Invincible (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Invincible (2002)




Critic Consensus: Sluggish and flawed, this is a minor work in Herzog's career.

Movie Info

Invincible tells the true story of Zishe Breibart, a Jewish blacksmith from eastern Poland who travels to Berlin in the 1930s to join a nightclub cabaret. He is billed as the world's strongest man - a claim that is not well received by the rising Nazi party. Using his role as the modern day Sampson to defend his own people, Zishe embarks on an inevitable path to tragedy.more
Rating: PG-13 (for some sexual content and thematic elements)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Werner Herzog, E. Max Frye
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 3, 2003
Fine Line Features - Official Site


Tim Roth
as Hanussen
Jouko Ahola
as Zishe Breitbart
Anna Gourari
as Marta Farra
Max L. Raab
as Master of Ceremonies
Renate Krößner
as Mother Breitbart
Max Raabe
as Master of Ceremonies
Udo Kier
as Count Helldorf
Jacob Wein
as Benjamin
Herbert Golder
as Rabbi Edelmann
Gary Bart
as Yitzak Breitbart
Rebecca Wein
as Rebecca
Raphael Wein
as Raphael
Torsten Hammann
as Ringleader
Klaus Stiglmeier
as Circus Director
James Reeves
as Colossus of Rhodos
Ulrich Bergfelder
as Carter's Man
Jakov Rafalson
as Laughing Man
Natalie Holtom
as Chorus Girl
Karin Kern
as Chorus Girl
Amanda Lawford
as Chorus Girl
Francesca Marino
as Chorus Girl
Beatrix Reiterer
as Chorus Girl
Adrianne Richards
as Chorus Girl
Kristy Wone
as Chorus Girl
Les Bubb
as Rothschild
Tina Bordhin
as Hedda Christiansen
Sylvia Vas
as Mrs. Holm
Klaus Haindl
as Goebbels
Hark Bohm
as Judge
Anthony Bramall
as Conductor
André Hennicke
as Detective
Grigorij Kravec
as Woodcutter
Guntis Pilsums
as Innkeeper
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Invincible

Critic Reviews for Invincible

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (21)

Though few will argue that it ranks with the best of Herzog's works, Invincible shows he's back in form, with an astoundingly rich film.

Full Review… | October 25, 2002
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Feels less like a change in [Herzog's] personal policy than a half-hearted fluke.

Full Review… | October 18, 2002
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Remarkably accessible and affecting.

Full Review… | October 4, 2002
Toronto Star
Top Critic

A strange but oddly memorable film.

Full Review… | October 4, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Half-baked Herzog, though it has twinkles of theatrical purity that remind you of when his vision was grand.

Full Review… | October 4, 2002
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The movie has the power of a great silent film, unafraid of grand gestures and moral absolutes.

Full Review… | October 4, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Invincible

Based on actual events, Werner Herzog chronicles the rise and fall of Polish strongman Zishe Breitbart who entertained affluent Germans in pre-WWII Berlin. Herzog manages to capture the historical significance of the events but a meandering script and suspect performances left me feeling a bit cheated and underwhelmed.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

"Invincible," which completely flew under everyone's radar WAY back in 2001, is a fascinating film... a colorfully painted tale of individual triumph in the face of adversity.

Based on fact, the film is a very straightforward effort, but is not completely void of Herzog's off-kilter style and sensibilities. It feels very dreamlike, and has a certain elegance and whimsy. Adding to this quality is a cast of relatively inexperienced actors (Tim Roth and a few others being the exceptions). The Hulking Jouko Ahola for example, the hero of the narrative, has a very limited acting range and ability but delivers a very likable, touching, and admirable performance in spite of himself.

But no doubt it is Herzog who deserves credit most. Each scene is filled with the passion and love he obviously had for this material, and luckily his emotions bleed through. This is a powerful story told in a very unique and level-headed fashion. See this Gem. Another really interesting film from Herzog.

Michael S

Super Reviewer

Always hard to know how to feel about a Herzog film. The man is certainly anything but normal and this often comes across in his films. This true story however is one of his straightest narratives and works brilliantly. Every scene is one of interest fascination. The story itself is the true story of a Jewish blacksmith who goes to Berlin to seek his fam and fortune only to become involved in a weird stage show that caters to the Nazi's. The main star is actually a bodybuilder and some have criticised his performance but to me he was certainly stilted but so was the character. Obviously quite simple and often naive. It could also be that his performance was held back to further highlight Roth's excellent charismatic turn, and perhaps the attractive lure of the Nazi's in general. It's a fascinating story and one that has an excellent twist that causes you to re-evaluate certain aspects of the film. It's deep, tragic but most of all entertaining, which as we discover can be just as strong as any army.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Invincible Quotes

Zishe: I am not an Aryan.
– Submitted by Lucas B (3 years ago)

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