The Lives of Others Reviews

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Philip French
Observer [UK]
April 21, 2007
You know within minutes of watching The Lives of Others ... that you are in confident, authoritative hands.

Times [UK]
April 21, 2007
Few films have dared paint East Germany and its legions of demons in such honest and unsparing detail. Von Donnersmarck puts a pickaxe into the past.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Sean O'Connell
Charlotte Weekly
April 19, 2007
Reels us in and keeps us engaged.
| Original Score: 3/4
Peter Bradshaw
April 14, 2007
This fierce and gloomy drama, written and directed by first-timer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, was a notable winner of this year's best foreign film Oscar.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Alan Morrison
Empire Magazine
April 13, 2007
... a moving, enlightening tale of recent times.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Matthew Turner
April 12, 2007
Engaging, gripping and emotionally devastating thriller with a razor-sharp script, taut direction and terrific performances from its three leads. This is one of the best films of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
April 10, 2007
... you just cannot help but watch...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly
April 6, 2007
... when a filmmaker confronts you and makes you truly understand the lives of his characters, that insight takes your breath away.
| Original Score: 4/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
March 31, 2007
A harsh history lesson that looks back at the drab East Berlin of 1984.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Matthew Sorrento
Film Threat
March 27, 2007
... von Donnersmarck creates a milieu so realistic that the attention-worthy setting becomes just a backdrop, while an intricate tale, as suspenseful as it is humanistic, takes over.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
March 23, 2007
Twisting perspectives on lives, actions and consequences, this magnificent film satisfies on every level
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
March 23, 2007
...resolved through a couple of endings, one brutal and tragic enough for the old Greeks, the other graceful and uplifting ...
Full Review | Original Score: 93/100
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
March 21, 2007
Good drama it is, and it's drama that raises a lot of questions, but I found it less tense than many.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Karina Montgomery
March 20, 2007
Subtle and delightful - please see review.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 16, 2007
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film is a melodrama in a minor key, quietly affecting, quietly chilling, quietly quiet. It captures the drab architecture of totalitarianism, the soul-dead buildings of a soul-dead state.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
John Wirt
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
March 16, 2007
Writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is a master of tone and place.
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
March 16, 2007
Will remind some of 'The Conversation,' but a closer if less obvious link is 'Fahrenheit 451': Wiesler is essentially Bradbury's conflicted 'fireman,' Montag, transported from a dystopian science-fiction future to a dystopian historical past.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
March 15, 2007
Pan's Labyrinth deserved to win the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar, of course, but the Academy's selection of The Lives of Others hardly qualifies as an outrage.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
March 12, 2007
As a Cold War thriller, The Lives of Others is gripping stuff replete with the nuts and bolts of all-encompassing surveillance.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Les Wright
March 12, 2007
Relative newcomer screenwriter and director Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck makes a remarkably self-confident and promising debut with the tensely sublime film The Lives of Others...The Lives of Others is a rare film achievement, arguably a "perfect" film
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