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The Tunnel (Der Tunnel) Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
Based on true events. A gripping drama about a group of people in the early '60s who try to break out their loved ones living in communist East digging a 145 meter tunnel under the Berlin Wall. I enjoyed this film so much that it didn't feel even close to being 2 hours and 47 minutes long. Very tense, and dramatic.
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

May 15, 2012
Originally a miniseries for German television and based on real events (two phrases usually marked for contempt) here is a tension riveting trip to Berlin in the days right after The Wall was built. Rich with nuanced character development (and informed by American media) its not quite so far or long as may be imagined. A consideration on illegal immigration worth your time.
familiar s

Super Reviewer

February 14, 2011
Based on true events, this movie uses loads of general rules of fictionalization. While that surely made it look somewhat unauthentic, nevertheless, it also helped to keep me hooked to the movie. The project was almost always on the brink of destruction, but they manage to escape somehow. The story was nicely weaved, and I kept wondering what's next. Because the movie is based on real events, it made me care more for its characters. Although it doesn't reflect the events as they actually occurred, the movie succeeds in dramatizing the events so as to make it more intriguing. I don't know if I'd have liked the simple filming of the events without fictionalization. Probably, I may know it some day if at all I can get to see that 1962 movie "Tunnel 28" (aka "Escape from East Berlin") which displays some real footage of the events. However, the probability for that is almost negligible.

One of the best escape movies which had escaped from my attention till date. I can't recall how I exactly stumbled upon it. Seems like it isn't that popular, even though IMHO, it's far better than "The Great Escape".

Super Reviewer

July 30, 2007
[font=Century Gothic]"The Tunnel" starts in 1961 as the Berlin Wall is being built by East German authorities to stem the flow of emigration to the West. Engineer Matthis Hiller(Sebastian Koch) succeeds in escaping via the sewers but is separated in the confusion from his wife, Carola(Claudia Michelsen). From West Berlin, he manages to get a fake passport back to his friend, Harry Melchior(Heino Ferch), a champion swimmer, who strolls to freedom. But Harry cannot arrange for his sister Lotte's(Alexandra Maria Lara) family to be brought over to the West, and cannot abide being separated from her. So, he cooks up a plan with Matthis, Vittorio(Mehmet Kurtulus), an American expatriate, and Fred(Felix Eitner), a West German native, to dig a tunnel 145 meters into East Berlin from an abandoned factory on the west side of the wall.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Incredibly based on a true story, "The Tunnel" gets off to a horrendous start as it seems at first to be only concerned with making political points instead of telling a story. But once it gets going, the movie develops into a taut thriller with more than its share of heartrending moments, any politics subtly pushed into the background. In the end, it is about ordinary people turned into real-life heroes caught between two conflicting ideologies, watching their country being torn apart and no longer able to trust each other.[/font]

Super Reviewer

October 30, 2009
Based on a true story Der Tunnel was the story of a champion swimmer Harry who managed to escape from East Berlin to the West. Some of his friends made it also but some of their families are left behind. I was aware of the history of German situation after the WWII, when Berlin was separated in two through a wall. But this movie showed the real life stories of the people in the DDR, what they had to endure and their urge to escape to West Germany. In the beginning it showed more about making of the tunnel but even so it maintained the tension for almost three hours.The cast was well chosen and the acting was excellent. A heartbreaking story that will have you on the edge of your seat. Worth watching. I highly recommend this movie. Don't miss it.
Grifty G

Super Reviewer

February 23, 2009
Based on a true story about a group of Germans who hatch a plan to tunnel under the Berlin Wall to free friends and relatives trapped on the East side. I realized as I was watching this that although I had seen films about East Berlin, I hadn't really seen anything about the Wall itself being built, and what life was like during that transitional period in Berlin. A fascinating story, although a few plot points make you wonder whether "artistic license" trumped true events. The director uses old fashioned, no-frills film making, and the almost 3 hour running time means character development doesn't get tossed aside for plot and suspense. And speaking of suspense, it was nice to watch a historical story that I didn't already know the outcome.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

March 13, 2007
Great gripping exciting Berlin Wall story!
December 1, 2012
A hugely suspenseful historical thriller. I must admit that I have a bias when it comes to German historical movies. But hey, this movie really is excellent, especially since it is German-produced.
November 24, 2011
A "must-see!" Suspense is the right word! The characters are specific and interesting enough that any clichà (C)s present pass nearly unnoticed, due to the intensity of the narrative. All around great production, acting, cinematography.
September 25, 2011
I had high expectations due to good reviews but somehow was underwhelmed by this movie. It's not bad per se, but it seemed too long and lacking dramatic tension. After watching the movie I realized it was actually a mini-series made for German TV, so that explains it.
April 12, 2011
It's got a pretty lengthy run time, but it doesn't really weigh in considering it's a thriller and the story threads are mixed in in a timely fashion. The plot also runs on a formula familiar to characters in predicaments of romance, camaraderie, and suspense, but the political spin gives it a unique flavor seeing how its core is factual. German Hollywood still has great actors, directing, scripts, and is entertaining.

Edit: This is actually a made-for-TV movie. It's one of the best I've seen, if I may say so, and easily towers over the typical Hollywood garbage.
November 10, 2012
exciting and intense
October 8, 2012
A bit too long and a bit confusing at times, but Der Tunnel is still a tense, well acted and well made film.
October 1, 2012
Der Tunnel is a gripping tale dripping with determination of human spirit... What makes it more interesting is that it is based on a true story...
August 23, 2012
I have always enjoy The Great Escape, but for escapes and tunnels this film is superb. Based very much on a true story, a group of Germans recently escaped from the GDR tunnel into to East Berlin to rescue family and friends. A dark and powerful reminder of the Wall and what the people behind it faced.
August 3, 2012
I must say: this movie is long. It's the kind of long that you notice. But the gripping final third more than makes up for the explicit pace. This is a powerful story with compelling characters against an historical backdrop. I'm shocked to learn that this was made for TV. It's an outstanding German film.
September 6, 2011
The Tunnel is both a tension-filled thriller and a riveting history lesson.
ttoka hole chus
ok do it
July 27, 2011
it's charming cause is based on a true story
June 16, 2011
Combining a number of true-life events into a single fictionalized narrative about East German escapees tunneling back under the Berlin Wall to rescue loved ones, this is a terrific film. It gets soapy at times, and it feels more Hollywood than gritty, but it's never dull -- no small feat for a nearly 3-hour running time.
December 31, 2010
It is always inspiring to see true stories about people who acted to gain their freedom.
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