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Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory

1957
Drama
War
1h 28m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 78.62% from 4606 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(4606)
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Rated 14 Aug 2007
94
97th
The acting is wonderful, the cinematography is wonderful, the plot is wonderful, the music is wonderful, the themes of injustice and corrupt officers and anti-war are wonderful. The only charge you can really level against it is that it doesn't have the operatic magnificence of Kubrick's more acknowledged work. But what you get instead is his most concise, to-the-point film. Every minute of it is devoted to moving the story forward, nothing feels potentially superfluous or ostentatious.
Rated 22 May 2008
95
98th
I think the word "horrific" describes this movie perfectly. The battle scenes, even though they're over fifty years old now, are absolutely horrific in their depiction of a hopeless attack. The lack of any compassion from the jurors? Horrific. The focus on personal success at the expense of any of his men from General Mireau? Horrific. The complete apathy of General Broulard to the loss of human lives who's only concern is the perception of the army? Horrific. This film is a masterpiece.
Rated 09 Feb 2007
5
93rd
Kubrick's first successful war film (let's not speak of Fear and Desire any more than we must). The dialogue is a bit overwrought, but its successes are pointed thematics and marvelous visual displays. It boasts vigorous and uniformly superb acting, virtuoso camerawork, and elaborate choreography. An indictment of the hierarchy that depersonalizes war, among its most memorable effects is the jarring contrast of its two major locations: a hellish trench and an opulent chateau.
Rated 20 Jul 2008
98
99th
Simply stunning. Kubrick provides a harrowing look at the internal mechanics of the military organization. He manages to avoid treading the all too familiar ground of many war movies--the straightforward rejection of the violence and cruelty of war. We know war is violent. We know war is cruel. Kubrick is not one to craft something so simple. This film is a complex drama that defies the boundaries of conventions, while showcasing them with dazzling effect. A masterpiece.
Rated 11 Apr 2007
96
97th
This is one of the greatest war films ever made. It's very different from most films you will see today. Sure it has battle sequences, but it really focuses on the political side, as well as the brutality of war outside of the battlefield. Paths of Glory has mindblowing cinematography, and extremely realistic battle scenes, especially for its time. It is also very emotional. There is little bits of humour, as well as one of the saddest scenes I've ever seen in film. One of Kubrick's finest
Rated 16 Dec 2010
100
98th
I waited for a moment that never came. Horrifying.
Rated 18 Feb 2009
10
97th
(2nd viewing) A rather unsettling but compulsive and courageous piece of work from Kubrick that features some amazing battle sequences and cinematography. You really feel like you're there, absorbing the soldier's fear and judging the absurdity of the trial. I think Kubrick established himself as a "director to watch" with this film. Paths of Glory is without a doubt a film not to be missed.
Rated 29 Nov 2008
5
91st
One of the best war films ever made; a harrowing and compelling examination of military culture on par with The Bridge on the River Kwai (and released in the same year, no less). The acting is uniformly excellent, and the film moves along with taut economy and gripping tension that have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The photography is great as well, with some really memorable imagery, especially during some of the battle scenes.
Rated 31 Jan 2012
100
99th
In many ways I could see this as even better than Strangelove. It looked good; some of the long cuts through the trenches were amazing. It cast a keenly critical glance at the inhumanity of war & power, and did so with increasingly subtle layering - managing to balance between Rousseau and Hobbes so cleverly. It also sits superbly well against 12 Angry Men as 1957's amazing pieces on justice.
Rated 13 Jun 2016
83
77th
"The paths of glory lead but to the grave." As in all of Kubrick's war films it shows little to none of the 'enemy' force, emphasizing a humanity v. itself dynamic over any trace of us v. them. The moving final scene (bleakly echoed thirty years later in Full Metal Jacket) shows the cynical director at his most sentimental, which is kind of necessary after watching such a spiritual beatdown.
Rated 05 Oct 2009
98
98th
With aesthetics somewhere in between classical Hollywood and Kubrick's blossoming, tenacious awesomeness, this film excels at both and then some. Actually, it probably works so well just because of that: his cynicism is here, but it's constantly in conflict with humanistic idealism, making every scene taut and horrific. The battle scenes are also amazingly done. Basically, it is all brilliant.
