Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Reviews

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May 19, 2019
Absolutely ridiculous - in the best way.
May 8, 2019
It had a few very funny moments but it is mostly dull, and I honestly found the ending pretty stupid
½ May 3, 2019
Hailed to be a comedy, Dr Strangelove didn't force out any laughs from me at all! The objective nature of Kubrick's direction further separates the movie and me. I also found some of the plane scenes to be repetitive and lacked freshness. One-time watch.
½ April 20, 2019
Aaah, why didn't I get this film? I wish I did, I really do, it's considered one of his best and one of the funniest films of all time but it didn't affect me in the same way it did most audiences. Most likely I am just not sophisticated enough to understand it's intelligent political satire and Kubrick is just working on another level. I will try to breakdown why and how I did not understand it and how I recognized points that I was meant to laugh at but just couldn't.

The film concerns the fallout from General Jack D. Ripper, Sterling Hayden, choosing to launch a nuclear attack on Russia without warning his military superiors or the Government. The majority of the film is then spent with the President, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, Dr. Strangelove, all Peter Sellers, and General Buck Turgidson, George C. Scott, as they attempt to stop those on the aircraft holding the nuclear weapons from deploying them. Onboard the aircraft Major T.J Kong struggles to make a decision with the mixed signals he is receiving leading to a supposedly darkly hilarious final shot.

Firstly I have to admit that I have a problem with the film's star Peter Sellers. I have never found his slapstick style particularly funny in films like Only Two Can Play (1962) and his "I'm a comedic actor giving a dramatic performance" role in Being There (1979) just irked me. I think he is awful in the eponymous role of Dr. Strangelove, his German accent and failure to keep in his Nazi tendencies didn't elicit any laughter from me and it all seemed like something you would find on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. His American accent as the President slips to reveal that he is British, he is perfectly acceptable in this role but not particularly funny and after the shock of him playing multiple roles wears off we spend an awful lot of time with a performer that I feel no particular affection for. This is considered his signature film though and his portrayal of Dr. Strangelove with his reflective glasses is highly praised.

George C. Scott is an actor whose performances I have enjoyed in Petulia (1968) and Jane Eyre (1970) but here he gives a performance reminiscent of Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds (2009), this film probably inspired Pitt, another performance that I think is just bad acting instead of being an entertaining pastiche. His relationship with his secretary could have created some interesting comedic material but it all felt like the same old tired jokes about unprofessionalism and two immature dummies being in a relationship. The character makes the crucial mistake that drives plot but he never feels like the center of the film as we spend so much of our time with an array of Peter Sellers characters and Slim Pickens, who is giving one of the few good performances in the film.

Slapstick humor is meant to be the primary source of laughter throughout with Sellers' struggling to hold himself back from performing a Nazi salute and the various political figures in the war room having physical scraps over the conflict at hand. Maybe this killed at the time with this style of comedy being more popular with mainstream audiences but with my modern comedic sensibilities I found it very difficult to enjoy a style of comedy I saw as outdated and it failed to make me crack up the way it did my Father, who was alive and well in the 1960s and appreciates modern slapstick like Dumb and Dumber (1994).

I would not recommend this film but it's part of the Kubrick filmography so it is considered a classic no matter what it's actual quality is. I know that this emotionally affected many audiences and is seen as intellectually brilliant by most critics. Maybe I will get it when I am older and all of the commentary about cold-war era politics will have me cracking up and terrified in equal measure because I will have better knowledge of the tense situation that it is commenting upon. Maybe in ten or fifteen years I will re-watch this this and realize I got this totally wrong but for now I will not be watching this film again.
April 15, 2019
If you don't know this movie, you do not know movies.
½ April 14, 2019
It started out interestingly, but the plot fell apart, with no place to go, before it was half over.

I can't justify what anyone could see in this film because it is really boring. Why the plot just stops when the planes get in the air and there is no more action is anyone's guess at this point.

