Woyzeck

1979

Woyzeck

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,212
User image

Woyzeck Photos

Movie Info

A low-level soldier in the German army is subjected to a series of bizarre scientific experiments, which begin to transform him into an irrational murderer, even threatening to overcome his feelings for his beautiful beloved. Werner Herzog's expressionistic drama is based on the classic play by Georg Buchner.

Watch it now

Cast

Critic Reviews for Woyzeck

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Woyzeck

  • Mar 21, 2011
    Alas, despite an incredible performance from Klaus Kinski, I found <i>Woyzeck</i> rather stagnant, and not especially involving. The (often beautiful framed) static shots don't help, resulting in a film that, at only 82 minutes, often feels very drawn out. There are also some jarring supporting performances which often are so affected they mesh uncomfortably with the sparseness and stillness of the Mise-en-scène, and I found the cod-philosophy annoying. Though it pains me to say it I have to admit I was, more often than not, a bit... bored.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2010
    I liked the parts of Woyzeck (Klaus Kinski's a m a z i n g performance and Werner Herzog's brilliant direction) but for some odd reason I didn't wind up loving the sum of said parts. For me the watch was kind of grueling (namely the story) but at by the time the whole thing was done I'm glad I saw it, but I don't feel the need to ever see Woyzeck ever again. Recommended but not exactly essential outside of Kinski's work.
    Michael G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2010
    Werner Herzog stripped bare the theme of "innocence" in his two films with Bruno S.("Stroszek" and "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser"). In this film, based on a stage play of the same name, then furthered his exploration of the other theme that he is very inclined to vividly show into the silver screens: madness. Of course, this would not work out or even materialize without Klaus Kinski, the only perfect man and actor built on such roles that defy sanity. In "Aguirre", Kinski and Herzog collaborated to show madness at the peak of its powers. While in "Fitzcarraldo", they then depicted it with such humanistic touch and strands of optimism that derives from music and opera. Then at last, the film sandwiched between the first two, "Woyzeck" is the presentation of madness at its most hopeless, helpless, and pitiful, with a very much vulnerable Kinski in the lead. He acted out the role with a certain lack of personality and authority, two traits commonly attributed to the ever eccentric actor, while showing through his eyes how distant Franz Woyzeck was from the rest of society, and having imaginary, tormenting voices as his only chance to have an intimate talk. Although "Woyzeck" is as psychological as any movie can be, it's also an ever-questioning film about how society views singular murders as nothing more than a grisly crime, while exterminations on the battlefield was a thing of heroism. It's a rather old sentiment by the Chaplin classic "Monsieur Verdoux", but how Herzog delivered its message was very brilliant in its simplicity; a quote in the end of the film, displayed on the serene backdrop of the murder scene. It's a line very much assured of its stance, but deep within the words, was a subliminal thought that questions humanity, just as how the tormenting voices continually echoes into Woyzeck's fractured psyche.
    Ivan D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 04, 2010
    This film about a troubled, jealous man (Kinski - who else?) may only be 80 minutes but it feels like three hours. Kinski is bonkers, but even Herzog's direction feels slack and uninspired. The pointless philosophizing doesn't help either.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

Woyzeck Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features