Rated 15 Mar 2010
9
93rd
I've certainly seen better courtroom dramas and certainly seen better war films but rarely do they mash up together and make something so poignant and real. One of Kubrick's better efforts, it's entertaining and fast moving and it succeeds in showing how harsh war can be. Kirk Douglas is wonderful.
Rated 16 Dec 2010
86
87th
It captured perfectly the mindset and numb acumen of the gods who condemn souls to no man's land over fine brandy. The fashionable ballrooms accompanied by light chamber music, while soldiers whisper in the dark barracks about the inevitability of death waiting in the morning - Truly the sinew of all war. The last voice of a female; it wasn't mama's, but a foreigner's farewell lullaby. What torture to be reminded of the innocence you have lost, and the humanity you will likely never find again.
Rated 24 May 2009
100
97th
One of the few movies that left me speechless at the end. Great performances from all, especially the three condemned (Tim Carey, Ralph Meeker, and Joe Turkel). Trademark Kubrick camera work isn't just showy, but rather makes the story more compelling. The long moves through the trenches are heartbreaking. And we've put people through this sort of hell.
Rated 15 May 2007
88
87th
Halfway through, I thought it was a nice satire, not as sharp as Strangelove but just as acidic. By the end, I was devastated. Didn't realize Kubrick was capable of something so sincerely humanist.
Rated 23 Feb 2013
100
99th
Gut-punchingly bleak and tragic. One of Douglas' best performances and one of Kubrick's best films. Anti-war films don't get much better than this; it's a powerful film that leaves the viewer feeling powerless.
Rated 18 Dec 2006
85
92nd
A gripping story with fine performances by Douglas and the rest of the cast. I don't think it's visually as impressive as later Kubrick films, but the direction is consistently very good and occasionally excellent (e.g. trench scenes). I also think it's interesting that Kubrick's usual cynicism is present but less striking than in Strangelove or Clockwork. It makes for one of the most emotionally tense pictures he's done.
Rated 25 Jan 2011
100
85th
2 Shaqtaculars
Rated 05 Dec 2010
92
99th
Paths of Glory runs less than 90 minutes in length, but it is perhaps the most effective filmic treatise on the inhuman nature of war.
Rated 31 Dec 2012
92
96th
Every element of this film is executed exceptionally well. From the long tracking shots through the trenches showing the faces of men facing almost certain doom to the harrowing charge through no-man's-land; from the intense courtroom scene to the heartbreaking march to the firing squad. Great performances all around and typically wonderful direction from Kubrick really complement a solid story that shows both the horrors of the battlefield and the inhuman politics of the military and war.
Rated 24 Nov 2012
95
91st
Brilliantly short and to the point: Kubrick's first masterpiece wastes no time in dishing out the most thought provoking ethical arguments for not only war, but humanity and justice, with style and cynicism. Proof that Kubrick's most innovative and ambitious pictures are not necessarily his most flawless and powerful.
Rated 11 Feb 2012
95
97th
Just thinking about this movie makes me want to throw up. To think that stuff like this actually happened. To think about how unfair life is, and how disconnected we sometimes allow our leaders to be. This film will leave an incredible impression upon you.
Rated 29 Aug 2009
93
96th
of all the strong points of this movie - and there's lots of them - the one that struck me the most was the cockroach bit. "now you've got the edge on him" ohhhh yeah.
Rated 29 Aug 2013
90
95th
The final scene killed me. A shred of humanity in a swamp of hubris, blind ambition, corruption and downright cruelty. The film feels a bit clinical in places (typical Kubrick, I guess), but there are several scenes that are incredibly choreographed and the dialogue is sharply written with a fair bit of black humour. One of the great films on the folly of war.
Rated 20 Jul 2009
95
94th
Whether it's showing us the front lines of battle or the lavish general's quarters, Paths of Glory always excels in its drama. The intense, harrowing battle footage is complemented perfectly by a story of a man's complete disregard for these horrors that the soldiers must face. Kirk Douglas and George Macready give outstanding performances, but I was more surprised by the memorable scenes with the minor characters. Don't miss this.
