Rating: 3.5 stars
Arthouse Rating: 4 stars
The two strongest sequences were the opening twenty minutes and the closing twenty. This was when the movie took the risk of getting close and humanizing the nazis. The director could've gotten to compassionate and this film would be an epic failure and controversy. The director stayed in his reach, without playing it too safe, in the wrong hands that wouldn't happen.
Bruno Ganz played Hitler all to well, I felt like some of the supporting roles were weaker in an obvious way though. Never the less Ganz should've gotten an oscar nomination. It was running long at 150 minutes. Maybe 90 of those were entertaining or significant. If it was cutdown though you wouldn't feel the strength of the closing sequence.
Close to Germany, and it only shows Nazi Germnay. You never even glance at the Red Army shooting, this wasn't about the war. It was about the ruins of Germany and the chaos approaching the Nazi regime. Executed it's mission and stayed constant with timing and execution. Amongst Million Dollar Baby, Eternal Sunshine, and The Incredibles for the best of 2004.