Catch-22 (1970) 4.28/5 (3)


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Rating: The Good – 78.2
Genre: War, Satire
Duration: 122 mins
Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Alan Arkin, Martin BalsamOrson Welles

One of the great anti-war statements, Mike Nichols film adaption of Joseph Heller’s acerbic and outlandish satire is a tour de force in every respect. Alan Arkin couldn’t have been better as bombardier Capt. Yossarian, whose attempts to avoid duty due to insanity run afoul of a strange clause in airforce regulations. The supporting performances are equally sterling and there is an array of talent on show as nearly every big name from that era features to excellent effect. Catch-22 isn’t about story or plot but rather it attempts to frame the varied experiences of war from a distant and more clinical perspective and in doing so explore the construct of war in both heartfelt and hilarious ways. It’s completely refreshing and unlike anything we’ve seen in this genre and for that reason alone it’s probably worth a look. But like all great satires, once you go beyond the humour, there are some deeply cutting and perennially pertinent inferences to be made.

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