Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: As Hitler launches the first major military aggressions of World War II, the strongest and smartest German young men enter exclusive schools known as "Napolas" to train as future leaders of the Third Reich. In 1942, a recruiter from one such Napola sets his sights on Friedrich, a talented adolescent boxer, who sees the training and prestige offered by the Napola as his ticket out of an impoverished family unit run by his anti-Nazi father. (Picture This! Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Every movie about the Holocaust should be this good, but few are.
  2. Commands attention from its very first frame and never lets up right through the fade-out. It is a splendid example of classic screen storytelling with no false steps, and Gansel's understated approach pays off with resounding emotional effect and meaning.
  3. Like its singular central character, Before the Fall stands out from the pack.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Katzman
    The hero (played with the right amount of adolescent insouciance by Max Riemelt) is a working-class boy admitted to one of the academies for his formidable boxing skills, and through him director Dennis Gansel captures the ordinariness of Hitler's supporters.
  5. 70
    It's an emotionally chilly movie with a blank, inexpressive protagonist, but it gains cumulative force en route to a viscerally moving climax.
  6. 63
    Unusually compelling, even if it's treacly enough to be "The Chorus" in goose step.
  7. Reviewed by: R. Emmet Sweeney
    The movie is too middlebrow to show us the superman-type sexual heroics they must've engaged in, or even allow the illicit subtext to float to the surface (as Sokurov does in Father and Son)--instead we get tepid moralizing on dehumanization in the military.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. David
    Jan 23, 2006
    An outstanding portrayal of two youths whose unspoken bond is steeped in grappling with new understanding of the word around them. Featuring lush cinematography and flawlessly acted, Before The Fall is a definite "must see"! Expand
  2. TomSchuster
    Apr 28, 2006
    An overwhelming film for the viewer that is historically particular but also timeless in it's message. Societies that crush the most sensitive of their people are doomed to consume themselves by their barbarism. Expand
  3. [Anonymous]
    Feb 7, 2006
    This an outstanding film that builds slowly to an emotional, but not sentimental, climax. It's a movie about Nazi Germany that employs the effective elements of Dead Poets Society minus the treacly Robin Williams stuff. It's also interesting as a boxing film. Highly recommended. Expand
  4. PhilipJ.
    May 15, 2006
    The story of these two boys making a stand against the hideous nazi germany is one of the most emotional and inspiring films i've ever seen. experience it and believe it. Expand
  5. ConradS.
    Jun 14, 2006
    Engaging with excellent performances. Max Riemelt is particularly good. If the whole film was just a bit more subtle, it would've been truly outstanding. Expand
  6. BenK.
    Jan 16, 2006
    Efficient, well-made film but covers no new ground. Imagine Conroy's "the Lord's of Discipline" set during Nazi Germany and you have a sense of the film's scope. Expand
  7. JimG.
    Jun 25, 2006
    Interesting if uneven drama about awakening to disillusionment.