This one will put you to sleep if you try watching the whole thing. It a clear demonstration of why television is a better medium than film because so many films are garbage, and you can always turn the garbage TV shows off.

It was very difficult to find good films in the 1960s, something that could not be said about Hollywood's Golden Age of the 30s and 40s.
April 12, 2019
The major King Kong of black comedies!
April 7, 2019
Classic Stanley Kubrick Comedy! Peter Sellers shines in 3 roles. George C Scott is hilarious and Slim Pickens steals the show! Must watch for any fan of classic cinema.
April 5, 2019
Hilarious and very intelligent (also terrifying at the time it was made) Cold War black comedy that completely reveals insanity and absurdity of the Cold War paradigms. General gone mad decides on his own to start nuclear war, unaware that the Soviets made "The Doomsday Machine" - a bomb capable of producing enough radioactive fallout to destroy entire life on Earth, which is automatically activated by a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union‚¶
March 27, 2019
Easily one of the best comedies ever made.
March 9, 2019
Dr. Strangelove is Stanley Kubrick at his best. Commentators have said it all, consequently it only suffices to add that this film must be watched again and again. It has changed satire as a genre with prototypically masculine elements (planes, cockpits, war, explosions), which are capable of amusing anyone yearning for excellent puns and attention-grabbibg, razor-sharp dialogs. Intratextual references to other Kubrick movies, language bravura, and Peter Sellers in three hilarious roles make it a fast-pased comedy-drama that aptly derises both the US and the USSR through brutish name-calling and subtle political jokes.
March 8, 2019
The greatest dark comedy of all time.
March 4, 2019
Not only is this one of the top 5 Kubrick films, it is one of the best movies that allowed actors to improvise lines that made the final cut. Satire about fear is the greatest weapon against fear. Every mania the US had in the 50s through the 80s was pointed out in this classic. Peter Sellers will always be the master of multiple roles and the trivia of him originally cast as Major Kong, but being replaced by Slim Pickens was the greatest hollywood shift that could have ever occured... Slim Pickens riding the nuke is an image the world will remember better than Luke kissing his sister... twice....
March 1, 2019
Watching this masterpiece again after a few years, I‚(TM)d forgotten how brisk and suspenseful it is -- but its audaciousness can never fade. Stanley Kubrick (and writer Terry Southern) took a nuclear panic thriller and turned it into a comic satire ‚" but the underlying reality of ‚our life with the bomb‚? keeps terror and dread and sadness and shock only barely at bay; the comedy is a fig leaf on our existential horror. The plot is straightforward: General Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden) goes off his rocker and orders a nuclear strike on the USSR from the wing of B-52 bombers flying just two hours from their targets. Although Group Captain Mandrake (Peter Sellers), an RAF officer serving as his executive officer tries to talk him out of it, he just gets nonsense about fluoridisation and precious bodily fluids in return. When General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott), Commander of the Joint Chiefs, finds out, he heads to the War Room to confer with President Merkin Muffley (also Peter Sellers). In the meantime, we focus on one plane, piloted by Major ‚King‚? Kong (Slim Perkins) that is steadily making its way to the target. In fact, once Attack Code R has been triggered they can‚(TM)t be contacted (except with a special code) and can‚(TM)t turn back. You can see the lines of the thriller plot here: Muffley calls in the Soviet Ambassador and gets the Premier on the line but they soon discover that the Russians have invented a Doomsday Machine that will automatically trigger in the event of an attack and shroud the world in radiation for 93 years. Muffley‚(TM)s advisor Dr Strangelove (a former Nazi, also played by Peter Sellers) offers not so reassuring advice about living underground (and developing a new world order). It‚(TM)s all played for laughs, broad ones. Who can forget that shot of Slim Pickens riding the bomb like a bucking bronco to its destination and the final shots of mushroom clouds played off to the strains of ‚We‚(TM)ll Meet Again‚?? It‚(TM)s all so pitch perfect and sadly, it can never become dated. I guess we‚(TM)ll have to laugh to keep from crying (now it‚(TM)s anyone‚(TM)s guess whether global warming or nuclear destruction will get us first!).
February 19, 2019
You can't fight in here! This is the War Room!
January 31, 2019
Stanley Kubrick directs his actors, most notably Petter Sellers and George C. Scott, to comedic perfection in the key cinematic political satire of our time. The script, by Kubrick, Peter George, and Terry Southern, is clearly one of the cinema's treasures.
January 5, 2019
The funniest movie about the Cold War you'll ever watch!

