Hannah Arendt - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hannah Arendt Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 20, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2013
The film is at least partially successful in showing how noted thinker Hannah Arendt(Barbara Sukowa) came to the intellectually impressive feat of formulating the theory of the 'banlity of evil,' starting with her out of curiosity more than anything else to volunteer to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel for the New Yorker. However, the movie fails to adequately dramatize these events, with some elements lacking relevance(Although whatever gets Janet McTeer into a movie is fine with me.). For example, I'm left wondering how Heidegger(Klaus Pohl) is supposed to fit in. As a byproduct of its limited budget, the movie mostly relies on interiors which actually helps in encapsulating the hermetic lives of academics. As one, Arendt enjoys the arguments she has with other intellectuals, not realizing the huge uproar she is about to cause with her articles in the general public. Previously, the Israeli government was probably having similiar arguments about what to do when they found out where Eichmann was. By the way, this was at a time when governments would at least consider putting the enemies of state on trial.

As time goes on, Hannah Arendt would be proven right when she said that nobodies are behind the evil of the world. Except, even though he would appear like a meek bureaucrat on the stand when he is simply trying to save his skin, the same could not be said of Adolf Eichmann, as he was at the infamous Wannsee Conference and therefore one of the architects of the Final Solution. Check out the documentary "The Specialist" which is comprised solely of footage from his trial and judge for yourself.
Super Reviewer
½ November 23, 2013
If you can look past boring supporting performances and some awkward interactions, the film is an rather interesting examination of Arendt and her "banality of evil" theory. I like that there is serious consideration given to the notion that what made Arendt's detractors so angry wasn't necessarily her ideas but that she responded intellectually to a situation that most looked at through a emotional lens. Barbara Sukowa deserves some serious recognition for her work here.
½ June 8, 2013
This movie was interesting and engaging to me. Great look at her thoughts and intentions, as well as a less sympathetic but fair look at the hatred she garnered... this movie could have been great perhaps with a larger budget? All of the german actors were great, but the americans were god awful...
May 31, 2013
Good but not great story one of the 20th century's most controversial philosophers.
½ May 10, 2015
Thanks to fine performances and elegant direction, "Hannah Arendt" is an interesting, compelling, sometimes thrilling work centered around a woman often vilified for her unconventional (yet logically sound and undeniably fearless) thinking. The intellectual debates that play out on screen put the audience in a position akin to voluntarily taking a particularly engrossing college course. Subsequently, it is certainly not for everyone. Make no mistake: this is a dry movie. Quite a bit of time is devoted to watching Hannah look at a TV screen and a majority of the film's proceedings take place as a series of philosophical conversations about the human condition in relation to legality and morality. However, the moral questions about the mediocrity of those involved in dictatorial bureaucracies, the so-called "banality of evil", and the nature of guilt are supported by the film's confident, contemplative pace and make for stimulating viewing if you choose to engage with them. The final culmination of this ideological game is incredible enough to warrant the price of admission on its own.
December 31, 2013
I enjoyed the film without knowing all that much about Arendt. Human relationships and lots of intellectual debates, pretty talky, but I was very interested in it all. The film shows Arendt's life in New York City in the 1960s, her visit to Israel for the Eichmann trial, and a few flashbacks to her college days as a student of Heidegger. Her New Yorker articles about the Eichmann trial are the focus of the film. I couldn't help but think how much of the controversy resulted from jealous male colleagues, because she was a woman. She was constantly accused of being arrogant and selfish and unfeeling. Because she was a highly intelligent woman unwilling to apologize for or hide her smarts? Woman are not supposed to think, but only to feel, so a woman who subordinates her emotions to analysis might be very threatening. Some characters were even shown looking askance at her because she did not have children. These gender issues are not forefronted in the film, but another interesting layer.
January 19, 2015
Fascinating topic, yet somehow the film itself failed to fascinate.
½ December 26, 2014
Finally caught up with Margarethe von Trotta's absolutely wonderful HANNAH ARENDT. Anchored by a perfect performance from Barbara Sukowa, HANNAH ARENDT is a truly rare accomplishment--a film that seamlessly mingles the personal and professional while totally zeroing in on Arendt's philosophical conceptions. So many films about artists, great thinkers have failed in capturing the human being behind the art or in the opposite direction, ignoring the philosophy to depict the personal only. In HANNAH ARENDT all is combined magnificently, providing a 360 degree view of a truly great human being and showing us how the personal, political, and professional are all combined.
July 28, 2014
Mais interessante pelo tema e pela biografada do que como filme, propriamente.
July 16, 2014
One of those rare movies that tries to get at the truth, as seen through the thought of the main character, rather than romantic nonsense.
July 5, 2014
This was a brilliant film of a type you rarely see any longer. Today it is all Superheros all the time. Here is a film about a political philosopher, a Jew, a Nazi survivor, and a driven intellectual obsessed with the nature of evil. The film centers around the trial of Adolf Eichmann and what this meant to Hannah Arendt, Jewish communities, Israel, and the broader world. Well known intellectuals and philosophers pop in and out of the film...if the audience is not well read they'll have no idea of what is going on or who these people are. The film does not make it easy for those that are unread, poorly read, and that is wonderful. For the first time in a long time, I did not feel as though I were being spoken down to. Highly recommended for anyone that enjoys thinking and not just experiencing.
June 5, 2014
After a slow buildup it grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Essential for history buffs. Sukowa's talents shine.
May 25, 2014
The performances make this worth seeing. The story is very interesting and meaningful until about 3/4 the way through. Then, it lingers and lingers and lingers over those 10 pages (don't want to spoil) without ever committing to what they meant to the communities at odds with each other. Rather, the movie focuses on the fervor. Was it too controversial for the filmmakers?
May 1, 2014
I love the story and the point of view. What, as usual, bothers me is in attempting to capture the NYC of the 60's, the opening view of the skyline is wrong (having lived in NYC in the '60's). One other complaint - the Portrayal of Americans is stereotypical and awkward. And the 'American' acting is stilted and terrible. That said, the story is worth getting past these jarring inauthenticities.
½ April 13, 2014
This is a film of absolute substance about the woman hired by The New Yorker to cover the rial in Israel of Eichmann.
While all around her are clambering to be told that he was the complete devil, she refers to him as a "nobody", a bureaucrat with not interest outside the operation of his department.
This leads to her most famous quote, that of "the banality of evil".
The film is unglamorous and straightforward.
It is unflattering and it remains in your mind.
The idea that ordinary people will simply do as they are told... just obey orders... especially if they have sworn to be part of an organisation (be it military, national or bureaucratic) is one that has become a major part of life through the second half of the 20th century and we still reap the results.
See the film. It is good to see such unflinching intelligence.
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