Hannah Arendt (2013)

Hannah Arendt



Critic Consensus: Led by a powerful performance from Barbara Sukowa, Hannah Arendt does a commendable job of dramatizing the life of a complex public figure.

Movie Info

The sublime Barbara Sukowa reteams with director Margarethe von Trotta (Vision, Rosa Luxemburg) for her brilliant new biopic of influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt. Arendt's reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker-controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils-introduced her now-famous concept of the "Banality of Evil." Using footage from the actual Eichmann trial and weaving a narrative that spans … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Pam Katz, Margarethe von Trotta, Pamela Katz
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 19, 2013
Box Office: $0.7M
Zeitgeist Films - Official Site


as Hannah Arendt

as Heinrich Blücher

as Mary McCarthy

as Lotte Köhler

as William Shawn

as Hans Jonas

as Martin Heidegger

as Kurt Blumenfeld

as Charlotte Beradt

as Francis Wells

as Jonathan Schell

as Thomas Miller

as Young Hannah Arendt
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hannah Arendt

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Critic Reviews for Hannah Arendt

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (19)

Barbara Sukowa delivers a beautifully modulated performance, showing the rigor of Arendt's thought and convictions while revealing the contours of a passionate woman with complex relationships.

Full Review… | October 11, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

[Barbara Sukowa] invests Arendt with a steely fury, but the film, set during and after the 1961 trial of ex--Nazi official Adolf Eichmann, has an entertaining cocktail-banter superficiality.

Full Review… | October 4, 2013
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

...actors in supporting roles telegraph the controversies surrounding Arendt's personality as if they were attempting to literally touch the viewer's nose.

Full Review… | June 2, 2014
Film School Rejects

Von Trotta doesn't do justice to this strong woman and her contribution to thinking about the nature of evil.

Full Review… | April 7, 2014

A crisply measured character study with plenty of intriguing ideas, elevated by a terrific, finely calibrated performance by Sukowa.

Full Review… | March 16, 2014

A dramatically solid, if talky, account of the controversial episode in the post-war world that spawned the phrase "the banality of evil", with strong performances from Barbara Sukowa and Janet McTeer.

Full Review… | March 15, 2014

Audience Reviews for Hannah Arendt

A German-Jewish philosopher covers the Eichmann trial and garners fury for her reporting.
It's quite rare to highlight philosophers and their work because it's difficult to raise academic concerns to the level of high drama. This film succeeds because it's a smart film for smart people -- people who can understand Arendt's concept of the "banality of evil." But it doesn't fully commit to its trust in the audience. While we get to see elements of the Eichmann trial from newsreel footage, we don't get inside the process of Arendt's observations. What about Eichmann led her to re-form how we think about morality and evil? Where does she see it, and how can the film show us her evidence?
The performances are all strong in a steely-eyed, hyper-intellectual way but without much vulnerability from any of the characters.
Overall, this is a strong, intelligent film.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


While the dialogue is at times repetitive and even expository, the rather elliptic plot suffers from the fact that the protagonist remains a nearly inscrutable puzzle during most of the time - but by the end when her motivations are finally made clear, it all fits nicely into place.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

This is one of the few movies I've watched where I read the book first. A sophisticated piece that manages to keep its intellectual subject matter fresh and appealing. My only contention is that it depicts Arendt as an impossibly faultless human being and I would've liked to see a more balanced view there.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

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