Sishir Chetri’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ivan's Childhood is where Andrei Tarkovsky showcases his absolute disdain for war; great artists seldom are for it. He lays bare the insurmountable cost of war - nothing in material, but rather in the abstract scope of Ivan's innocence, or the loss of it. Not even a child of 12, Ivan is a rage-filled soul driven by hate and a want for vengeance. His motives can only lead him to end up in despair and that is how the director expresses the futility of it all.
In his haunting debut, Tarkovsky sublimely juxtaposes the grim realities of war endured by a child with moments of serenity from his now uprooted elysian life in a dreamlike blend, drawing a surreal contrast between what is and what should've been.