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Tense, complex, and drenched in atmosphere, Phoenix is a well-acted, smartly crafted war drama that finds writer-director Christian Petzold working at peak power. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After undergoing reconstructive surgery, a concentration camp survivor (Nina Hoss) tries to find out if her husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) betrayed her to the Nazis.

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Critic Reviews for Phoenix

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (128) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Phoenix

  • Jan 03, 2016
    The plot is so nuanced, the characters so keenly observed and realized that it's shocking that the movie is also so economical . . . No moment is wasted as the film builds to what I can only describe as a perfect ending.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2015
    It is a shame that most moviegoers will not see this film because it is one of the best films of 2015 and the best acting by either male or female so far this year. Nina Hoss is terrific in this and in the two that I have had the pleasure to watch her in (Barbara and A Most Wanted Man). An interesting story about an interesting woman during post war Berlin. (9-27-15)
    John C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2015
    There's a lot of ambiguity here. Pale and thin, she has returned like a ghost in search of her past. She visits the bombed out rubble of her bygone home like a specter floating over the ruins. Nina was a singer before the war. Her husband, a pianist. As a Holocaust survivor, Nelly has risen from the ashes of the past. Phoenix symbolically describes her progress, but it's also the name of the club at which she finds her husband working. Kurt Weill's melody, "Speak Low" is a recurring score that pops up here and there. The tone of the drama is pensive and atmospherically haunting, but it's very vague. The way these two souls interact is a long drawn out game of deception and remembrance. You'll have lots of questions as the narrative unfolds. What exactly are these people thinking? Their tentative relationship is based on cryptic intentions. Director Christian Petzold keeps all of these questions unanswered on purpose as Nina goes in search of her former self and for truth. Just simmer for awhile in the pensive mood. The mystery ultimately builds to a perfectly constructed moment of clarity. fastfilmreviews.com
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2015
    A sort of realist The Skin I Live In, beguilingly made and acted and with a breathtaking and simple final shot. Bravo.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer

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