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Faust (1926)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

91

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 5,367

My Rating

Movie Info

Faust was the mammoth German production which won F. W. Murnau his contract with Hollywood's Fox Studios. Emil Jannings glowers his way through the role of Mephistopholes, who offers the aging Faust (Gosta Eckman) an opportunity to relive his youth, the price being Faust's soul. Though highly stylized, the film is unsettlingly realistic at times, especially during the execution of the unfortunate Gretchen. Even in old age, actress Camilla Horn could recall how close she came to genuine

Jun 5, 2001

MGM

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (1) | DVD (5)

This extraordinary piece of artistry and craftsmanship integrates its dazzling special effects so seamlessly that they're indistinguishable from the film's narrative, poetry, and, above all, metaphysics.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As atmospheric and menacing a work as the expressionist movement ever produced.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here is a picture which is as far removed from the ordinary movie as a Tintoretto painting.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Murnau's version of the story of the man who sold his soul to the Devil (Jannings) in return for youth is visually extraordinary but dismally uneven in terms of its dramatic effect.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I sometimes feel, in this age of expert CGI, that I am being shown too much -- that technique is pushing aside artistry and imagination. The world of Faust is never intended to define a physical universe, but is a landscape of nightmares.

January 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Still a classic example of eye-popping excess at a time when German filmmakers were among the most innovative in the world.

April 15, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Faust is a tragedy drawn in magnificent images like paintings in light and shadow and is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful of Murnau's German films.

April 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

A great work by a great director, and one of the most instantly accessible silent films ever made.

June 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Revisits the German legend of Dr. Faustus with an amazing use of expressionistic visuals.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Visually striking early telling of the German folktale.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Faust an extremely stylish horror fantasy in the best tradition of German silent cinema, featuring brilliant photography, magnificent art direction, and magical special effects which still have the power to amaze.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Films from the German Expressionism era are famous for their fiercely stylized mise-en-scene, and to Murnau the medium's very artificiality provided the keys to locating its truths.

July 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The overall film is truly masterful.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A masterpiece of expressionistic filmmaking, a silent classic that is unfortunately deeply flawed by a maudlin second act.

February 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Brilliant Murnau fantasy

August 26, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Faust

Yes, this movie has cool special effects and a classic tale, but I didn't really enjoy it. The story is great and it could have been much more exciting than what Murnau did with it. I've seen many movies with this same story, so you kinda get bored with it after a while, I suppose.
April 17, 2012
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

For people who can still appreciate something made in the prior century (and those numbers are dwindling), Murnau's vision of "Faust" begins with what was at the time a revolutionary visual, and still today is a provacative and effective image. There are any many variations on Faust, and I like the plot details of this one the best. The Faust and Mephistopheles are well acted; I particularly like the facial expressions of this Faust.
February 12, 2008
Stinger839

Super Reviewer

F.W Murnau's crafty direction and Emil Jenning's disturbing charm gives us a plunge into men's most dark ambition, sin and redemption.
August 18, 2007
pier007

Super Reviewer

The first half is off-the-wall spectacularly rendered both visually and aesthetically, and the second half is a somewhat silly romance between Mephisto and a witch and Faust and Gretchen. The finale makes up for the slow, meandering second half. Seems like it's true enough to Goethe's play, so I give it points for managing to retain its intelligence. F. W. Murnau is certainly one of the creative geniuses of cinema. For a 2 hour epic silent movie, I have to admit that it holds up pretty well. 100/100
April 18, 2011
Over the Rising Sun
Simeon Deutsch

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Faust - Eine deutsche Volkssage (DE)
  • Faust (1926) (UK)
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