Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Hansen
    100
    One of the best war movies ever made, Downfall is a powerful and artistically masterful re-creation of the last days of the Third Reich.
  2. 100
    Against the overarching facts of his personal magnetism and the blind loyalty of his lieutenants, the movie observes the workings of the world within the bunker. All power flowed from Hitler. He was evil, mad, ill, but long after Hitler's war was lost he continued to wage it in fantasy.
  3. Downfall, whatever its shortcomings, bears strong witness to great evil. That is its triumph as a film.
  4. A riveting re-creation of three world-changing collapses: those of the Nazi party, of militarized Germany as a whole, and of the Führer who guided them into self-destructive ruin.
  5. The first great Hitler movie.
  6. Reviewed by: James Wegg
    100
    As Hitler, Bruno Ganz ignites the screen with every appearance.
  7. 100
    Hirschbiegel and Eichinger, along with their large, brave and talented cast, have done something extraordinary for their generation of Germans, and for the world. They have willfully entered their grandparents' dirtiest, clammiest chamber of secrets.
  8. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    A meticulous, spellbinding, provocative depiction of the final days of the Third Reich.
  9. In every aspect, his film is superbly made.
  10. It's a bracing reminder that before Hitler took power, it was handed to him. The lesson resonates long after the credits roll.
  11. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    90
    Not so much a Hitler movie as a portrait of a totalitarian machine's spiritual and emotional collapse, Downfall is a cumulatively powerful Goetterdammerung centered on the last 10 days of the bunkered Fuehrer and those around him.
  12. As a piece of filmmaking, it's stunningly effective.
  13. From the very first seconds a viewer believes totally in Downfall.
  14. 90
    As a piece of acting, Ganz’s work is not just astounding, it’s actually rather moving. But I have doubts about the way his virtuosity has been put to use.
  15. 89
    Much has been made about the film's "humanizing" of Hitler, but he's only human here in the most prosaic of terms.
  16. 88
    It's the well-wrought details that explain, perhaps better than any earlier film, how an entire country bought into Hitler's genocidal madness.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    Powerfully disturbing.
  18. 88
    Downfall and Bruno Ganz are deserving of Oscars they will not get.
  19. 83
    Credit the great Bruno Ganz with creating a vivid Hitler: furious, unsteady, crushed and frankly cracking up.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 155 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 74
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 74
  3. Negative: 7 out of 74
  1. AllisonS.
    Dec 26, 2008
    10
    Absolutely fantastic portrayal of WWII from German side, being in hiters inner circle and the final days of his reign. Wonderful.
  2. simonP
    Oct 10, 2005
    8
    To criticise this film because you know the ending is foolish. After all, we know the outcome of any film based on historical fact! The two defining features of this film are a quite exceptional performance by Ganz as Hitler and (perhaps) the first contemporary portrayal of Hitler as a human being rather than a cartoon monster. That we see an attempt to portray (thought not excuse) the man behind the unspeakable acts of evil makes this film worth seeing alone. He was human like the rest of us which makes the terror that he perpretrated even more chilling. Recommended. Full Review »
  3. Aug 2, 2011
    9
    The most convincing flick portraying Hitler`s last days ever. Again, all the German actors play very well, almost all are on par with Bruno Ganz. What I found very interesting was this movie showing what the entire Berlin felt like in the last days of the war and how the headquarters planned their demise. We have all the most important German commanders` silhouettes shown . Each and every one of them a separate character with unique history. Most of the time people are talking in this film, but it is never boring. There is a huge tension of the end coming in closer every hour. Finally, this flick shows the tragedy of German nation led by a fanatic. Full Review »