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  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
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  1. Dec 18, 2014
    5
    Cinema blasé at its most cliched and heavy handed in its absurdism. It's entertaining in spite of itself, though. The black and white cinematography sets the mood early on for a dreary, colorless story about caricatures of people going through their daily lives doing their thing, a trope of minimalist cinema we've already seen done much more subtle and effective. The main character isCinema blasé at its most cliched and heavy handed in its absurdism. It's entertaining in spite of itself, though. The black and white cinematography sets the mood early on for a dreary, colorless story about caricatures of people going through their daily lives doing their thing, a trope of minimalist cinema we've already seen done much more subtle and effective. The main character is about the closest thing to a snot-nosed movie-equivalent Camus I can think of. He's a protagonist that is so lacking in personality that he actually compliments the tone of the film by being just as unaffected and aloof as the plot is. He goes about his day and nothing is urgent or striking, in spite of the fact that he seems to be at a crossroads of sorts. He shows little concern over his father cutting him off. Soon he'll have to get a job. He doesn't sweat it, not even a bit. This attitude of 'meh' leads to every encounter, regardless of how potentially engaging, resulting in little more than a vignette. This slack dramatic gravitas doesn't hold our attention. More so, it allows our minds to wander in and out of the picture, which isn't a terrible quality; certain audiences are known to relish this disaffected approach. There are moments of smirk-worthy humor and there aren't any overt errors, but it's just so unambitious that A Coffee in Berlin fails to leave a substantial emotional impact of any kind. Not a bad Sunday morning when you're lounging in your PJ's sipping Earl Gray and watching the rain fall outside. In fact, that sounds quite nice. Expand
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Jul 11, 2014
    75
    It manages to make an entertaining story out of nothing in particular. And just when you get comfortable passively observing a passive observer, the minutest of twists becomes its own call to action. It urges the audience to consider this small story in a broader context.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jul 10, 2014
    50
    So where does that leave this coming-of-age comedy written and directed by Jan Ole Gerster? Somewhere in the middle, lukewarm and inoffensive, trying hard not to be plebeian or pretentious.
  3. Reviewed by: Martin Tsai
    Jun 26, 2014
    70
    In spite of its insufferably whimsical tendencies — exemplified by its original title, "Oh Boy" — the film may have turned out to be a deeply profound modern postscript about fascism. This isn't that far-fetched a reading at all.