Downfall (Der Untergang) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Downfall (Der Untergang) Reviews

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David Ansen
Newsweek
January 22, 2013
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Derek Elley
Variety
December 31, 2008
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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AV Club
September 26, 2005
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 5, 2005
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 8, 2005
May be the definitive account of Hitler's final days and the collapse of the Third Reich.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 1, 2005
With a steely, unblinking resolve, Downfall stares into the abyss, but does not pretend to comprehend it.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 18, 2005
Viewed through a North American lens, the movie itself seems more familiar than fascinating, more innocuous than inflammatory, and, at 21/2 hours, more tedious than anything else.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
March 18, 2005
For emotional effect it trades less in the spectacle of ebbing power than the tragedy of power's mysterious thrall.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
March 17, 2005
Hirschbiegel and Ganz are not apologizing for Nazism. They are trying to come to terms with the fact that the evils of Nazism were invented and carried out by human beings.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 14, 2005
In a remarkable performance, perhaps the most impressive portrait of Hitler ever captured on film, Bruno Ganz plays Hitler as delusional, hateful and cruel man -- but also human.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
March 11, 2005
Intriguing, oddly banal and ultimately deflating.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
March 11, 2005
Ganz seems to find exactly the right pitch: His Hitler feels real and human, yet there's nothing particularly ingratiating or sentimentalized about him. We never forget who he is.
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
March 11, 2005
The final scenes of chaos in mid-1945 Berlin ... are simply riveting.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 11, 2005
There are many lessons to be gleaned from Downfall. Perhaps the most important is that absolute faith in one's own virtue is not a commitment to virtuous behavior but a commitment to one's own will. It's a license to commit atrocities.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
March 11, 2005
Succeeds, perhaps too well for us to believe Hitler was some aberration who could never happen again.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 11, 2005
A figure as large and infamous as Hitler creates a certain amount of inevitable fascination, and Downfall definitely benefits from such curiosity.
| Original Score: B-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 11, 2005
It provides a compelling glimpse at a nation wrestling with its greatest demon.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 11, 2005
It is useful to reflect that racism, xenophobia, grandiosity and fear are still with us, and the defeat of one of their manifestations does not inoculate us against others.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 11, 2005
Arresting and skillfully made.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
March 10, 2005
Some may feel that portraying a Hitler with such human dimension does a disservice to those who died and suffered at his command. Actually, the treatment makes him more accessible, and therefore more terrifying.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 10, 2005
An intense, incredibly exciting thriller.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 10, 2005
The filmmakers' mix of history and conjecture doesn't add up to anything more than reenactment.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 10, 2005
Gives us the most intimate portrait of Adolf Hitler to date.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
March 10, 2005
Few movies indeed have ever more completely conveyed Arendt's juxtaposition of the evil that sent millions to their graves with the stultifying banality of their murderers' lives.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 24, 2005
Any film that reminds us what our darkest nature looks like has value for that reason alone.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 24, 2005
All in all, this is a well-made film, but not particularly fresh for American audiences, where other films have focused on the Reich's last days. But it is new for Germans.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
February 22, 2005
Hirschbiegel and Eichinger, along with their large, brave and talented cast, have done something extraordinary for their generation of Germans, and for the world.
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David Denby
New Yorker
February 21, 2005
I feel a certain exasperation in writing a description of what is, finally, an extremely literal-minded production.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 18, 2005
It's the well-wrought details that explain, perhaps better than any earlier film, how an entire country bought into Hitler's genocidal madness.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
February 18, 2005
The very thought of humanizing Hitler makes me queasy. If he had a good side, I don't want to know about it.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 17, 2005
Hitler is played with pitch-perfect precision by the Swiss-born Bruno Ganz.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
February 17, 2005
This suspenseful German drama is set during the final days of Adolph Hitler's life, when the once-fearsome Nazi military machine had all but collapsed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
February 17, 2005
The experience is a strange and complicated one indeed.
| Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 16, 2005
One of the most finely-crafted World War II films ever made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 16, 2005
Dramatizes how Hitler tapped the gnashing urge of his anger and built it into a force field, shutting out all that he didn't want to see.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
February 15, 2005
Downfall may be grimly self-important and inescapably trivializing. But we should be grateful that German cinema is more inclined to normalize the nation's history than rewrite it.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
February 11, 2005
Well worth seeing for all the nuances and variations we know little about.