Phoenix - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Phoenix Reviews

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½ May 13, 2019
Pretty average and very, very sub-Hitchcockian. It's all very implausible, maybe it's supposed to be a parable, but if it is it didn't work for me.
October 31, 2018
Not believable but funny exercise of humanity. The evil vs the good kind. The good are silly and the evil are greedy and not bright.
½ May 31, 2018
Overall a good film the ending was a bit rough and felt sort as if there was still time to continue the story.
½ November 20, 2017
Brilliant idea with one amazing scene that carries the rest of an inadequate movie not up to the heavy task set.
½ November 7, 2017
Although it is a bit slow in the beginning, it becomes clear later on that the exposition is all necessary for plot development. This film tells a great tale of love, greed, betrayal, and resilience.
October 10, 2017
Great story and really good acting from the main actor.
October 2, 2017
Did I miss something? How much disbelief can you suspend when everyone sees this woman as she is except for the person who within a minute, facial reconstruction or otherwise, should recognize her? Her voice, her mannerisms, common expressions, etc etc. It's too much, even if it's all supposed to be a metaphor or something.
½ August 18, 2017
Great film with an amazingly captivating performance from Nina Hoss who plays her challenging character so well that you could believe she's recalling a past life. The way it's filmed is deceptively simple, as is its plot, but nearly every scene is used to near perfection to further the story and the progression of the characters, ultimately arriving at a truly fantastic ending.
June 27, 2017
like slow food, slow thriller. good.
May 26, 2017
That ending ... I am speechless.
May 21, 2017
Emotionally devastating. This post-Holocaust German film defies categorization. Set in ravaged postwar Berlin, Nelly (played immaculately by Nina Hoss), a Jewish singer, returns as a facially disfigured concentration camp survivor, searches for her husband, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld), a piano player, who is suspected of betraying her to the Nazis. Nina Kunzendorf is empathic as Nelly's candid, loyal friend with no illusions about the events that transpired. After undergoing reconstructive surgery, Nelly finds Johnny working in a nightclub, but he doesn't recognize her. Nelly assumes the identity of a doppelganger, at her husband's request, to bequeath her inheritance to him and split the sum. This seemingly preposterous conceit never feels contrived under the deliberately assured direction of Christian Petzold. It plays as a sophisticated mystery with the style of a noir like "The Third Man." The exquisite cinematography by Hans Fromm features dark shadows and symbolic framing. Nelly's transformation into her former self suggests "Vertigo" in reverse. In its execution, the haunting, ambiguous ending is perfection. Petzold examines the complex psychological state of postwar Germany suffering with identity, deception, denial, and guilt. This is a rare contemporary movie that assumes the audience's intelligence. It makes you conscious of how simplistic and manipulative other movies on this subject are. A lyrical song titled "Speak Low" is played at crucial moments to lingering effect. Music is by Kurt Weill. Co-written by Petzold and Harun Farocki, loosely based on the novel "Return from the Ashes" by Hubert Monteilhet, which was filmed before as a British film in 1965.
½ April 10, 2017
It's goes to slow and too long for my taste but overall a great story and performance from the films leads
March 10, 2017
Beautifully written and directed! The cast, the production, and the editing, draws you back to Germany 1945, right after the war. The on-screen chemistry between Nina Hoss and Ronald Zehrfeld will leave you tear-jerking and stunned by the emotional climax. Although, I thought the beginning was a bit lagging, the more I watched, the more I was drawn in to this hopeless romance of a desperate woman trying to rekindle her love with her absent-minded husband after surviving Auschwitz. A must see!
½ March 6, 2017
I wish I got to see the aftermath of it all but I understand why it ended on such an important part for the protagonist.
½ February 21, 2017
Slow but very thoughtful drama exploring a lot of themes pertinent to today and to its immediate post-war setting.
½ February 14, 2017
On its own terms, this is a perfect movie, with an ending that will forever be remembered as classic. When the credits roll, I thought it might have been one of the greatest films I'd ever seen. Upon reflection, I've thought the film could've benefited from being longer -- Lene's final decision doesn't hit as hard as it should, and we know far too little about the nature of their friendship...

...Still, what an ending, amirite?
February 13, 2017
Phoenix is a slow-paced, sometimes quiet film, but it's full of emotion and complexity. There's a lot that is unsaid in this post-WWII Germany setting, but you can feel it in the atmosphere established by the filmmakers and the actors. Nina Hoss gives such a nuanced but powerful performance as the main character, and her final scene brought a tear to my eye.
½ January 12, 2017
I loved this movie. What an interesting premise and spot on acting. Nina Hoss plays Nelly Lenz, a Holocaust survivor who is trying to piece her life together by finding her husband Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld). The duo have amazing chemistry and the ability to say so much by being understated. 'Phoenix', a nightclub where Johnny is busboy after a promising musical career, is a well-thought out suspenseful work of art.

Your best bet is to not read reviews of this and go watch it. It's a German film, but if you don't mind subtitles 'Phoenix' will keep you guessing. It's part who done it and part character study and the result is a charming and intense drama. The music enhances this in a way that we rarely see. I can't recommend this enough.
½ December 10, 2016
This thoroughly enjoyable film was full of surprises. Nina Hoch was superb.
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