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

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • 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) Collapse
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
    70
    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
    40
    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

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