Toni Erdmann


Toni Erdmann

Critics Consensus

Toni Erdmann pairs carefully constructed, three-dimensional characters in a tenderly funny character study that's both genuinely moving and impressively ambitious.



Total Count: 226


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,201
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Movie Info

Winfried doesn't see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly student-less music teacher decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It's an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The geographical change doesn't help the two to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks. What's worse are his little jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to return home to Germany. Enter flashy "Toni Erdmann": Winfried's smooth-talking alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and even weirder fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines' professional life, claiming to be her CEO's life coach. As Toni, Winfried is bolder and doesn't hold back, but Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve some place in her life after all.

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Critic Reviews for Toni Erdmann

All Critics (226) | Top Critics (35)

  • An offbeat and sometimes off-putting German farce/drama hybrid that features a father-daughter pair that are two of the most fully realized characters in recent memory. [Full review in Japanese]

    Jul 31, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • "Toni Erdmann" has plenty to say about parenting, ambition, feminism and modern happiness, but not enough to justify its absurdly longwinded running time.

    Feb 24, 2017 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • Hüller is amusingly discombobulated as the uptight Ines. But the film is perhaps best appreciated as a showcase for the gifted Simonischek, whose portrayal of Winfried/Toni is one for the ages.

    Feb 16, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • At nearly three hours, "Toni Erdmann" is expansive but rarely self-indulgent, and the emotional payoff, when it comes, feels truly and bizarrely earned.

    Feb 16, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Funny, tender, outrageous - this unpredictable movie belongs in a category all its own.

    Feb 8, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Rafer Guzman

    Top Critic
  • Boasts two fascinating characters and a string of surreal set-pieces that you can't afford to miss.

    Feb 3, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Toni Erdmann

  • Nov 26, 2018
    While I didnâ(TM)t think this film was all that funny, and found the main character more maddening than anything else, it was thought-provoking, realistic, and always interesting. A father desperately wants to stay in his adult daughterâ(TM)s life, resorting to absurdity, corny jokes, and outright intrusion to do so (e.g. hiding in her bedroom closet, showing up at her workplace, meeting her friends, etc). He assumes an alter ego with a set of false teeth and a wig and pushes the limits for what lies he can get away with, but itâ(TM)s never in a mean-spirited way, and itâ(TM)s as if heâ(TM)s trying to stay relevant in a world that has passed his simple ways by. The movie gives us a pretty pessimistic view of finding a work/life balance in the two extremes it shows us; the father (Peter Simonischek) has little ambition and is a bit of an oaf, and the daughter (Sandra HÃ 1/4ller) works in the soul-numbing capacity of devising corporate strategies to outsource work overseas. The best parts of the film for me were in the depiction of corporate life â" the politics, the â~big presentationâ(TM), the schmoozing, and the clear stratification of those in this world (and at the top of this world) with common people. In one fantastic moment HÃ 1/4ller looks out of a high-rise office window and down at people living in poverty. In another, when commenting on having to take an executiveâ(TM)s wife out shopping in order to be on his good side, she quips âItâ(TM)s Europeâ(TM)s largest mall and no one has money to buy anything.â? The scene where father and daughter visit workers in the country and he inadvertently gets one fired is also powerful. How disheartening is it to hear her reaction: âThatâ(TM)s up to him; the more he fires, the fewer I have to fire.â? We contrast this with the kindness and dignity shown by these people, inviting him into their home when he needs to use the bathroom, and giving him a sack of apples. The film seems to be putting two things side by side â" how the innocent moments of childhood slip away in oneâ(TM)s life, and also, in a larger sense, how weâ(TM)ve let something else slip away â" our humanity. Unfortunately, it gives us a seriously disgusting sex scene in a hotel room involving petit fours that frankly I wish I could un-see. It probably has a point on top of the shock value, something along the lines of how tawdry and non-erotic an affair may be, or how we see her dominate others after having to be submissive to superiors at work, passing along the dehumanization â" but I wish this scene would have been excised. On the other hand, I suppose in moments like this, HÃ 1/4ller belting out Whitney Houstonâ(TM)s âGreatest Love of Allâ? in front of a houseful of strangers, and her impromptu â~naked partyâ(TM) with co-workers, the film keeps us engaged by not having any idea whatâ(TM)s going to happen next. There is an absurdity to it all, and maybe the fatherâ(TM)s advice âDonâ(TM)t lose humorâ? â" donâ(TM)t take things too seriously - is the best coping strategy to life, which is too short and often depressing. Another beautiful scene in the film comes at the end, when the father explains how fleeting moments from her childhood float up into his mind, and how he wishes those moments could be held on to somehow â" and yet, despite that realization, misses a moment in the present by going off to search for a camera in the attempt to capture it. Itâ(TM)s pitch perfect.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 22, 2017
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2017
    Yes the movie is hilarious but its complexities run deeper than the brilliant cringe comedy. Ade seems to be diagnosing not just her main character's problems but all of Europe's as well.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2017
    So this is it, the big German comedy movie that even got Oscar nominated? Don't get me wrong, it has some really charming and funny parts. Others are just bizarre or drawn out way too long. While I despise the US tendency to remake foreign films, I can see a new version redeem some of that. There is no way the US film will have a similar sex scene or nude brunch. Amusing and unique, but also pretty weird.
    Jens S Super Reviewer

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