Watch Catch-22

"The nice thing about war is that the person who kills you really has nothing against you. Personally."
  • R
  • 1970
  • 2 hr 1 min
  • 7.1  (26,373)
  • 70

The movie Catch-22, released in 1970, is based on the novel of the same name by author Joseph Heller and is directed by Mike Nichols. The movie follows the story of Captain John Yossarian, played by Alan Arkin, who is a bombardier in the US Army Air Corps during World War II. Yossarian is stationed on the Mediterranean island of Pianosa, off the coast of Italy, where he is part of the 256th Squadron.

The movie begins with a scene where Yossarian is visited by his friend and fellow soldier, Orr, played by Bob Balaban, who is constantly trying to escape the war by pretending to be insane. This concept is central to the plot of Catch-22, where the military rules and regulations that govern Yossarian's life are so absurd and contradictory, that it becomes impossible for him to figure out a way to survive the war.

The catch-22 of the title refers to a paradoxical military rule that says a soldier can be grounded from flying if he is considered insane, but to be considered insane, he must ask to be grounded, which is considered a sane act. This creates a no-win situation for Yossarian and the other soldiers, who are caught in a cycle of following rules that make no sense, hoping to survive the war while knowing that death is inevitable.

As the movie progresses, Yossarian becomes increasingly disillusioned with the war and the military bureaucracy that seems to be keeping him and his fellow soldiers in harm's way. He is tormented by the idea of throwing bombs on innocent people, and his encounters with other soldiers and officers highlight the absurdity of the war effort.

One of the key characters in the movie is Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder, played by Jon Voight, who epitomizes the corrupt and self-serving nature of the military industrial complex. Milo is always looking to make a profit, and he uses his position in the military to engage in black market dealings, smuggling and trading goods for personal gain. His disregard for the lives of soldiers and civilians alike shows how the war effort is often driven by greed rather than a sense of duty or patriotism.

Another character who plays an important role in the movie is Major Major Major, played by Bob Newhart. He is a comical character who embodies the absurdity of the military hierarchy. He is given the rank of Major purely because of his name, and he spends most of his time in his office, where he creates rules and regulations that make no sense. He is also the victim of a vicious cycle of bureaucracy, where his subordinates avoid him because they fear being caught in the web of his ridiculous rules.

The cinematography of the movie is visually stunning, with beautiful shots of the island of Pianosa and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. The dogfight scenes are shot from the perspective of the pilots, with close-ups of their faces showing the fear and uncertainty that they feel during these moments. The humour in the movie is used to underline the absurdity of the war effort, and the characters are portrayed in both comic and tragic situations.

Catch-22 is a satire that takes on the military industrial complex and shows how the war effort can often be driven by greed and corruption. It highlights the absurdity of military bureaucracy and the devastating impact that it can have on the lives of soldiers and civilians alike. The movie remains relevant today, as the issues it raises are still present in modern conflicts. Overall, the movie is a powerful and thought-provoking commentary on the nature of war and the human condition.

Catch-22 is a 1970 war movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 70.

Where to Watch Catch-22
Catch-22 is available to watch free on Pluto TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Catch-22 for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (26,373)
  • Metascore