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Barbara Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Jennifer Tate
ViewLondon

This stylish, but rather dull, German drama has good intentions and some strong performances but unfortunately Barbara fails to entice, enchant and entertain, thanks to its unlikeable lead character and discouraging slow pace.

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 2/5

September 26, 2012
Ed Whitfield
The Ooh Tray

We're told this was a Soviet outcrop with constraints on all forms of expression - and low and behold, with the upmost reverence, here's the artistic homage.

Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray

September 27, 2012
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
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics

Christian Petzold's latest thriller threatens to cross over the line from minimalism to nihilism.

Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics | Original Score: 5/10

January 2, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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
Sheila O'Malley
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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
Adam Ross
The Aristocrat

As a film, Barbara is as opaque as its glacial protagonist: Barbara is all about showing and not telling.

Full Review Source: The Aristocrat | Original Score: 3/5

September 27, 2012
Pauline McLeod
Daily Express

An enthralling little gem.

Full Review Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 4/5

September 30, 2012
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a quiet film built of careful details.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 4/4

December 21, 2012
John Semley
Slant Magazine

Most compelling in Barbara, Christian Petzold's latest, is the way the filmmaker adeptly conducts his tides of Cold War paranoia.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

September 18, 2012
T'Cha Dunlevy
Montreal Gazette

A crafty filmmaker, Petzold gives us information in increments. During the first half of his movie, which he co-wrote, we are all but left to our own devices; yet it is fascinating, and appropriate.

Full Review Source: Montreal Gazette | Original Score: 3.5/5

February 21, 2013
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
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Hoss' acting is a marvel of subtlety; her body language is precisely calibrated to reveal a great deal about the character's inner feelings by the slightest changes of posture and facial expression.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

December 20, 2012
Aaron Yap
Flicks.co.nz

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

Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz | Original Score: 4/5

April 9, 2013
Simon Miraudo
Quickflix

A well-observed, compelling, and evocative character piece, haunted by the ghosts of Germany's recent past.

Full Review Source: Quickflix | Original Score: 3.5/5

January 28, 2013
Glenn Heath Jr.
Little White Lies

With Barbara, Petzold earns his stripes among Europe's great auteurs.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 4/5

September 27, 2012
Eric Hynes
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No special effect this year comes close to what Hoss can accomplish with simple but unbearably explosive eye contact.

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

December 18, 2012
Sam Adams
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Barbara is Hoss' fifth film with Petzold, and the movie rests on the depth and subtlety of their working relationship.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: A

December 20, 2012
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper

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 Source: Philadelphia City Paper | Original Score: A-

March 21, 2013
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Hoss' outstanding performance is a deep well of subtle yet unmistakable motives and reactions.

Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI) | Original Score: B+

February 21, 2013
Graham Young
Birmingham Post

A superby-crafted paranoia story ...

Full Review Source: Birmingham Post | Original Score: 3/5

October 10, 2012
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