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War and Peace

Romance . History . Drama

In a new adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's timeless novel, three young people experience life, love and loss against the epic backdrop of Russia's wars with Napoleon.

Status: Ended
TV Channel: BBC One
  • Verne Gay

    Davies’ dialogue feels so organic to the characters it’s written for that it seems almost to bond to them, as naturally as if it was their skin or hair color. Actors in Davies’ production invariably rise to the level of the words placed before them. They certainly do here.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Molly Eichel

    This version of War & Peace may not have all of its parts intact, but it keeps the structure of the plot in place, giving a nice overview of Tolstoy’s novel, and keeping a tight pace for TV. It’ll be interesting to see whether the series can sustain throughout its six-part run, but the first few hours are an enjoyable way to pretend to digest great world literature.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    It clips along in leaps and bounds, and the speed at which events occur can make them seem dramatically obvious, more declared than developed. Much of the time you don't feel the characters' pain so much as take it as read. But the key moments of spiritual revelation are handled well and the production gains power in the home stretch, just where you want power gained.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Daniel D'Addario

    The ambition on display is laudable; Leo Tolstoy’s novel is transformed into an entertainment product that moves with 21st century briskness.

    Time Full Review
  • Robert Rorke

    Viewers willing to lose themselves in this rich tapestry of a bygone world will not be disappointed.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    [Davies and director Tom Harper] reduce, expand, or toss out numerous plot lines and characters, all in the service of heavy-breathing romance and big-spectacle battle scenes in a kind of young-adult-novel depiction of Russian families caught up in 19th-century tumult.... Old pros such as Jim Broadbent, Stephen Rea, and Brian Cox are around to lend the soap opera proceedings some gravity.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Dan Fienberg

    It's a march through epic battles, epic romance and epic intellectual discovery, but viewers are probably going to have to take that old Tolstoy off the shelf ito fully understand what's so epic about it. Onscreen, it remains a fine, fast-moving yarn, but you don't have to have read the book to nod sagely and say, "The book is better."

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    This series starts out with promise but ultimately ends up ordinary, another historical drama with well-regarded actors, fancy costumes and not much to distinguish it from all the others.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    It looks absolutely lovely: The Empire-waist gowns! The parties! The jaw-dropping palaces! There are undoubtedly treats for the eyes in almost every direction. As for the story, however, War and Peace feels like a long, dull slog to Moscow.

    Variety Full Review
  • John Anderson

    At no time will the viewer feel that he or she has been transported to 1805 Russia, the drawing rooms of St. Petersburg, or the blood-soaked battlefields of the Napoleonic wars. That said, it’s not entirely a bad time. This is because directed Tom Harper and screenwriter Andrew Davies are far less interested in Tolstoy’s take on the individual’s place in the universe than they are in the who’s-sleeping-with-whom school of world literature and the more sentimental aspects of Tolstoy’s story. Neither are they much interested in subtlety.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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