Woyzeck (1979)

Woyzeck (1979)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Woyzeck Photos

Movie Info

A low-level soldier in the German army is subjected to a series of bizarre scientific experiments, which begin to transform him into an irrational murderer, even threatening to overcome his feelings for his beautiful beloved. Werner Herzog's expressionistic drama is based on the classic play by Georg Buchner.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Klaus Kinski
as Friedrich Johann Franz Woyzeck
Eva Mattes
as Marie
Josef Bierbichler
as Drum Major
Paul Burian
as Andres
Irm Hermann
as Margret
Volker Prechtel
as Handwerksbursche
Dieter Augustin
as Marktschreier
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Critic Reviews for Woyzeck

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Woyzeck is, if possible, ever more mysterious by the time we reach the end than it is at the beginning.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Handsomely mounting each scene, the director has trouble attaining any forward momentum, though he achieves some powerful moments while trying.

February 3, 2003
AV Club
Top Critic

The film seems to have been barely directed--the camera setups are relentlessly banal.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Often painful but never truly affecting.

Full Review… | May 24, 2005
Film Freak Central

Klaus Kinski is exceptional and Herzog's narrative captivating.

April 23, 2003

Oppressive and unsatisfying.

Full Review… | May 23, 2001
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Woyzeck

I liked the parts of Woyzeck (Klaus Kinski's a m a z i n g performance and Werner Herzog's brilliant direction) but for some odd reason I didn't wind up loving the sum of said parts. For me the watch was kind of grueling (namely the story) but at by the time the whole thing was done I'm glad I saw it, but I don't feel the need to ever see Woyzeck ever again. Recommended but not exactly essential outside of Kinski's work.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

Intense & powerful, Kinski rules

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer


Ridiculed by his superior officer, restricted to a diet of nothing but peas by his doctor, a confused, nervous and undernourished soldier is finally unhinged by his wife's apparent infidelity. Although not exactly a barrel of laughs, this wasn't as gruelling as I'd expected. Comprised of long, static takes and clocking in at a mercifully short 80 or so minutes, the film was supposedly shot in 18 days and edited in another 4, immediately after Herzog, Kinski and crew wrapped on Nosferatu. Kinski is truly amazing in this, and perhaps because of the not inconsiderable novelty value of watching him play a pitiful wretch rather than a loathsome egomaniac, this is my favourite of his performances I've seen to date. Doubtless the film has much to say to intellectuals about the human condition; unfortunately, I couldn't find an intellectual to enlighten me, so I've had to draw my own conclusions: Go easy on those greens, and never trust a drum major!

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

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