Stanley Kubrick tried his hand at a dark comedy with Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) with hilarious results. This movie is filled with military nonsense jargon and political hyperbole that kept me constantly laughing.

Kubrick's direction is immaculate as ever with his long steady panning shots as characters walk towards the camera or down a hall. While his few close ups reveal astonishment or fear, the majority of Dr. Strangelove is shot with far wide shots and aerial viewpoints to demonstrate the enormity and insanity of the situation when you step back and look at it all. Kubrick uses many clever tricks to keep all three roles of Peter Sellers off screen from one another with very effective results. His experimental and sleek style made Kubrick's films a pleasure to watch and Dr. Strangelove is no exception.

The script from Kubrick is stuffed with the manic reactions and hysteria that nationalism brews in a sweet drink to choke on while you giggle away. Dr. Strangelove takes on nationalism, pride, command, stupidity, rank, power, and consequence with a grim sense of humor and an explosive finale. You have to see it to believe it.

The acting within Dr. Strangelove is even more fun than the silly script. Peter Sellers plays 3 separate men with 3 unique accents, namely: English, American, and German. Sellers brilliantly portrays Group Captain Lionel Mandrake as a shy, stuffy, and cowardly man of meek will and ridiculously calm demeanor giving his poor situation. Sellers mastered the art of pretending to be relaxed. while his character goes through some impressive mental gymnastics trying to reason with a madman. It's absolutely delightful to watch Sellers as Mandrake. Similarly, Sellers plays fictional American President Merkin Muffley as stern, thoughtful, and fastidious to the point of hilarity. His overly hurt tone is so funny to listen as he tries to comprehend the situation at hand. Lastly, Dr. Strangelove is Sellers going nuts as an ex-Nazi scientist with a lisp and an uncontrollable fascist hand. It's as funny as it sounds. Sellers makes the movie, but he is joined in good company.

Speaking of which, George C. Scott gives the funniest performance of his otherwise serious acting career. He displays fervent warmongering and manic desperation as he chews gum and give advice. Scott is so passionate and hysteric, his acting is all the more believable. He is probably my favorite role in Dr. Strangelove as Scott is essentially parodying his most character type in his other films as the commanding angry commander. George C. Scott is just hilarious as General Buck Turgidson.

Finally, I must mention the furious insanity and raving lunacy in the very funny role from Sterling Hayden as Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper. Hayden starts out calm and collected issuing his mad orders with a presence of total confidence. As Dr. Strangelove goes on, Hayden perfectly demonstrates Ripper's obsession with conspiracy and paranoia over Communists with a nervous haze and a vigorous zeal. His speeches are both concerning and hilarious. He just keeps on ranting about Communists with such passion and fervor with no basis in anything he says that Dr. Strangelove just keeps getting funnier as you watch.

The madness will get to you eventually as Dr. Strangelove is one of the few comedies that is not only amusing, but also a brilliant display of filmmaking from Kubrick. Give it a watch if you can get your hands on The Criterion Collection restoration.
January 4, 2019
this movie is great. funny, dark, and very interesting.
December 21, 2018
Fantastic acting and subtle comedy really make this classic stand out
December 18, 2018
the first film of Kubrick's I ever saw, and still my favorite. Amazing all over, Peter Sellers and George C Scott's greatest roles in my opinion. Love it.
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