Rated 14 Feb 2007
90
85th
I'm not a big fan of Kirk Douglas, but he's good here. However, the true star of the movie is George Macready. Although I despise his character's ideas about war and honor, I understand his motivations -- in no small part thanks to Macready's performance. Kubrick's direction is also very good, although the movie, like his other pre-Strangelove movies, isn't as readily identifiable as a Kubrick movie as his later work.
Rated 20 Feb 2013
80
72nd
Fuk u Kubrick u made me cri
Rated 21 Jul 2009
94
97th
A poignant, important movie about the ridiculous and arbitrary nature of war. Thematically, Paths of Glory is decades ahead of its time, sharing more in common with contemporary war movies of the "anti-war" flavor than with typical "our hero saves the day" stuff of the 1950s. Kirk Douglas is amazing here, proving what a truly gifted actor he is, and Kubrick shows that his film making was concise and confident even back with his early work. A truly great movie all around.
Rated 22 Jan 2010
93
91st
A very good movie. Best in his war collection. It reveals all the dirty stuff that hides behind the battle fields: insane generals with crazy ideas of taking heavily armed enemies positions, betrayal of soldiers by their commanders, the higher rank means more than bravery and courage. This one is one is also one of the saddest movies about uselessness and absurdity of war. Kubrick kept on moving up the hill of the Greatest!!!
Rated 03 Nov 2008
95
96th
Possibly one of the best World War One movies I have seen and also a excellent court room drama. The end is almost sickening to watch made even more terrible by the Generals simple disregard for their soldiers lives. All this made even better by Kubrick's fantastic direction.
Rated 23 Jul 2017
98
98th
I just might have a new favourite film.
Rated 16 Nov 2008
7
99th
A crowning achievement in character development - carried by phenomenal actors giving everything they have - along with cinematography well in bounds of Kubrick's finest work. Magnificent. The end piece always catches me off guard.
Rated 06 Apr 2019
100
99th
Powerful anti-war film that relies more on the political drama than any overt horrific war images. The courtroom scene is probably the weakest part but doesn't drag on for too long. Almost a happy ending with the general getting his comeuppance. The shooting squad scene was very tense with the constantly beating drum and your expectation that some last minute miracle will occur. Fav scene: Kubrick's wife singing.
Rated 13 Aug 2011
99
97th
Powerful anti-war film is quite extraordinary, and has lost none of its impact some 55 years later. Kubrick's mastery of the epic long shot (note the extended sequences touring through key locations giving the viewer an extraordinary feeling of place) is married to unusually subtle, heartbreaking performances (for a Kubrick film); Carey and Douglas stand out here, but Macready dominates overall as the contemptible Gen Mireau. Quite possibly Kubrick's finest hour.
Rated 19 Nov 2012
81
56th
There's a deliberate focus here that's absent from Kubrick's other films: the impossible task converges with the alleged cowardice that's inherent in all anti-war sentiments. When Dax confronts the court, viciously challenging their authenticity, their capacity to dispense justice, it's where the root of the film's themes lie. Few other war films cynically question the purpose of warfare to begin with. Compared to Kubrick's other work Paths of Glory is rather simple, but expertly executed.
Rated 06 Sep 2010
59
43rd
Blasphemy forthcoming: I thought it was decent. Decent. Didn't find it to be a particularly riveting or life-altering movie experience.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
97th
One of my favorites of Kubrick's, this one really packs a punch. The epic scale of this low budget film is truly amazing and a testament in Kubrick's abilities.
Rated 05 Feb 2013
85
80th
Wait, Kubrick can be humanist? Huh. A superb film about war, corruption and class. I can't quite place it among my favourite Kubrick's (I prefer his more operatic work), but it's still riveting stuff that really got my angry at the injustice on show, and that ending is haunting.
Rated 04 Nov 2010
90
93rd
Perfect anti-war movie. One of Kirk Douglas finest performances.
Rated 08 Mar 2011
67
81st
Kirk Douglas is the heart of this movie. In fact, unlike later Kubrick films, the acting outshines the direction. Which isn't to say the direction is bad: the themes are strong, the conflict between idealism, pragmatism, and self-interest is handled wonderfully, and there's still a sense of meticulous perfection to the story.
