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


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 94
Fresh: 80
Rotten: 14

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

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 21
Rotten: 6

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


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 15,866


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

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


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

All Critics (95) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (14) | DVD (3)

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

There are some literally killer performances here, most notably Johanna Wokalek as Gudrun.

Full Review… | September 18, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

There's a fine line to walk when making a film about outlaws: A few wrong moves and, presto, glamorization occurs. To its credit, The Baader Meinhof Complex almost entirely avoids this pitfall.

Full Review… | September 18, 2009
Christian Science Monitor
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

A sweeping docudrama of recent history in Germany regarding home-grown terrorism.

Full Review… | May 11, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A glossy, pulse pounding pure Hollywood-style thriller designed for the express purpose of demythologizing its protagonists.

Full Review… | May 1, 2010
Movie Metropolis

... the detail is fascinating and it is mesmerizing to watch this idealistic rebellion swamped by obsession, revolutionary fervor and the psychotic drive of Andreas Baader...

Full Review… | April 11, 2010

The Baader Meinhof Complex is a terrific entertainment, an action packed look at anarchy in the streets followed by the specious slacker malaise argued behind closed doors.

Full Review… | April 10, 2010

An impressive period reconstruction and a ripping yarn that never reduces its complicated and conflicted characters to stereotypes ... one of the best action movies of last year and a thoughtful essay on the futility of violence.

Full Review… | April 2, 2010
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Filmed through tear gas and broken glass, Edel graphically depict the horrific violence (the group was responsible for nearly 30 deaths) while equally layering in substance.

Full Review… | January 10, 2010

One of the ten best films of 2009

Full Review… | December 30, 2009
Orange County and Long Beach Blade

The 150-minute-long, Oscar-nominated foreign-language film, based on a 1987 book, has a rat-a-tat pace and a lurid, film noir quality that captures the chaos and hysteria of the era that bred and sustained them.

Full Review… | December 3, 2009
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

It's not surprising the film was Germany's 2008 submission for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Full Review… | November 1, 2009

A richly detailed, emotionally complex, character-filled examination.

Full Review… | October 31, 2009
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The acting is top drawer and everyone behind the camera is technically proficient with a workmanlike approach. The monumental task of editing by Alexander Berner deserves special mention.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Entertainment Spectrum

An epic look at a recent blood-soaked episode of post-war Germany.

October 30, 2009
Kansas City Star

Merely lets the facts of forty years ago speak for themselves, and one can't deny that its dramatization of them has enormous energy and urgency.

Full Review… | October 16, 2009
One Guy's Opinion

An exciting, infuriating, combative experience.

Full Review… | September 25, 2009
Baltimore Sun

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

Uli Edel has been quite clever in the way he has structured his telling of the The Red Army Faction (RAF) story, a group that organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s. It would have been easy to start with the prison scenes and then have flashbacks of how they got there, thus leaving the action until later in the film. He doesn't do this though, the story happens as it happens, the action occurring towards the beginning of the film. This did help in explaining the reality of what happens under these circumstances and took away the 'glamour' of being a 'revolutionist', for want of a better word/s. I can see how people have lost interest due towards the end but it helps with telling the story properly and by keeping the story balanced. The film really highlights the wrongs made on both sides rather than the rights of anyone. Stylishly told with some great performances.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

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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