movie with a refreshing sense of wonder, imagination and innocence.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
Ultimately there's only marginally more edge to this treatment of World War II than there is to the average episode of "Hogan's Heroes."
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Young Texier holds the screen and could be a star in the making.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Adorable but sentimental, an earnest whitewash of a painful period during World War II.
Annlee Ellingson - Paste Magazine
The film's trailer doesn't lie. What you see is what you'll get ... A warning for those who can't watch The Sound of Music all the way through: the adorable factor hits the roof
Kent Turner - Film-Forward.com
Barratier makes the viewing event obvious in theme and location, yet his classic Hollywood approach results in a satisfyingly glossy, endearingly acted movie.
Brian Orndorf - Blu-ray.com
World War II-set tale of children from neighboring towns who battle each other has some cute moments, but unsuccessfully walks the line between a light coming-of-age story and serious subject matter.
Sarah Sluis - Film Journal International
At a time when most family movies come processed through extreme software and 3-D glasses, this film's gentle vision of the simple life has its old-fashioned charms - though they press too hard on the emo buttons for my taste.
Ella Taylor - NPR
It does not attempt to provide a complete or even vaguely realistic depiction of the rural French resistance in the endgame to World War II.
Amy Biancolli - San Francisco Chronicle
Though this version transplants the tale to World War II, it doesn't try for any nuanced commentary on the conflict.
Alison Willmore - AV Club
Steeped in bromidic period detail and weepy strings, this is a quintessential Weinstein-brand prestige picture, an offense-free portrait of the final days of World War II as a locus of poignantly lost innocence.
Calum Marsh - Slant Magazine
That War of the Buttons shows no insight into how a nation's will could be so easily subdued is disappointing; that it shows no curiosity on the subject is inexcusable.
Sam Adams - Time Out New York
A delightful, albeit partly dark look at how World War II affected a band of merry schoolchildren in a rural village in France.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve