A Coffee In Berlin Image
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63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Niko (Tom Schilling) lives for the moment as he drifts through the streets of Berlin, curiously observing everyone around him and oblivious to his growing status as an outsider. Then on one fateful day, through a series of absurdly amusing encounters, everything changes: his girlfriendNiko (Tom Schilling) lives for the moment as he drifts through the streets of Berlin, curiously observing everyone around him and oblivious to his growing status as an outsider. Then on one fateful day, through a series of absurdly amusing encounters, everything changes: his girlfriend rebuffs him, his father cuts off his allowance, and a strange psychiatrist dubiously confirms his 'emotional imbalance'. Meanwhile, a former classmate insists she bears no hard feelings toward him for his grade-school taunts when she was “Roly Poly Julia,” but it becomes increasingly apparent that she has unfinished business with him. Unable to ignore the consequences of his passivity any longer, Niko finally concludes that he has to engage with life. [Music Box Films] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Jun 13, 2014
    88
    What is truly delightful about the film is its loopy, gently slapstick sense of humor, its use of continuous running gags that pay off cumulatively (no small feat), and the dreamy sense that Schilling's somnambulism is pierced through only by the insane incomprehensible behavior of others.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jun 16, 2014
    80
    This day-in-the-life indie says something profound about an entire generation simply by watching a feckless young man try to figure it out.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jan 21, 2014
    70
    A delightfully unforced comedy with a sure grasp of character and setting.
  5. Reviewed by: Danny King
    Jun 10, 2014
    60
    Gerster and Schilling are more successful when they allow Niko's behavior to be their main subject.
  6. Reviewed by: Trevor Johnston
    Jan 21, 2014
    60
    It’s all rather charming, though, since leading man Schilling remains affable while never underselling this kindly yet feckless dropout’s sheer spinelessness.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 12, 2014
    25
    A tedious exercise in tedium.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  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 whiteCinema 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