Downfall (Der Untergang) (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Downfall (Der Untergang) (2004)

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

Downfall (Der Untergang) Trailers & Photos

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. Traudl Junge is asleep in her room, deep beneath the ground. She is awakened by tremors from artillery fire. The enemy is getting closer. Charting the last 10 days of Hitler's life, from his 56th birthday on April 20th, 1945 to his suicide on April 30th, the film uses multiple characters to show the chaos of a country coming apart at the seams, from Hitler's henchman under the streets of Berlin, to the soldiers and civilians fighting and dying as the Soviet Army ravaged the city above.more
Rating: R (for strong violence, disturbing images and some nudity)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Bernd Eichinger
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 2, 2005
Box Office: $5.5M
Runtime:
Newmarket Films - Official Site

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Cast

Bruno Ganz
as Adolf Hitler
Corinna Harfouch
as Magda Goebbels
Ulrich Matthes
as Joseph Goebbels
Juliane Köhler
as Eva Braun
Heino Ferch
as Albert Speer
Christian Berkel
as Prof. Dr. Ernst-Günt...
Matthias Habich
as Prof. Dr. Werner Haa...
Thomas Kretschmann
as SS-Gruppenführer Her...
Michael Mendl
as General der Artiller...
André Hennicke
as SS-Brigadeführer Wil...
Ulrich Noethen
as Reichsführer SS Hein...
Donevan Gunia
as Peter, the Hitler Y...
Birgit Minichmayr
as Gerda Christian
Justus von Dohnányi
as Wilhelm Burgdorf
Dieter Mann
as Generalfeldmarschall
Christian Redl
as Generaloberst
Götz Otto
as Sturmbannführer
Thomas Thieme
as Reichsleiter
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News & Interviews for Downfall (Der Untergang)

Critic Reviews for Downfall (Der Untergang)

All Critics (150) | Top Critics (38)

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

Full Review… | May 20, 2014
Common Sense Media

...an unflinching, hard, relentlessly honest movie that refuses to ask questions that have easy answers. It is also brilliantly acted, written and focused...

Full Review… | June 29, 2013
Cinemaphile.org

"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.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010
Suite101.com

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

Full Review… | July 21, 2009
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

Full Review… | April 18, 2009
ColeSmithey.com

What an act of bravery it was to make Downfall.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008
BrandonFibbs.com

Audience Reviews for Downfall (Der Untergang)

½

A very interesting look at an oft-over-reviewed subject.

cchclaw
Christian C

Super Reviewer

½

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.

garyX
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.

ApeneckFletcher
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Downfall (Der Untergang) Quotes

Adolf Hitler: Be ruthless. Life doesn't forgive weakness.
– Submitted by Rae G (3 years ago)
Hermann Fegelein: So that means we are no longer allowed to think?
– Submitted by Maria Y (3 years ago)
Hermann Fegelein: Yeah? What do you expect from a teetotal, non-smoking vegetarian?
– Submitted by Maria Y (3 years ago)
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 (3 years ago)

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