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The Berlin File

The Berlin File (2013)

tomatometer

17

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 353

My Rating

Movie Info

A tense illegal arms deal in a Berlin hotel suddenly descends into mayhem after a "ghost" agent named Jong-seong (HA Jung-woo) appears on the scene. Secretly watching the deal go down is embattled South Korean intelligence chief Jin-soo (HAN Suk-Kyu), the North Koreans and the US CIA, who are all left trying to decode whether the ghost is a double-agent or taking the fall for a more insidious plot. Myung-soo (RYOO Seung-bum) a young, notorious North Korean agent jumps into these treacherous

Dec 24, 2013

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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (8)

There is something sharp, exciting and more original tucked within "The Berlin File" - and it is in moments a sleek, crackling film - but it all feels somehow misshapen.

February 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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As soon as "The Berlin File" takes flight with its exhilarating action set pieces, memories of any muddles evaporate amid the tension and vivid engagement with settings, from courtyards to fields.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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The Berlin File benefits from gritty surroundings that add a cold war realism to this otherwise confusing tale of conflicted loyalties and secret agendas.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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The story feels fairly perfunctory - not to mention unnecessarily knotty - but the well-connected leads do their best to ground it.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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[A] formulaic but solid Cold War-style spy thriller, with North Korea pinch-hitting for the Soviet Union.

February 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Everything here, except the action scenes, [feels] sluggish and rote.

February 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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Even though there's moments of exciting action and the reassembling of a government hierarchy violently taking place in front of you, The Berlin File is strapped to its restraints by its slow, meandering pace.

December 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

Retrospectively cold war in tone this provides action more brutal than balletic and the promise of a Bourne-style franchise in the making.

June 24, 2013 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

The movie offers just about all you could ask of a genre flick: poisonings, defections, a secret North Korean bank account, gloriously choreographed fights that go insanely over the top, febrile tension and doomy romance (but no sex).

February 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News

'The Berlin File' takes Hollywood's penchant for spectacle and ADD visual neurosis to its logical albeit absurd conclusion.

February 15, 2013 Full Review Source: honeycuttshollywood.com
honeycuttshollywood.com

A sporadically entertaining, modestly ambitious shoot 'em up that frequently succumbs to spelling out its subtext.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The plot may be a challenge to figure out, but this crisply directed spy thriller from Korea holds your attention through its overall smooth professionalism.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for The Berlin File

Ryoo Seung-wan pulls out the agents and crosses them in The Berlin File.Running nearly 2 hours, there is more than enough to follow when it comes to the story. While the pacing of the film isn't necessarily fast, plot details come and go often enough to easily throw things into a bin of shredded paper. In short, the story requires attention to grasp, especially in the first half. Fortunately, things become clearer by the film's final act.The action is nicely done with the highlight happening at the end. It is a good mixture of realism and stylization.Jung-woo Ha, Suk-kyu Han, and Ryoo Seung-Bum share the screen as the three major leads. Gianna Jun, as eye catching as she is, ends up overshadowed by the other three.The Berlin File agreeably fits into the action crime thriller genre and is therefore a recommendable Korean picture.
August 15, 2013
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