• The War of the Roses (1989)

The War of the Roses

Release Date: December 8th, 1989

DVD Release Date: December 18th, 2001

R |1 hr 56 min

Plot Summary

After 17 years of marriage, Barbara (Kathleen Turner) and Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas) want out. The trouble is, neither one wants to part with their opulent home. So begins a long war between husband and wife, reaching farcical heights that leave much of the house -- not to mention their lives -- in shambles. The couple's children (Sean Astin, Heather Fairfield) watch in horror while lawyer Gavin D'Amato (Danny DeVito) tries his best to stem the bloodshed.

Cast: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Marianne Sägebrecht, Sean Astin, Heather Fairfield, G.D. Spradlin, Peter Donat

Director: Danny DeVito

Genres: Comedy

Production Co: Gracie Films, Twentieth Century Fox

Keywords: House, Husband, Dark, Wife, Amusing, Son, Rivalry, Marriage, Daughter, Brash, 1980s, Madcap

Ratings & Reviews

  • 75
    Dave KehrChicago Tribune

    It can't be easy to keep a comedy on track when the underlying emotions are so vicious, and indeed DeVito's staging slips more than once -- too realistic here, too broad there -- resulting in a film that is at least as often funny-peculiar as it is funny-haha. [8 Dec 1989]

  • 40
    Wall Street Journal

    A great premise for a movie. Unfortunately, The War of the Roses is not clever, at least not very often. [14 Dec 1989, p.A20(E)]

  • 75
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    The movie treads a dangerous line. There are times when its ferocity threatens to break through the boundaries of comedy - to become so unremitting we find we cannot laugh. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominated Adapted Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1991)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy