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Fateless (2006)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 63
Fresh: 58 | Rotten: 5

Beautifully photographed and majestically scored, Fateless is a haunting account of one boy's experiences during the Holocaust and his journey to pick up the pieces in the war's aftermath.


Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 1

Beautifully photographed and majestically scored, Fateless is a haunting account of one boy's experiences during the Holocaust and his journey to pick up the pieces in the war's aftermath.



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Movie Info

One young man's devastating voyage through the Holocaust sets the stage for this powerful drama. Gyorgy "Gyurka" Koves (Marcell Nagy) is a 14-year-old Jewish boy living in Hungary when the Nazi pogroms begin sweeping through the country. Gyura's father (Janos Ban) has his business taken away from him not long before he's taken away to a concentration camp, and as he's led away, Gyura agrees to his father's request to look after his stepmother while he's gone. However, Gyurka takes a bus rather


Art House & International, Drama

Imre Kertesz

May 9, 2006

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All Critics (67) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (5) | DVD (8)

Fateless looks man's inhumanity to man square in the eye and pronounces it standard operating procedure, and that may be the greater horror.

June 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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Relatively few films touching on the Holocaust are worthy of their subject; this one is.

May 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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A reflection of how its main character comes to experience reality, as one small moment between what came before and whatever horror or happiness is yet to come.

April 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
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Many of the images in Fateless are familiar, but they're presented so unsparingly, so uncloaked by emotion, they become freshly potent.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Epic in scope and imagery, the film is a haunting look at mankind's capacity for inhumanity, as well as survival.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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The film is on a level just slightly below Schindler's List and The Pianist, and only because Koltai is a less powerful, practiced director than either Steven Spielberg or Roman Polanski.

March 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Fateless" is an essential film in the canon of holocaust film because it vividly tracks the specific brand of hatred that torture and genocidal murder inures.

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source:

In cutting through the conventional cliches of Holocaust presentation to a more singular truth, Gyuri defies viewers to refuse him the license to tell his own story as he himself saw and felt it, rather than as others might prefer him to tell it.

July 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Una película de sobrecogedora belleza que se las arregla para arrojar nueva luz sobre un tema trillado y recurrente.

March 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Masterfully directed, acted and shot, this is world cinema at its absolute finest.

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

Haunting, affecting and beautiful in its own way, although slow-moving and overlong.

January 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

In a long list of Holocaust films, this sublime one is well-worth seeking out.

December 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Plays out as a constant tug-of-war between what makes it trite and what makes it unique, although what makes it unique has the better chance of sticking with you.

May 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Is the survivor entitled to ordinary human happiness -- or is this human emotion an act of disloyalty and diminution? These questions are a vital part of this outstanding film's dark and sombre power.

May 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Guardian

Perhaps the fault lies more with Ennio Morricone's lavish, emotionally bullying music, which cancels out all the reticence and nuance of the script.

May 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Independent

Fiercely unsentimental and surprisingly beautiful, Hungarian drama Fateless does the seemingly impossible: it succeeds in portraying the subject of the Holocaust in a new and devastating light.

May 5, 2006 Full Review Source:

We're meant to see the camps with a naive adolescent eye, but director Koltai misjudges his material, and his fastidious paletting and highly orchestrated set-pieces are curiously low-impact; beautiful where they should be beastly.

May 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

When Gyorgy speaks, like a junkie remembering his addiction, of 'the happiness of the camps,' the moment is far scarier than the images of pale corpses and hangman's nooses.

April 21, 2006
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Lajos Koltai's.. textured re-creation of enduring the unimaginable with quiet delicacy is the most hauntingly beautiful film about the Holocaust ever made.

April 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

This is haunting because it's a look inside the concentration camps through the eyes of a child.

April 2, 2006 Full Review Source:

No depiction of the extermination camp experience of an individual has ever been so large; it verges on the ecstatic.

March 22, 2006 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Fateless

This film is hard to watch, but the performances are profound and the cinematography is breath taking. The depths of suffering seem to be limitless, and thiis film portrays that brilliantly. I do not recommend this film for children. It is a mature work that is completely disturbing. While similar films capitalize on the Holocaust brutality, this is a different perspective regarding the erosive effects of the endless, dehumanizing routine upon the psyche. How anyone was able to survive one of these camps, then return to normal society, is beyond me.
November 1, 2010

Super Reviewer

There can be beauty anywhere - even in the Nazi death camps. This film is filled with touching moments, some of the rawest I've seen in film, and is an interesting take on the coming-of-age story: what if you spent your teens in a concentration camp? How would you look back on it?
May 14, 2007

Super Reviewer

it's not every day I see a hungarian film nor have I ever heard of an Hungarian film but this film will certainly make me find more Hungarian films.

This is a film which probably would not be done in a similar way in an English peaking film. Many of the scenes where certainly something I haven't seen before in an english speaking film, perhaps even a Hollywood movie.

Perhaps telling from a boy's point of view is why I belive it's such a special piece of cinema, unlike something I've ever seen.
October 8, 2006

Super Reviewer

The cinematography's warm, the characters cold, and the territory familiar.
December 21, 2006

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Fateless (Sorstalansag) (DE)
  • Fateless (Sorstalansag) (UK)
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