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651 Ratings


Directed by Mike Nichols
United States, 1970
Comedy, War


A bombardier in World War II tries desperately to escape the insanity of the war. However, sometimes insanity is the only sane way cope with a crazy situation.

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Catch-22 Directed by Mike Nichols

Awards & Festivals

BAFTA Awards

1971 | 2 nominations including: Best Cinematography

Writers Guild of America

1971 | Nominee: Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium (Screen)

National Society of Film Critics Awards

1971 | 2nd place: Best Supporting Actor

Critics reviews

Catch-22 is usually counted as an epic misfire, the first film to punch a hole in Nichols’s charmed reputation. But it’s a wonderful picture of men in their landscape, which begins as lyrically, with as much sense of promise in a world newly discovered, as The Day of the Dolphin.
January 29, 2016
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Because Nichols’ work lacks overt visual continuity or obvious recurring interests, there was widespread skepticism about his claim to auteur status, with Catch-22 presumably the coda to a career that hit the same heights afterwards. That’s unfair; what’s striking throughout Nichols’ career is that tonal precision, an ability to navigate comic and dramatic registers without getting overxexcited.
November 20, 2014
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What are people saying?

  • Stefan Drees's rating of the film Catch-22

    There are some good ideas (e.g. regarding the structure of the narration), but all in all I'm missing the satirical sharpness of Robert Altman's "M.A.S.H.". Nichols' film is far too harmless, and the gags sometimes are utterly clumsy, annoying and embarrassing.

  • Phil Worfel's rating of the film Catch-22

    Hilarious! Yet another reason why Alan Arkin deserves any and all awards that could be given to him. He's one of the most underrated actors of his generation. The film itself is a knockout blend of extraordinary humor and tragedy. The tragic madness of war was never better portrayed.

  • Roscoe's rating of the film Catch-22

    A mess, too cutely clever in places (like the tasteless use of Strauss' Thus Spach Zarathustra), it never manages the immense power of Heller's novel. But there are a few precious moments of Marcel Dalio as an old man in a brothel when the film comes magically to life.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Catch-22

    The concept of the Catch-22 is an excellent extended metaphor for the impasses and conflicts of our flawed society. Nichols' adaptation is solid, but I would argue that beyond the ground-breaking premise, the book is a fairly rote anti-war satire which can't quite compete on a political level with 'The Thin Red Line', 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Dr Strangelove'.

  • P Teddy Sawyer's rating of the film Catch-22

    If you had seen this only on a black and white television you would not know that it was visually perfect in panavision and that the perfect time to watch it was on remembrance day just after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America. And then it would all make perfect sense.

  • 'king Harold's rating of the film Catch-22

    "What if everyone did that?' "Then I'd be crazy to do any different". Social satire of the highest order, it's like Bunuel or something. When you look at how Mike Nichols started out, performing comedy skits with Elaine May, so ahead of their time you can see where his witty films come from. Brilliant screenplay, photography and cast, especially Alan Arkin. Loved it.

  • runfromfire's rating of the film Catch-22

    Terribly underrated. It always ends up getting compared to MASH because they came out the same year but if you can avoid the comparison and can separate the film from the book, Catch-22 is a great film with a great cast. Jon Voight, Alan Arkin & Bob Balaban are particularly good.

  • Dalibor's rating of the film Catch-22

    Orson Welles had the idea about making a film adaptation of the renown book, but ended up with only a minor part in it. A part that looks weirdly off-tone and banal. Otherwise, an intriguing satire of war as depersonalized bureaucratic loophole, offering more as a set of more or less successful sequences than an overall experience. I appreciate the "pale" aesthetics referencing Italian cinema of 50' and 60's.

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