Rated 25 Mar 2010
70
78th
The men died wonderfully!
Rated 12 Aug 2011
76
79th
A war movie with no cliches!
Rated 16 Jul 2009
85
94th
Thank God somebody gave Kubrick a real shot.
Rated 20 Jul 2010
73
66th
'The paths of glory lead but to the grave.' Very powerful anti-war movie and sincerely humanist. Short and sweet.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
94
99th
Absolutely amazing !!!
Rated 18 Nov 2010
95
97th
War is hell and humanity is horrible. That's pretty much what this movie teaches you and does so brilliantly. The photography is amazing, making the battle scenes look beautiful while still having impact. This movie is definitely timeless, in another 50 years people will still be killing each other and this movie will still be there to remind everyone how war is ridiculous.
Rated 25 Sep 2010
95
98th
An excellent anti-war statement, and Kirk Douglas is perfect as the lead.
Rated 19 Nov 2008
100
97th
I have been waiting for a great movie to show that many Officers do not deserve the rank, and frankly deserve to burn in Hell. However, many Captains, lower-to-middle management if you will, are likely to never achieve a higher rank, and yet deserve so, so much more. What a great movie. Besides the black and white picture, this feels...recent. It doesn't feel like a 50 year old movie. So good. So well acted and directed.
Rated 14 Aug 2011
96
99th
In my opinion, Kubrick's best film. It doesn't waste a single frame to anything not important. The cinematography is one of the best for its time. Long, perfectly laid out tracking shots. It's very tense, and flows nicely through multiple different genre's, my favourite probably being the court room drama.
Rated 29 Mar 2007
100
95th
One of the great anti-war films. You never get tired of it
Rated 06 Jun 2012
88
96th
Excellent for a war film, excellent for a court film, excellent for a political film. It's really all three rolled into one and it brilliantly captures the horrors of war. And Kirk Douglas is absolutely incredible
Rated 28 Mar 2013
93
98th
Occasionally heavy-handed in its view of the rift between wealthy officers and their underlings, but overall outstanding and incredibly emotionally powerful. I borrow from another user in agreeing that I was devastated by its ending.
Rated 04 Feb 2012
90
98th
A barrage of cruelty captured mostly in close-up, this movie stares right into the heart of what makes men evil. There are moments that are frustrating, heart-breaking, and sometimes downright enraging. War makes fools of us all.
Rated 06 Aug 2011
75
67th
Started out kind of slow, but I got sucked in by the time the trial/sentence was put forth. I did like this more than most of Kubrik's other films, but that might be because I'm not that big of a fan of his.
Rated 02 Oct 2008
88
92nd
Being one of Kubrick's earlier movies, "Paths of Glory" is not as abstract as later ones by him and therefore maybe more accessible by a broader audience. The topic of this movie also attributes to that. The only thing that it lacks, as most pioeces of that period do, is that the fact that an actor with a braod American accent plays a French soldier... otherwise the movie is really good.
Rated 09 Jan 2016
92
99th
Paths of Glory is a thought-provoking anti-war film as it should be. It shows the disgustingness of war with brutal honesty, where foot soldiers aren't really being thought of or even treated as human beings, but rather being treated as a simple expendable number. It really sticks with you and kind of makes you sick that something like this ever existed and by all means still exists to this day. Stanley Kubrick is a master and Paths of Glory is probably my favourite anti-war film.
Rated 26 Feb 2013
95
93rd
This is one of the most underrated films not just from Kubrick, but of all time. Kirk Douglas shines and displays incredible emotion throughout this film. You really feel like he was the character; just absolute, intense immersion. Not many directors could make this story entertaining, but through masterful camerawork and direction, and the intensity of Kirk Douglas, it's a powerful film that I won't forget.
Rated 21 Aug 2010
91
98th
A dark tale about dehumanizing in wartime, and it's a fascinating watch throughout. A lot of Kubrick-ish elements show up here, making it even more interesting. The gritty nightmare of the trenches is a gut-punching contrast to the opulent surroundings for the leadership. The pre-assault trench-walking scene is amazing. AMAZING!
