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57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Tormented, small town German cop Michael Martens is obsessed with trying to solve the mystery of the murder of his son's girl friend. When a notorious serial killer is captured, Martens goes to Berlin in search of answers, convinced that the serial killer is behind the murder he is investigating. (Slowhand Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Films about serial killers have become so ubiquitous that they now form a subgenre of the crime movie. Even so, Antibodies, has a bracingly original take on the matter.
  2. 70
    Antibodies is fairly riveting, thanks to Alvart's command of craft and tone. He's a director to watch.
  3. 70
    Although Alvart lays on the biblical allegory too heavily at times, the film's pace is brisk enough to maintain our full attention. Antibodies is not so much an art house movie as a well-made, commercial thriller that happens to be in German.
  4. 70
    Antibodie does fasten a tight squeeze on its audience, right from the get go, and even despite the long run time, just over two hours, it's a consistently tense ride.
  5. 63
    The chatty killer and the nervy atmosphere are both so depraved that the film, though it contains hardly any explicit violence, is like stepping into a blood Jacuzzi, and there is a biblical severity to the ending.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    50
    Not content with a straight psychological police procedural, Alvart mixes in distracting -- and unconvincing --Biblical symbolism in a curious bid for weightiness.
  7. As is often the case when ambitious young filmmakers have murder and profit on their minds, Mr. Alvart is finally less interested in the nature of man than in the cool stuff you can do with a camera, which he tosses about the set, swooping it up and down and all around, without rhyme or reason.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 15, 2013
    6
    "Antibodies" tips it hand far too early and closes with an inexplicable third act, but succeeds in creating an unsettling atmosphere with a palpable sense of terror throughout. Slick and sadistic, this German serial killer thriller delivers some chills respectively, but it's not nearly as clever or as compelling as it thinks it is.

    Serial killer Gabriel Engels (Andre Hennicke) is captured while fleeing from his apartment, because he is the prime suspect in the killing a young girl several years earlier. Small-town cop Michael Martens (Wotan Wilke Möhring) has been investigating the 18-month-old unsolved murder, and may now have his big break in the case. Michael must go to the big city to interrogate the suspect, in the hopes that he'll get a confession. His decision unexpectedly pays dividends, and details slowly begin to surface. Möhring's deeply conflicted performance anchors the movie, as the confession from Engels and his mind games slowly push Michael back towards his own hometown. But soon, as Martens comes under the influence of Engels, he finds himself in a dark place and questions his own faith, as well as his entire existence.

    The plot twists and mind games that should shock and surprise are transparent and obvious, while director Christian Alvart tips his hand too early in a film where the run time clocks in at two plus hours. The third act of "Antibodies" shifts its primary focus to Michael and his son, and it creates one of the strangest biblical allusions I've ever seen. The story shifts from the profile of a serial killer to that of a man's existential identity crisis, and then to his redemption, when he didn't seem to deserve it in the first place. Desperately attempting to create the illusion of something profound, it backfires and comes across as absolutely absurd. In comparison to other films in the serial killer genre, this one hovers somewhere just above middle of the pack at best.
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