Open main menu

I Declare War is a 2012 Canadian action comedy-drama film written and co-directed by Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson. The film, about a group of friends who get together for a game of capture the flag that escalates into violence, was an Official Selection in the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was given a limited release in U.S. theatres on August 30, 2013.

I Declare War
I Declare War poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJason Lapeyre
Robert Wilson
Produced byPatrick Cameron
Robert Wilson
Lewin Webb
Written byJason Lapeyre
StarringSiam Yu
Gage Munroe
Michael Friend
Music byNick Dyer
Eric Cadesky
CinematographyRay Dumas
Edited byAaron Marshall
Samaritan Entertainment
Distributed byPhase 4 Films
Release date
  • September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) (TIFF)
  • May 10, 2013 (2013-05-10)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
Box office$14,928[2]



Co-director Jason Lapeyre wrote the script ten years earlier and based it on his childhood experiences of playing war with a bunch of people saying, "Almost everything that happens in this script is autobiographical or inspired by things that actually happened".[3]

The script was picked up by producer Lewin Webb of Samaritan Entertainment and he forwarded it to his partner Robert Wilson, where it went through years of development and financial issues.[4] Wilson was frustrated by the process the script was going through until he read through it and was reminded of what it was like to be the characters: "It was the experience I had growing up, the experience even Lewin had growing up, the experience Jason had growing up. There wasn’t much else to talk about or worry about at that point".[5]


The film made its US premiere at ActionFest on April 15, 2012, winning Best Picture.[6]

It made its Canadian premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival as its Official Selection on September 6, 2012.[7] It then premiered at the Newport Beach International Film Festival on April 25, 2013.[8] It was released in select theatres across Toronto on May 10, 2013. On May 20, 2013, it premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival.[9]

It premiered at Fantastic Fest on September 23, 2012 and won the Audience Award on the next day.[10]


I Declare War received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 73% approval rating, based on 41 reviews with an average rating of 6.7/10.[11] On Metacritic, it has a score of 58 out of 100 based on 17 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12]

In a dual review with Jason Buxton's Blackbird, Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave it 2.5 out of 4 stars, criticizing the tone of the film saying "I want[ed] the filmmakers to pick a mood, any mood, and stick with it", but gave them praise for "assembling a great cast."[13] Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail gave it 3 out of 4 stars, finding criticism in its meandering narrative, repetitious conceit and loose editing but found praise in the film "being buoyed by the naturalism of its exclusively young cast" and "effectively gets into your head and under your skin".[14] Annlee Ellingson of the Los Angeles Times gave it 3 out of 5 stars, praising it for its charm and ending with "The performances may be slightly uneven across the cast of a dozen distinct personalities (plus a dog), but overall the effect works because, after all, they're just playacting … right?".[15]


  1. ^ "I DECLARE WAR (15)". British Board of Film Classification. March 28, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  2. ^ "I Declare War". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  3. ^ Walton, Brian (August 29, 2013). "Interview: I Declare War Co-directors Robert Wilson and Jason Lapeyre". Nerdist. Nerdist Industries. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Goldberg, Matt (August 29, 2013). "Gage Munroe, Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson Talk I Declare War". Collider. Complex Media. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  5. ^ Topel, Fred (August 28, 2013). "Exclusive Interview: Robert Wilson, Gage Munroe & Jason Lapeyre on I Declare War". CraveOnline. CraveOnline Media. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (April 15, 2012). "ActionFest: Kiddie Combat Drama 'I Declare War' Wins Top Honors". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  7. ^ "I Declare War". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  8. ^ Ramsauer, Erin (April 19, 2013). "2013 Newport Beach Film Festival Announces World Premieres, Seminars and Nightly Events". PRWeb. Cision. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  9. ^ "I Declare War". Seattle International Film Festival. Archived from the original on September 26, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  10. ^ Borders, Meredith (September 25, 2013). "The Fantastic Fest 2012 Awards!". Fantastic Fest. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  11. ^ "I Declare War (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  12. ^ "I Declare War Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  13. ^ Howell, Peter (May 10, 2013). "Teen fantasies turn violent in Blackbird and I Declare War: movie reviews". Toronto Star. Toronto Star Newspapers. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  14. ^ Groen, Rick (May 10, 2013). "I Declare War: Child's play in name only". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  15. ^ Ellingson, Annlee (August 29, 2013). "Review: 'I Declare War' delves into kids' imaginary world with charm". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 3, 2013.

External linksEdit