The Lives of Others - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Lives of Others Reviews

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Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine
February 10, 2007
Catnip to audiences who never heard of The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
June 9, 2008
Although Henckel von Donnersmarck has a number of genuinely good ideas ... the film is marred by redundancy, indecision and clumsiness.
Prairie Miller
WBAI Web Radio
September 11, 2007
The Lives Of Others' obedient, obsessed spy in an exceedingly odd sense may have much more of a handle on the lives of others than, say, the filmmaker, who himself was around six years old at that time period of the former GDR.
Full Review
Rob Humanick
Projection Booth
August 28, 2007
The Lives of Others aims to flatter its audience - a quality typical for a film whose emotional posturing is only skin deep.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks
March 4, 2007
The formal mechanisms are so obvious and impersonal that they flatten our modes of thinking and feeling almost as much as the propaganda films that a regime like East Germany's would have approved.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
February 6, 2007
The Lives of Others is a compelling thriller but an unsatisfying character drama.
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
February 8, 2007
Rich in authentic period atmosphere and performances, but sabotages its best efforts with a sentimental payoff.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
February 8, 2007
...ultimately undone by the glacial pace with which the filmmaker has infused the proceedings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
November 30, 2006
Judging by the film's success in Germany and its enthusiastic reception at this year's Telluride and Toronto film festivals, it's a good bet that many moviegoers will feel similarly moved. Personally, it gave me the creeps.
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
February 9, 2007
Writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck gives his debut feature, The Lives Of Others, no particular style, and the absence of visual risk-taking renders an exciting premise ponderous and stolid.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 16, 2007
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film is a melodrama in a minor key, quietly affecting, quietly chilling, quietly quiet. It captures the drab architecture of totalitarianism, the soul-dead buildings of a soul-dead state.
| Original Score: 5/5
Steven Snyder
Zertinet Movies
February 21, 2007
The movie becomes more than just a spy thriller; it's a story of an unlikely friendship that turns an enemy into a best friend.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
March 23, 2007
...resolved through a couple of endings, one brutal and tragic enough for the old Greeks, the other graceful and uplifting ...
Full Review | Original Score: 93/100
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 21, 2007
The Lives of Others is a powerful but quiet film, constructed of hidden thoughts and secret desires.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
February 6, 2007
Whether or not this is the best foreign language film of 2006 is debatable, but there should be no argument that it is deserving to be numbered among the elite non-English language productions receiving international distribution.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
February 23, 2007
It is Ulrich Muhe's portrayal of Wiesler that makes the film such an impressively humane political thriller. The muted shifts in Wiesler's character suggest that when you truly engage the lives of others, you open yourself to profound change.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Pete Hammond
December 1, 2006
A startling political thriller and the year's most urgent and important film, you owe it to yourself to see this beautifully written and directed movie.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 9, 2007
A genuinely thrilling tale, leavened with sly humor, that works ingenious variations on the theme of cat and mouse, speaks to current concerns about personal privacy and illuminates the timeless conflict between totalitarianism and art.
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
March 7, 2007
Makes you fall for its characters, then turns your stomach as they confront principles and try to maintain moral clarity, confronting Berlin Walls of their own psyches.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
March 2, 2007
Its suspense builds on the fragile and nuanced business of emotional rebirth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Leonard Maltin
Leonard Maltin's Picks
March 2, 2007
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 3, 2007

Sydney Morning Herald
April 7, 2007
Top Critic

February 23, 2012

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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