Rated 11 Jun 2016
94
94th
I wanted to grab a hammer and smash my television screen.
Rated 11 Feb 2012
93
95th
"Because you don't know the answer to that question. I pity you."
Rated 10 May 2015
90
94th
Many paths are trodden, but none of them lead to Glory.
Rated 12 Oct 2015
6
83rd
rewatch. with the inevitable obfuscation of time, it is easy to forget just how good a director kubrick was, even in his early days. here, efficiency prevails, with simple and symmetrical camera movements showing us only the bare minimum of scenes required to express his point of view. this style and substance have not yet combined to produce that vicious sarcasm, with an ending that belies his fundamental antihumanism. but it is still good.
Rated 13 Apr 2009
5
93rd
"Star Kirk Douglas used to say he didn't have to wait 50 years to know that Paths Of Glory would "always be good". He was right."
Rated 11 Jan 2011
94
98th
Incredible movie, it made me mad and sad. The scenes are so powerful
Rated 04 Jul 2011
80
88th
Once you get over the initial annoyment, that its americans playing french, Kirk Douglas is amazing in this somewhat short war flick about chain of command and the unfairness of war taken out on three unlucky individuals...
Rated 17 Dec 2011
87
92nd
This movie has a great script. The performances and directing also stand out in this film. Kirk Douglas is the only one in the cast that I recognize but the supporting cast is also very good. This is a must see if you are a fan of Stanley Kubrick or like war films.
Rated 03 Aug 2011
100
99th
The power of this film is unexplainable.
Rated 09 Jul 2007
95
98th
This is the perfect anti-authority film. Perfectly geared to make you bristle with indignation.
Rated 09 Feb 2011
90
97th
Kubrick's clearest triumph. The script is about morality and war, and is one of raw, thrashing drama, but profoundly intellectual for all its edginess. The directing is meticulous and the cinematography beautiful. The battlefield is rendered in a drastically more realistic way than in earlier war movies, despite regrettably missing the cries of the wounded. The biggest flaw is Kirk Douglas, an amiable but less than masterful actor, miscast in a role demanding more nuance than he's got.
Rated 17 Feb 2017
95
94th
Except for one speech when Kirk Douglas gets to act as the righteous voice of the viewer, this is a great match of Kubrick's precision to a powerful subject. Efficient, dark, and eccentric.
Rated 09 Sep 2012
45
26th
The piece that supposedly opened up Kubrick's misanthropy might have been a lot softer because of his urge to make a popular film. It has one of the great movie attack scenes ever done. Kubrick was very much under the influence of Max Ophüls as he made the film, and it's clear he was imitating the immense, rapid tracking shots so favored by Ophüls. But he could not understand the feeling in the master's view of people. Paths of Glory is an immaculately cold enterprise.
Rated 06 Apr 2012
87
81st
A marvelous film by Stanley Kubrick, about how the system of leadership in war invites corruption. Wonderful cinematography and sound and Kirk Douglas is amazing.
Rated 04 Oct 2012
83
96th
Intelligent, sparse and horrific. Major let down: The judges in the court-martial seem too stupid to be remotely realistic.
Rated 26 Jul 2018
86
91st
War as a pretext to study soul-crushing social structures. Every class playing against every class and the most powerful winning in the end. Still the final scene is very humane, even though Kubrick blows hot and cold in it. Very efficient direction.
Rated 15 Oct 2013
97
99th
(Human Race?)
Rated 23 Dec 2008
79
90th
The last scene! *awe*
Rated 23 Apr 2020
91
94th
One of the greatest anti-war films ever made, and one of Kirk Douglas' finest performances.
Rated 03 Aug 2018
80
81st
Pro tip: If you don't want nightmares about being executed, don't watch this before bed.
Rated 19 Dec 2013
80
85th
Expertly written and realized, "Paths of Glory" isn't one of Kubrick's flashiest or most thematically intriguing endeavors, but it's nevertheless an involving and even moving (anti-)war picture. Kirk Douglas is perfect for the leading part of the idealist colonel, while the combat sequences, tame and dated as they may seem today, were pretty darn masterful for 1957.
