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Barbara Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis

Hoss is such a star, one of the finest actresses in the world. Her work with Petzold is exceptional, but I find myself wondering what Fassbinder would have done with her.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 8/10

December 19, 2013
Eric D. Snider

A quietly tense drama ... builds slowly to its conclusion, as subtly powerful as it is inevitable.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

July 13, 2013
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It persuades us early on that its aura of political tension and suspicion, its taciturnity, its very strictness of silent observation as it begins, are fostering an intelligent thriller.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

June 17, 2013
Elias Savada
Film Threat

Barbara offers us historically motivated immorality offset by some heartfelt sensitivity, a side order of depression, and finishes off with some ennobling hope. It's definitely one of the best foreign films of the year.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 4/5

June 6, 2013
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

This is a remarkably subtle movie, spending most of its energy zeroing in on the clenched face of its heroine, looking for cracks.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 3/4

May 3, 2013
Aaron Yap

A low-key, tenuous romance characterised by its sparse, deliberately paced storytelling.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

April 9, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Though the film runs a mere 105 minutes, it weighs on viewers like an eternity.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 21, 2013
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A quietly absorbing character study.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3/4

March 21, 2013
Brian Orndorf

Isn't a tightly wound story of sacrifice, yet its distance is alluring, retaining secrets and motivations, building to a satisfying conclusion.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: B

March 20, 2013
Richard von Busack

An intelligent, mature love triangle...It also functions as a tense, rarefied thriller about escape from a police state, as well the kind of medical procedural drama audiences gorge upon.

Full Review Source: MetroActive | Original Score: 4/5 stars

March 19, 2013
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

That sense of nervous dislocation that the viewer feels in the first few scenes - Where am I? Who is this person? Is she friend or foe? - efficently evokes the muted terror that its characters feel.

Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI) | Original Score: 3/4

March 14, 2013
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago

Petzold renders Communist oppression in a provocatively muted manner.

Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago | Original Score: 4/5

March 10, 2013
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
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The movie examines the possibility of maintaining one's humanity in a truly oppressive society.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

March 8, 2013
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Hoss, wearing her blond hair pulled back tight, and wearing an expression of inscrutable melancholy, gives a performance that doesn't feel like a performance at all.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 4/4

March 8, 2013
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Stories of characters like Barbara continue to have meaning, even in a "free" society.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

March 7, 2013
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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The occasional ravings of the patients, ringing off the walls in Petzold's measured quiet, provide an appropriate backdrop to the heroine's need for freedom, yet the movie's politics never trump its humanity.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 7, 2013
Sheila O'Malley
Chicago Sun-Times
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This is well-trod ground for Petzold, but never has it been so fully realized, so palpable, as in "Barbara."

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 7, 2013
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Engrossing Cold War thriller and love story set in East Germany in 1980.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A-

March 6, 2013
Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile

In short, the failures in storytelling detract from the film, despite its sensitivities, its subtleties and its final payoff of personal sacrifice.

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

March 1, 2013
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile

A meticulously crafted drama in which the depiction of character, place and circumstance evolves slowly and with intrigue, Barbara is gripping cinema

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

March 1, 2013
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