Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex) (2008)



Critic Consensus: Intricately researched and impressively authentic slice of modern German History, with a terrific cast, assured direction, and a cracking script.

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Movie Info

Director Uli Edel teams with screenwriter Bernd Eichinger to explore a dark period in German history with this drama detailing the rise and fall of the Red Army Faction, a left-wing terrorist organization that became increasingly active following World War II. Also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group, the Red Army Faction was formed by the radicalized children of the Nazi generation with the intended goal of battling Western imperialism and the West German establishment. Adapted from author Stefan … More

Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, disturbing images, sexual content, graphic nudity and language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Uli Edel, Bernd Eichinger
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 30, 2010
Box Office: $0.3M
Vitagraph Films - Official Site


as Ulrike Meinhof

as Andreas Baader

as Gudrun Ensslin

as Horst Herold

as Brigitte Mohnhaupt

as Holger Meins

as Jan Carl Raspe

as Peter-Jürgen Boock

as Horst Mahler

as Christian Klar

as Rudi Dutschke

as Dietrich Koch, Hors...

as Josef Bachmann
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex)

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (26)

It doggedly refuses easy ways out, and it has the guts, brains and critical eye to plumb the roots of terror and its bloody consequences.

October 16, 2009
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The Baader-Meinhof Complex is not an easy film to watch; its violence is ugly and brutish. And there's a lot of it.

Full Review… | October 1, 2009
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Part thriller, part social history, this tense 2008 drama traces the rise and fall of the Baader-Meinhof gang.

Full Review… | September 25, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It'd be nice to see an American filmmaker commit a similar reckoning with the Watts riots, the Weather Underground, or the Black Power movement, not simply resort to cant and kitsch but to really interpret those moments.

Full Review… | September 25, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A stirring, bloodcurdling terrorist drama.

Full Review… | January 3, 2011

This flick was written by Stefan Aust, long-time editor of Der Spiegel, Germany's version of Time Magazine. Hence the lurid, superficial and reactionary tilt. The Baader-Meinhof gang was disgusting, but nearly as disgusting as the people they fought.

Full Review… | November 22, 2010

Audience Reviews for Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex)

The leaders of a terrorist group working within Germany in the 1970s are hunted down and imprisoned while their comrades perpetrate increasingly desperate plans for their release. The Baader Meinhof Complex is an interesting look at a period of German history I new little about, when the new generation feared the apathy that led to Hitler's rise and decided to act against what they saw as similarly imperialist actions. This gives an interesting political backdrop to some well executed action sequences during the first half of the film but unfortunately once they are captured, the film becomes quite unfocussed and slightly tiresome. It degenerates into various scenes of prison cell squabbling which is in no way aided by the fact that there is no central character the viewer can identify with (or hate for that matter) and so it all becomes a little difficult to care about any of these "idealists" who actually come across as arrogant, obnoxious and hypocritical. It does have its good points and is certainly an interesting backdrop to the political situation of the 1970s, but as a story of individuals it fails to engage on any real level.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


The true story of terror attacks in Germany of the 1960s and 70s, performed by left extremists of the Red Army Fraction. While the movie is already two and a half hours long, it would have needed even another hour to deliver the background for people not familiar with this part of Germany's history. Especially the end comes rather suddenly and should have some explanations added for foreign audiences. That being said, the film does a great job in bringing this time back to life by rushing through the most important events in a really exciting and interesting way, following the most important characters on both sides of the law. The cast reads like a who is who of current German cinema, the performances are all around great, especially by Moritz Bleibtreu as terrorist leader Andreas Baader. By using montages with original news footage and music, delivering some of the strongest scenes, the film manages to sum up the mood, thread, ideas and emotions involved at that time really well. It just shows what happened, without judging or taking either the terrorists' or the law's side. A great history lesson, but probably hard to consume without some more background information.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

The ideals and the commitments made by those involved in the actual story are truly intriguing, However, I'm not well versed enough on Germany's post-war history to be much of an authority. With that said, The Baader Meinhof Complex, unfortunately, comes across as a tangled mess, at least plot wise.

Instead of bringing forth worldwide revolution, the Baader Meinhoff Complex became hunted criminals. Eventually, the group was rounded up and put on trial. While incarcerated, the urban legends and conspiracy theories about the Baader Meinhoff Complex grow from within prison walls.

El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

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