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Downfall (Der Untergang) (2004)



Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 136
Fresh: 124 | Rotten: 12

Downfall is an illuminating, thoughtful and detailed account of Hitler's last days.


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 6

Downfall is an illuminating, thoughtful and detailed account of Hitler's last days.



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Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 68,686

My Rating

Movie Info

In the dead of a November night in 1942, SS officers through the woods escort a group of young women to Wolf's Lair, Hitler's headquarters in Eastern Prussia. They are candidates for the post of personal secretary to the Fuehrer. Among them is 22-year-old Traudl Junge, a fresh-faced girl from Munich. Traudl is chosen for the job and she is overcome with joy at the thought of serving beside her Fuehrer. BERLIN, APRIL 20, 1945: Hitler has retreated to a bunker system under the German Chancellery.


Art House & International, Drama

Bernd Eichinger

Aug 2, 2005


Newmarket Films - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Downfall (Der Untergang)

January 15, 2010:
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All Critics (148) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (124) | Rotten (12) | DVD (23)

May be the definitive account of Hitler's final days and the collapse of the Third Reich.

April 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a steely, unblinking resolve, Downfall stares into the abyss, but does not pretend to comprehend it.

April 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Viewed through a North American lens, the movie itself seems more familiar than fascinating, more innocuous than inflammatory, and, at 21/2 hours, more tedious than anything else.

March 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comments (9)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For emotional effect it trades less in the spectacle of ebbing power than the tragedy of power's mysterious thrall.

March 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hirschbiegel and Ganz are not apologizing for Nazism. They are trying to come to terms with the fact that the evils of Nazism were invented and carried out by human beings.

March 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Provocative look at Hitler's last days is extremely violent.

May 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media unflinching, hard, relentlessly honest movie that refuses to ask questions that have easy answers. It is also brilliantly acted, written and focused...

June 29, 2013 Full Review Source:

"Downfall" isn't about commuting history's sentence for the Nazis, but heeding its warning - a gruesome, sustained-tension lesson about informed politics and whether those who left evil to its own devices could arrive at a place of complicit guilt.

September 25, 2010 Full Review Source:

It's reach exceeds its grasp; nonetheless, a compelling study of Hitler's last days.

July 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinemania

As the first German-made film about Hitler's ruination since G.W. Pabst's "Der Letzte Akt" ("The Last Act" - 1956) "Downfall" is a stunning cinematic achievement that illuminates minutiae about the last 10 days of the nefarious German leader who won the h

April 18, 2009 Full Review Source:

What an act of bravery it was to make Downfall.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

Features a staggeringly creepy performance by Bruno Ganz, whose Hitler is both a raving psychotic and a beaten, melancholic man.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International | Comment (1)
Film Journal International

Downfall is an admirably matter-of-fact history lesson of a movie, but next to real footage of real people with real memories of those days, it pales by comparison.

September 22, 2006 | Comments (2)
Christianity Today

An important historical movie about the last days of the Third Reich.

March 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Es un atinado recordatorio de que, como humanidad, debimos haber aprendido la lección, pues de otra forma estamos condenados a repetir la historia, para bien o para mal.

November 28, 2005

The subject matter itself is the fallback support, which is good enough for its purposes, though it could've benefited from a more steered momentum.

November 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

La película es una nueva y bienvenida mirada hacia eventos históricos que nos han sido contados prácticamente en exclusiva desde el bando ganador.

August 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

There have been plenty of World War II films over the years, but none delivers as intimate a portrait of German dictator Adolf Hitler and his comrades.

August 4, 2005

...succeeds, for the most part, in painstakingly depicting who did what when, but beyond that, it is a missed opportunity.

August 4, 2005 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide | Comments (9)
All Movie Guide

A lot of movies have been made about Adolf Hitler, but this is certainly one of the best; it shows the psychology that goes on when a leader and his followers fall from power.

August 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

A long stare into an abyss from which no comforting answers can emerge.

