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Amen (2003)

tomatometer

65

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 5,001

My Rating

Movie Info

Two systems: the Nazi machine versus the Vatican and Allied diplomacy. Two men are struggling from the inside: On one side, Kurt Gerstein, a real-life chemist and SS officer, supplies the death camps with zyklon B while he tirelessly denounces the crimes and alerts the Allies, the Pope, the Germans and their churches of their murderous policy against the European Jews. Kurt does this at his own risk, and at the risk his family's welfare and safety. On the other side, Ricardo Fontana, a young

Aug 12, 2003

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All Critics (60) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (16) | DVD (6)

Costa-Gavras deserves credit for staying the course; in a time when most European film directors are wringing their hands, he's still pointing fingers.

July 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tukur's performance is the centerpiece of the movie; it's a wonderful mixture of outrage and swiftly disappearing naivete.

June 27, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Costa-Gavras' political thrillers used to jab and thrust with lethal efficiency. This one just pounds against a heavy bag, huffing and puffing all the way.

May 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In a remarkably subtle turn, the German Tukur is convincing as [Gerstein].

May 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What should have been agonizing in its impact comes off as wooden, perhaps because Costa-Gavras works in schematic fashion, spoon-feeding us issues while skimming the historical surface.

April 11, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Amen., a docudrama rather than a documentary, is clearly guided by Shoah's example, asking us to reflect on the Holocaust and what made it possible rather than simply recoil from it.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

a sputtering, wet firecracker

September 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Though Costa-Gavras brings nothing new to the table about the Holocaust, he puts another nail down in the argument that the world could have acted but didn't because of indifference.

August 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Though such elements might chip away somewhat at Amen's seriousness of intent, they do add fire to the stimulating drama.

August 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It's so inert, so slow-moving that it seems at least twice as long as it really is, and it manages to waste a potentially fascinating premise.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Costa-Gavras often shortchanges the story's inherent drama for talky and strident speechifying.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Extremely heavy-handed, almost comically repetitious, and way too long.

July 16, 2003
Planet Sick-Boy

Less a gripping drama than a stimulating bit of polemic.

May 29, 2003 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

A movie that suggests the Holocaust may be an endless source of absorbing, heartbreaking dramas.

May 9, 2003 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Costa-Gavras tells this heartbreaking tale of lost opportunity with an emotional restraint that makes it all the more powerful.

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

It goes without saying that no one will disagree with the movie's politics, but the movie itself -- the artistry and storytelling -- are as flimsy and clumsy as you can get.

March 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Costa-Gavras returns to full potency with this masterful film, an examination of culpability as well as the biography of a little known figure whose story deserves to be told.

March 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Relentlessly heavy-handed but quite compelling nonetheless.

March 6, 2003 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire
SPLICEDWire

Audience Reviews for Amen

Brilliant Foreign film examining the link between the Vatican and the Third Reich, Amen roars across the screen, and conveys the ignorance of the Vatican to do nothing in regards to the German mass extermination of the Jews. Director Costa-Gavras crafts a terrific drama, one that is thoroughly engaging from start to finish due to the fact that it boasts a very well thought out story that is very interesting. Amen will surely make the viewer think, ask questions, and will surely infuriate viewers. This is nonetheless an accomplished picture, one that will definitely appeal to history buffs and to anyone looking for a great film to watch. The lead actor is terrific in the part he places, and is the only one who sees and tries in vain to warn of the atrocities of the Nazis. With some stunning performances, this is an engaging picture that ranks among the finest foreign films that I have seen in quite some time. With an effective story, and exceptional direction, Amen is a richly detailed drama that is unforgettable due to its story. Brilliant, taut and thrilling, yet dramatic in its style, Costa-Gravas picture is exceptional in the way it tackles its subject. It's no secret the Vatican turned a blind eye to the Nazi Atrocities being committed in occupied territories, and this film really goes in depth on that. One thing that does stand out is the lead characters realization that what is occurring in Europe under Nazi rule is terribly wrong, and he tries desperately to tell his superiors to help stop the mass extermination of Jews. Even though Amen is a dark film by nature, it does have a glimmer of hope in the sense that one person had a conscience to do the right thing in the face of adversity.
May 24, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This is, by far, my favorite historical subject. Just when I thought that I have seen it all, and learned it all, another view of that horrific time comes to light. It's appalling to believe that the world stood still while millions of Jews were being sent to death camps. It's even more apalling (and blows my mind) that so many COULD have tried to stop it, but didn't due to political reasons and more. Although this film shows how the Catholic Church refused to stand up to Hitler, it also shows how a few were willing to die for the sake of humanity...including an actual SS Officer. Don't look for flash, excitement, and gore here. This is an intense, thought provoking drama. Well done!
December 26, 2010
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

A leisurely paced docu-drama account of the Holocaust told from the perspective of Kurt Gerstein, a chemist in the SS who put aside his disgust to document and testify the crimes he witnessed. A true story that offers one of the best cinematic insights into Nazi Germany but it's not the most original and failed to get me involved emotionally or otherwise.
May 31, 2008
RossCollinsUK

Super Reviewer

I like how it didn't show the horrors of the Holocaust and the director left it up to the viewer's imagination. It was a thoughtful film about how passivity toward persecution is unjust. I never knew the pope did not act on behalf of the Jews when he could have possibly saved some of them. I was angered at his lack of action.
May 18, 2008
crazydannielle16

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Stellvertreter (DE)
  • Amn (ES)
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