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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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