A Hidden Life

Critics Consensus

Ambitious and visually absorbing, A Hidden Life may prove inscrutable to non-devotees -- but for viewers on Malick's wavelength, it should only further confirm his genius.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 210

72%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 252
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Movie Info

Based on real events, A HIDDEN LIFE is the story of an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fanni and children that keeps his spirit alive.

Cast

August Diehl
as Franz Jägerstätter
Valerie Pachner
as Franziska Jägerstätter
Maria Simon
as Resie Schwaninger
Tobias Moretti
as Vicar Ferdinand Fürthauer
Bruno Ganz
as Judge Lueben
Karin Neuhäuser
as Rosalia Jägerstätter
Ulrich Matthes
as Lorenz Schwaninger
Michael Nyqvist
as Bishop Joseph Fliessen
Jürgen Prochnow
as Major Schlegel
Alexander Fehling
as Fredrich Feldmann
Martin Wuttke
as Major Kiel
Johan Leysen
as Ohlendorf
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News & Interviews for A Hidden Life

Critic Reviews for A Hidden Life

All Critics (210) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (168) | Rotten (42)

  • By reaching for lofty ideas that never feel within its grasp, it sacrifices its beating, human heart.

    February 11, 2020 | Full Review…
  • thoroughly committed to the powerful idea that simply standing one's moral and ethical ground, refusing to bow to pressure even if it seems, in the moment, that it won't matter, is one of the most important acts one can make as a human being

    February 11, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • One of Malick's most accessible movies in the last decade. [Full Review in Spanish]

    February 7, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • As imagined and filmed by Terrence Malick, A Hidden Life is a vast and meditative biopic that moves well beyond the confines of the story it is ostensibly here to tell.

    February 5, 2020 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a beautiful work, as much about the power of everyday minutiae as it is about the torments of standing up for your beliefs.

    February 4, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • An incessant torrent of images that captures fragments of moments accompanied by classical music. [Full review in Spanish]

    February 3, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Hidden Life

  • Jan 25, 2020
    Devotees of famed art house director Terrence Malick will find a renewed faith in the filmmaker's often touted genius after three feature-length meditative marathons on the beauty and ennui of rich, white people amidst decadent problems. TO THE WONDER, KNIGHT OF CUPS, and SONG TO SONG sure did look good, but they didn't add up to what most folks would consider a satisfying cinematic experience - more like a triathlon in tedium without much of a discernible plot and a lot, I mean a metric crap-ton of people mumbling and/or spinning around. I think it's still safe to say that if you couldn't stand THE TREE OF LIFE, you'll be having difficulties accessing A HIDDEN LIFE as well, but if you're like me and like to immerse yourself in three hours of majestic emotional grandeur this might just be your long, slow cup of joe. Set in the first half of WWII, the film is based on the life of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who defied his conscription to the Third Reich and was imprisoned as a conscientious objector and traitor. You can easily guess what happens to him as the film doesn't really make it past 1943, so the tragedy and travesty of his situation should come as no surprise to any casual purveyors of history. Here Malick's elliptical and naturalistic style of editing mixes with Jorg Widmers keen Emmanuel Lubezki inspired camera work to complement instead of obfuscate the subjects of the film. This method fits the tone and flow much better than in Malick's last three outings because it lends intimacy and confrontation instead of finger-gagging you into unremitting apathy. Don't get me wrong, I like all of Malick's output, but A HIDDEN LIFE is truly something special and will probably rank up there with his best works, not to mention his more accessible. At conclusion, I sat in the theater until the credits ended with about five other strangers as we slowly collected ourselves and let our tears dry. It was a good cry.
    Steve L Super Reviewer

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