Barbara Reviews

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
December 19, 2013
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 | Original Score: 8/10
Eric D. Snider
About.com
July 13, 2013
A quietly tense drama ... builds slowly to its conclusion, as subtly powerful as it is inevitable.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
June 17, 2013
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.
Elias Savada
Film Threat
June 6, 2013
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 | Original Score: 4/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 3, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Aaron Yap
Flicks.co.nz
April 9, 2013
A low-key, tenuous romance characterised by its sparse, deliberately paced storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
March 21, 2013
Petzold handles personal, formal and political concerns in such harmony that it's difficult, and not especially desirable, to separate one from the next.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
March 21, 2013
A quietly absorbing character study.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Brian Orndorf
Blu-ray.com
March 20, 2013
Isn't a tightly wound story of sacrifice, yet its distance is alluring, retaining secrets and motivations, building to a satisfying conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Richard von Busack
MetroActive
March 19, 2013
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 | Original Score: 4/5 stars
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
March 14, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago
March 10, 2013
Petzold renders Communist oppression in a provocatively muted manner.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
March 8, 2013
The movie examines the possibility of maintaining one's humanity in a truly oppressive society.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 8, 2013
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 | Original Score: 4/4
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
March 7, 2013
Stories of characters like Barbara continue to have meaning, even in a "free" society.
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 7, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Sheila O'Malley
Chicago Sun-Times
March 7, 2013
This is well-trod ground for Petzold, but never has it been so fully realized, so palpable, as in "Barbara."
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
March 6, 2013
Engrossing Cold War thriller and love story set in East Germany in 1980.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile
March 1, 2013
A meticulously crafted drama in which the depiction of character, place and circumstance evolves slowly and with intrigue, Barbara is gripping cinema
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
February 22, 2013
This well acted political melodrama, set during the Cold War, is Germany's entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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