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The Red Baron (Der rote Baron) Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
Great German movie. Historical biographies are some of my favorite kinds of movies, and this is a really well done one.

Super Reviewer

October 22, 2009
Well its an alright movie, gives me goosebumps! Its a sweet enough movie thats entertaining to a point! It is slow and boring in places and it does strain to keep you interest but then an interesting scene will come along that then continues to make you watch the movie. Its an alright war movie, certainly room for improvement!

Super Reviewer

August 5, 2010
Impressive aerial filming and some good actors but dull, dull, dull.

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2009
Before I saw this, I didn't really know much about the man behind the legend of the Red Baron, except that he was an exceptionally skilled pilot and one of the best of his time. In that sense, I found the story pretty interesting, especially as I've always been a sucker for war movies in general. Unfortunately though, it wasn't as good as I had hoped it to be. The cinematography is great and the action sequences very well-made (especially the aerial battles, which is among the best and most thrilling I've seen in recent memory), but in the acting department it left a lot to desire. It's not bad, but I just found the cast to be very pale and boring. I was also very bothered by the fake-sounding accents, which to me came off as very strained and unnatural. But other than that it's a decent war flick. Certainly no candidate for the Oscar's, but worth seeing for it's well-directed action scenes.

Super Reviewer

September 2, 2011
Whereas in most polite society it is considered the right thing to do to attend a rival colleague's funeral, during World War I, it is strictly frowned upon, especially if it involves evading the enemy's squadron on the way back to base. Still, Manfred von Richthofen(Matthias Schweighofer) is so enamored by the brass for his high total of kills that he can do no wrong, even transferring his brother into his squadron. So what if he and his squadron want to individually decorate their planes, including a Star of David? And even Kate(Lena Headey), a nurse, looks kindly upon Richthofen after he saves the life of Captain Roy Brown(Joseph Fiennes), an enemy flyer who he shot down previously.

To start, "The Red Baron" should have been filmed in German, if only for not having to deal with Lena Headey's wonky accent. Of more consequential note is the movie's rambling and episodic structure that includes more than its share of ups and downs. Its well-crafted flying sequences are by far the highlights of the film. When Richthofen takes to the skies, the movie also looks to the ground(there are funerals at beginning and end) where ordinary soldiers are being used as cannon fodder. All of which marks an end to the age of the aristocracy for which he is the poster child before being put on a poster for the German cause. However, as depicted, he sees flying combat as a duel or a hunt, gentlemanly pursuits of old and even has his trophies(or serial killer, whichever you prefer). So, Richthofen avoids any engagement he cannot win which causes a colleague to retort that there is little difference between cowardice and cleverness but what is wrong with either?

Super Reviewer

September 1, 2010
The Red Baron is one of those films that teeters on the edge of being bad, yet you can't fault the director for trying hard to find something to talk about. It's a rather slow, narrow view of the air aces' career, and doesn't really explore his background, or what made him successful. The script was rather shoddy, and the clumsy transitions between action and ground time don't help either. The romance between Von Richtofen and the nurse are interesting counterpoints, but it's also clumsily handled. The other characters, rather than strengthening why he was feared an admired are cutouts. We aren't given time to really knnow them or understand why they feared/were jealous/or admired Von Richtofen.

That said, the movie tries hard to give us a picture of the mentality of the times, and at least an idea of how personal the air combat was. While little time is spent on the technical aspects of the fighting, there are some interesting historical tidbits that become visible through the film, like a visit to the Fokker factory. Von Richtofen was a very young man throughout the conflict, and this perhaps means that there's not really much of a fully formed person there to write a screenplay about. The movie still didn't give me much of a 'read' on him as a person or as a warrior. Usually this kind of study is best done through a close friend, or comrade. Maybe putting the film into the eye-view of his brother Lothar might have been a better tactic. I hate voice-overs, but it might have strengthened the film a little to have Lothar narrate parts of it.

The technical aspects are pretty good, however. The planes are nicely done, and some of the aerial combat is well done: You don't get to see balloon busting very much.

The performances were decent, given a rather amateurish script. The actors' scenes lacked polish, and rather than being energetic, was rather flat and moody.

It's a take it or leave it. I give it 50% because they were trying to make an honest film, but the production and writing wasn't up to the task.
Anastasia B

Super Reviewer

June 11, 2010
I don't know why this film gets such low reviews, I honestly thought it was quite decent. I liked the direction- the script may not have been written by a genius but it has quite some honest and interesting views to share about the nature of war and what it really means to be a hero- or not.

Super Reviewer

June 1, 2010
Ever wanted to know what made the Red Baron so great? Well, this movie will tell you nothing. Other than having some nifty visual recreations of the period 'Der Rote Baron' is a less than palpable biographic that doesn't even scratch the surface of what it meant to be a WWI bi-plane jockey. And weaker still is the film's attempt at creating an emotional juxtaposition between the privileged in the air and those in the trenches.
What's left is an empty History Channel recreation with the obligatory romantic schlock crammed in the middle.

