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The Brattle Theatre
Cambridge, MA
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(2012) dir Jason Lapeyre, Robert Wilson w/Siam Yu, Gage Munroe, Michael Friend, Aidan Gouveia, Mackenzie Munro, Alex Cardillo [94 min; DCP]
Armed with nothing more than sticks, their imaginations, and a simple set of rules, a group of 12-year-olds engage in a lively game of Capture the Flag in the neighborhood woods. A seemingly weekly occurrence, this game  and the friendships it has forged  are not without baggage and, this fateful week  as the lines between make-believe and reality begin to bleed together  the game takes on more serious repercussions. By the end of the day, flags will be captured, secrets will be revealed, relationships will be tested, and no one will ever be the same again.

Coming of age films are rarely as entertaining and honest as I DECLARE WAR. Directors Robert Wilson and Jason Lapeyre cleverly blend the odd innocence of a group of kids on the cusp of adolescence with the epic tone of a classic war film by literally showing us the blood, guns, and explosions that they see in their mind's eye. Rocks = Grenades. Trees = Control towers. Branches = Submachine guns. Evoking films like Stand By Me that aren't afraid to depict the way kid's actually talk and act around each other (including plenty of foul language), I DECLARE WAR will take you back to endless summer afternoons or, for some younger viewers, it might add some insight into what's really going on during your own backyard battles.

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER: 2012 Fantastic Fest

"Vividly captures a point in time as a kid where everything was important, even the imaginary things."  MTV Geek


The Brattle Theatre (View)
40 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States



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