The Young Karl Marx (Le jeune Karl Marx) (2018)


Critic Consensus: The Young Karl Marx makes a valiant attempt to make the philosophical cinematic, but lacks sufficient depth to tackle its complex themes.


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Movie Info

In the mid-1800s, after decades of the scientific and economic march of the Industrial Revolution has created an age of both new prosperity and new problems, a 26-year-old writer, researcher and radical named Karl Marx embarks, with his wife Jenny, on the road to exile. In Paris in 1844 they meet young Friedrich Engels, the well-to-do son of a factory owner whose studies and research has exposed the poor wages and worse conditions of the new English working class who operate looms, printing presses and other engines of industry that enrich their owners while punishing laborers. The smooth and sophisticated--but equally revolutionary and radical--Engels brings his research, help and resources to provide Marx with the missing piece to the puzzle that composes his new vision of the world. Together, between censorship and police raids, riots and political upheavals, they will preside over the birth of the labor movement turning far-flung and unorganized idealists and dreamers into a united force with a common goal. The organizations they create and ideas they put forward will grow into the most complete philosophical and political transformation of the world since the Renaissance--started, against all expectations, by two brilliant, insolent and sharp-witted young men whose writings, works and ideas were embraced by revolutionaries even as they were corrupted by dictators. As director Raoul Peck himself puts it, "Before they'd even reached the age of thirty, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had undoubtedly started to change the world--for better or worse..."

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August Diehl
as Karl Marx
Stefan Konarske
as Friedrich Engels
Vicky Krieps
as Jenny von Westphalen-Marx
Olivier Gourmet
as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Hannah Steele
as Mary Burns
Alexander Scheer
as Wilhelm Weitling
Hans-Uwe Bauer
as Arnold Ruge
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Critic Reviews for The Young Karl Marx (Le jeune Karl Marx)

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (13)

Peck's work is handsome; what it lacks is a true sense of danger, a feeling of history roiling in the present tense.

Jun 21, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

With the sensibility of a very boring Downton Abbey and a political consciousness to match, The Young Marx is an insipid disaster.

Mar 2, 2018 | Full Review…

And by the time Marx writes what his wife calls a...critique of the critical critique - well, my eyes glazing over at the dialectics, I for one needed an antidote.

Mar 1, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Watching it is like being tossed into an agitprop blender..It has little depth, either political or psychological.

Feb 23, 2018 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Raoul Peck is on a roll.

Feb 23, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Against all expectations, "Young Karl Marx" makes this kind of brainy content bracing and dramatic.

Feb 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Young Karl Marx (Le jeune Karl Marx)


Occasionally there are scenes that find the truth of being a young radical trying to save the world but mostly the movie seems content to just have Marx and Engels drink and always be right.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

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