Super Reviewer

March 19, 2010
Very entertaining historical account of Baron Manfred on Richthofen(aka The Red Baron) is a german production, allthough the entire cast speaks english. Some very fun aerial dogfights are scattered throughout. The acting was a bit dodgy in parts, which makes this a 6 star instead of a 7 star film. The lead was unknown to me, allthough supposedly he was in Valkyrie, will have to watch it again to spot him. The Red Baron also stars Joseph Fiennes, Lena Headey, and Til Schweiger.
Jonny C

Super Reviewer

January 30, 2010
The Red Baron follows the story of World War 1 German flying ace Baron Manfred Von Richthofen who was considered one of the most feared and also most decorated pilots during that war. I thought it was well acted, and I loved the spectacular air combat scenes. Strangely this is a German production with it's cast speaking English, yet its well produced with authentic sets, and a well constructed script and story. Red Baron is a worthwhile edition to your rental/download list.
Sarah P

Super Reviewer

October 22, 2009
This really didn't capture my attention. I could really do without the love story midway through.
ken j

Super Reviewer

August 4, 2009
The Red Baron follows the story of World War 1 german flying ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen who was considered one of the most feared and also most decorated flyers duing that war it shows that to him and the men around him flying and shooting down the enemy is more of a sport then actual combat that is of course untill The Baron falls for a pretty nurse he meets after one of his crashes that he finally sees that he is just being used by the german army now he is caught between his digust at what he has done and the men he is responsible for The Baron decides to fly again. Overall this movie wasnt that bad it could have used more combat and flying action as that is the most interesting part of the movie Three and Half stars on that alone but for me i could have done without the tagged on love story worth a watch for some others can skip it.
January 30, 2011
What a horrible movie. The Red Baron is famous for shooting down 80 enemy planes. This movies shows about three. Through most of the battles, it shows the planes take off then cuts to like two weeks later. Or shows like 1 minute of planes shooting guns then cuts to them landing. WTF!? We see him take down 1 plane. Next thing we know they are talking about him having shot down 29 enemies. Main characters get killed off with just a sentence. They got shot down at some time, but we get word they are dead from a sentence. Awesome! Between June 1917 and September 1917 The Red Baron shot down something like 30 planes. Awesome action scenes for the movie right? WRONG! This movie skipped this timeframe and went straight to November 1917. AWESOME! This movie sucks!!!
January 8, 2011
The most boring movie I have seen in a while. It's not even worthy of background noise...unless I want to go to sleep.
September 11, 2010
This film of WWI air warfare focuses on the military career of The Red Baron. It has some neat effects, and the dogfight scenes are pretty good. All in all, this is a good show, but not an instant classic.
July 30, 2010
The script was pretty poor leading to some boring dialogue and uneventful scenes. The actors weren't too captivating. On the other hand, the air battles were exciting, almost making up for the rest. For some reason, it seemed to me as though the movie should have been in German w/ subtitles. If you are an aviation fan, I'd say give it a watch.
June 30, 2010
Being an admirer of the life and legend of Manfred Von Richtofen, I like many others have been waiting years for a really good biopic of "The Red Baron". I think this movie was outstanding. You knew the aerial dogfight scenes were CGI but it wasn't over the top and the acting was superb for being a low budget indie. If you are a fan of the gentleman flying ace, a World War I buff, or just a movie fan, then this movie shouldn't disappoint. I came across this movie on Netflix Watch It Now and was glued to my seat with interest for the full 1 hour & 46 minute run time.
February 20, 2009

It was an admirable film. Well-acted, Oscar or Berlin Baer worthy and I don't mean best foreign film either. Anti-German xenophobic sentiment obviously keeps this out of the running in Hollywood, but then most of what comes out of Hollywood sucks anyway.

And you naysayers, who knock this film because you didn't have enough "flying time", all I can say.

You don't know squirt about film,
You don't know squirt about flight dynamics,
You don't know squirt about war,
You don't know squirt about flying,
you don't know squirt about story-telling
and you don't know squirt about life.

And those of you who just don't get enough cockpit time, and I thought there was plenty, stick to video games and il2.

And a little note, this wasn't exactly the highest budget film either. I don't know if you realize this but film cg and animation is damned expensive. I do not see your complaints about this film as valid. Very well put together. And Lena was hot by the way.

Wow, a film without badguys, IMAGINE THAT!! Probably couldn't handle that either.

April 28, 2014
I loved this movie. A little more dramatic than a lot of war movies but it was pretty cool. Better aerial combat scenes than Flyboys
January 3, 2014
Turn it off and watch the Blue Max with George Peppard and Ursala Address.
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