(2005)

Critic Reviews

70

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
The Hollywood Reporter
With a cast of Scottish, German and French actors all speaking their own language, writer-director Christian Carion has fashioned a deeply moving and uplifting piece.
90
Variety
A period drama marbled with humor, bold gestures and bittersweet consequences.
88
Joyeux Noël is gritty and disturbing with its extended scenes of war and destruction. It also is emotional, even a touch sentimental.
75
If audiences are hesitant to believe that the fraternization in this film really happened, it will be because of the storytelling, not the story.
70
Village Voice
Carion is no Jean Renoir, but he does strike an appealingly low key of tender, faintly goofy affinity between the combatants.
70
L.A. Weekly
Joyeux Noël finishes up as no more than a garden-variety tearjerker, neatly packaged for Oscar candidacy. It's not hard to see why the French chose this inoffensive weepie as their nominee for best foreign-language film, when they might have had Jacques Audiard's far superior, if more difficult, "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" or Arnaud Desplechin's "Kings & Queen."
70
The uncomplicated humanism of Joyeux Noël, with its Christmas message of peace, feels at once irrefutable and refreshing.
67
The A.V. Club
Though a painless time-passer, Joyeux Noël ultimately contributes little to the venerable anti-war genre beyond its curious message that to some degree, war is hell because it prevents soldiers from making really neat friends and pen-pals from different counties.
50
If the film's sentiments about the madness of war are impeccably high-minded, why then does Joyeux Noël, an Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film, feel as squishy and vague as a handsome greeting card declaring peace on earth?
50
New York Daily News
You can't go wrong with an uplifting, anti-war story like this, but director Christian Carion trowels on the schmaltz, and the movie's emphasis on Christian values actually seems to spell doom for solving today's conflicts with the Middle East.

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