July 31, 2005 Full Review Source: Flipside Movie Emporium
Flipside Movie Emporium

The film's searing portrayal of an utterly pathetic fanaticism is its most enduring effect.

July 29, 2005 Full Review Source: PopMatters | Comments (2)

Downfall, along with the well-done additional [DVD] special features, is a must-see film for anyone who considers themselves a history buff, a film junkie or both.

July 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Downfall takes on the unenviable task of portraying [Hitler] as a man, rather than a caricature or parody as the norm has dictated.

July 24, 2005

Offers a harrowing look at the Nazi downfall.

July 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Downfall (Der Untergang)

A very interesting look at an oft-over-reviewed subject.
June 8, 2013

Super Reviewer

Based on true life memoirs of people who were actually there, this starkly gripping depiction of the last days of the third reich can hardly be described as an enjoyable experience. The german people are suffering terrible hardship as the attacking Russian forces reach Berlin while Hitler's cowardly henchmen are attempting to make their escape or plotting the murder/suicides of themselves and their families when faced with the consequences of their monstrous actions. Lynch mobs roam the streets dispensing "justice" against suspected traitors (who in Hitler's deranged eyes seemed to include virtually everyone) and ill-equipped professional german soldiers are ordered to fight to the death in the face of certain defeat. The entire cast of the film are superb, but it is Bruno Ganz's remarkable performance that is the centrepiece of the film. His portrayal of Hitler veering between twitching broken shell and wild-eyed delusional maniac (who even at the end still commanded fanatical belief in him from some of his people) is totally convincing. It is still difficult to fully comprehend what you are seeing even as it happens in front of your eyes and I was left feeling shellshocked at the film's end;.possibly the most important film made about WWII and something everyone simply must see.
September 19, 2012
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

That this, the most accessible, most illuminating film about the end of the Third Reich and the last days of Adolph Hitler, comes from Germany ... well, its mind-boggling. Ganz's performance is soul searing and no one in the piece deserts the high standards he sets. There are no false moments to be found here. A masterwork. A revelation.
July 13, 2012

Super Reviewer

Downfall is probably one of the greatest war films ever made, not just because the acting and directing are sublime but because most importantly it is factual and unglorified like many 'classics' of the genres. Most war films have that one special scene that it is remembered for, Downfall has many. For me it was the eerie honesty displayed in real footage of the since passed Traudl Junge, who offers no good reason as to why she stayed and supported Hitler and of course the scene everyone who was familiar with the story was dreading that involved the Goebbels children. Indeed, Ulrich Matthes's portrayal of Joseph Goebbels is subtly just as frightening as Bruno Ganz's Adolf. A fantastic and tasteful historical document made the way all factual war films should be made.
May 21, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Adolf Hitler: Be ruthless. Life doesn't forgive weakness.
    – Submitted by Rae G (2 years ago)
    1. Hermann Fegelein: So that means we are no longer allowed to think?
    – Submitted by Maria Y (2 years ago)
    1. Hermann Fegelein: Yeah? What do you expect from a teetotal, non-smoking vegetarian?
    – Submitted by Maria Y (2 years ago)
    1. Traudl Junge: All these horrors I've heard of during the Nurnberg process, these six million Jews, other thinking people or people of another race, who perished. That shocked me deeply. But I hadn't made the connection with my past. I assured myself with the thought of not being personally guilty. And that I didn't know anything about the enormous scale of it. But one day I walked by a memorial plate of Sophie Scholl in the Franz-Joseph-Strasse. I saw that she was about my age and she was executed in the same year I came to Hitler. And at that moment I actually realised that a young age isn't an excuse. And that it might have been possible to get to know things.
    – Submitted by Maria Y (2 years ago)
    1. Heinrich Himmler: When I meet Eisenhower, should I give the Nazi salute, or shake his hand?
    – Submitted by Maria Y (2 years ago)
    1. Adolf Hitler: Fegelein! Fegelein! Fegelein!
    – Submitted by Jacob B (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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