Rated 25 Sep 2007
89
84th
A more than solid war film from Kubrick. A nice little sense of humor that would be more fully explored in Dr. Strangelove. Oh and the ending is pretty fantastic.
Rated 19 May 2019
75
60th
Kirk Douglas is amazing!
Rated 05 Nov 2012
90
73rd
89.500
Rated 16 Aug 2014
97
97th
War is hell, and men are devils.
Rated 10 Mar 2020
86
88th
85.7
Rated 07 May 2011
90
99th
Amazing!
Rated 06 Aug 2022
95
99th
Exceptionally good. Great cast and fantastic storytelling.
Rated 18 Mar 2018
60
47th
Hard-hitting war film. The fanatic French general might be one of the most frightening antagonists ever.
Rated 29 Jun 2011
80
84th
It looks great and is stunningly well-made, also well-acted and with some memorable dialogue. Still, I was a little disappointed having had really high expectations for it. Very good, but it didn't blow me away.
Rated 25 Dec 2013
64
22nd
A blunt and simplified war story. There's a lot that I admire about this, especially the acting from Douglas, the war sequences, the mounting tension on the doomed soldier prisoners. But this film comes from a place of obvious morality, and the antagonising of anything that needs to be antagonised (superior officers) feels far too strong for me to take it seriously. The French banned this film for a number of decades and, to be honest, I don't blame them.
Rated 01 Dec 2011
95
93rd
Such a powerful, frustrating film. Odd coming from a supposedly cold, mechanical director like Stanely Kubrick. Kirk Douglas is fucking awesome (I've only seen a few of his films but I think he always is) and the cinematography/camerawork is stunning. This is one of Kubrick's real masterpieces.
Rated 22 Jul 2011
1
0th
It's so tightly paced, I find it hard to believe it actually was an hour and a half. It's a great anti-war film, that subverts expectations, and manages to seem classically shakespearean (the dying/being killed speech) and incredibly modern at the same time. I mean, hey, it's Kubrick. Watch it. Score is not a grade.
Rated 09 Apr 2016
80
88th
A very good early film from Kubrick, "Paths of Glory" is brief and to-the-point. Thought-provoking, moving and with powerful dialogue, it captivates and even thrills the viewer not so much with the very limited battle sequences but with its words, spirit and meaning.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
91
85th
# 181
Rated 16 Nov 2008
89
92nd
One of the best anti-war movies ever. Douglas and Kubrick do an excellent job.
Rated 24 Jan 2012
92
96th
Awesome movie with probably the best ending ever. It s just heart- breaking to watch.
Rated 12 Dec 2015
70
75th
There is some powerful acting mostly from Douglas and George Macready but over all I found the acting merely passable. The first half of the film up to and including the courtroom scenes were great but it all goes down hill from there.
Rated 11 Nov 2017
80
92nd
P.O.G demonstrated Kubrick's his increasingly complex use of space while still delivering a relatively straight forward viewing experience that conforms to audience expectations. Lancaster gives a career best performance as Dax, an idealistic colonel that finds himself in conflict with his superiors over the fate of three soldiers in his unit. The tracking shots through the trenches are superbly orchestrated, the battle scenes are tense and the melancholy finale is uncommonly moving.
Rated 18 Dec 2009
72
68th
Great direction from Kubrick in this black-and-white war picture drenched in cynicism. Fine performances from Kirk Douglas as the honorable Colonel and George Macready as the general with some dehumanizing ideas about war and honor.
Rated 24 Dec 2008
86
92nd
starts very strong with some of the best war filming that would stand for forty years. the second half is not as enjoyable, but a wonderful example of good cinema. the ending is sentimental and not quite as powerful as was intended, but the point is easily recieved.
Rated 04 Feb 2013
78
57th
Solid performances and solid shooting/cinematography make this a decent watch. The story was not what I expected; I didn't expect them to spend half the film debating the fate of some court-martialled soldiers. This second half was a little tedious at times, and I think Kubrick could have inserted some subplots or at least milked a bit more emotion out of the sentenced men. Kirk Douglas acts his part well but I don't feel I'll ever need to see this film again.

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