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Head-On (Gegen die Wand)

Head-On (Gegen die Wand) (2004)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 83
Fresh: 75 | Rotten: 8

A raw, provocative drama about star-crossed love and the lives of immigrants caught between the traditional and modern.

97

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 1

A raw, provocative drama about star-crossed love and the lives of immigrants caught between the traditional and modern.

audience

93

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 17,041

My Rating

Movie Info

German-born Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin writes and directs the drama Gegen die Wand (Head-On). Set in a working-class Hamburg neighborhood, the story follows two Turkish immigrants who get together in a marriage of convenience. Cahit Tomruk (Birol Ünel) is a heavy drinker and a fighter who crashes his car into a wall. While visiting his psychiatrist, Dr. Schiller (Hermann Lause), he meets fellow patient Sibel Guner (Sibel Kekilli). She's desperate to get away from her restrictive family, so she

R,

Drama, Romance

Fatih Akin

Sep 13, 2005

Strand Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (89) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (75) | Rotten (8) | DVD (3)

Akin makes this a most intriguing, if roundabout, journey from despair to 'do something.'

July 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The power of Akin's film, which is considerably aided by the two lead performances ... comes from the spectacle of people developing feelings for each other even through numbing layers of mutual narcissism, self-loathing and raging terror of intimacy.

June 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Violent and sexy and funny and sad.

June 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A riveting love story that never flinches from the unsettling reality of a specific social issue or the universal joys that two people can bring to each other's lives, no matter how hard they try to bring agony to their own.

May 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A portrait of passionate, all-consuming love born out of desperation.

April 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By the time the film concludes, you will likely feel better for having gone the distance, for having faced all this head-on.

April 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Beyond its pleasures as a good piece of storytelling, Head-On also provides some interesting commentary on the clash between different cultures.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Ultimately more provocative than insightful.

April 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

A gloomy fairy-tale version of a Hollywood romantic film that barely gets past its gloomy outlook on life.

October 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

(...) El punk no ha muerto, y esta película es prueba de ello.

August 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

A crash course in raw, visceral film-making . . . riding a gritty story and frenetically alive characters, Head-On is a cinematic rush.

August 9, 2005
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Teutonic despair hasn't looked this good since Fassbinder was in business.

June 30, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

...[peppered] with a variety of needlessly self-conscious touches that serve only to distract the viewer from the sporadically intriguing storyline...

June 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

not particularly original but it is often riveting enough to hold one's attention.

June 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Heartbreaking in the best way.

June 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Their performances are the heart of a film that is an often comic and raucous look at mismatched personalities, cultural dissonance, and the tender and tentative sense of optimism that keeps all of us alive for another day.

June 9, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

There is an addictive quality to Akin's bizarre but heartrending film ...

June 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Head-On is not pretty to watch most of the time. But it's pretty hard to forget even a dozen hours after the final credits have rolled.

June 3, 2005

main goal seems to be turning the pretensions of movie-style love on their head

May 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Akin tells a story that's more about flawed characters than political or religious ideology.

May 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

The most honestly electrifying film I've seen in years, Fatih Akin's thundering character piece completely captures the joy, fear, and self-loathing of bottoming out.

May 6, 2005 Full Review

Sporadically powerful, sensitively acted and full of music, used with imagination and flair.

May 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Audience Reviews for Head-On (Gegen die Wand)

saw it
June 15, 2008
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Sordid but compelling tale of amour fou.
August 11, 2012
pier007

Super Reviewer

Some people choose the hardest way to live/change. "If you want to end your life, end it. You don't have to kill yourself to do that."
February 8, 2012
5oclockcoffee

Super Reviewer

Ganhador do Urso de Ouro no Festival de Berlim, o longa nos apresenta a história de dois imigrantes que tentam se entender em um mundo que ninquà (C)m os entende. Uma fuga para farsa, que aos poucos um novo sentido à  vida de ambos.
May 7, 2011
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Gegen die Wand (DE)
  • Head On (Duvara Karsi) (UK)
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