Downfall

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8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 178 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 178

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  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 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. Expand
  3. Dec 30, 2010
    8
    This film must simply be seen. Now it must be said, it's not an action film, so don't expect to see a whole lot of it, it's drama.

    The film plays with your emotions, it gives the Nazis a face and humanize them, you will come to pity them. I think it's about time we see a daring film as this, that really tries to show the hell that war truly is, not like the Hollywood films that usually
    This film must simply be seen. Now it must be said, it's not an action film, so don't expect to see a whole lot of it, it's drama.

    The film plays with your emotions, it gives the Nazis a face and humanize them, you will come to pity them. I think it's about time we see a daring film as this, that really tries to show the hell that war truly is, not like the Hollywood films that usually glorifies it. And that truly manages to portray Hitler as a human, not a monster, regardless of the unspeakable crimes he committed.

    It's a must-see, and watch it in German with subtitles.
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  4. 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 everyThe 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. Expand
  5. TomB.
    May 20, 2005
    10
    Utterly riveting. Required: an interest in human history and an understanding that evil comes from humanity. Otherwise, yes, you'll be totally bored. That's why the latest Ashton Kutcher film is playing for you down the road. Hitler, believe it or not, was human. Instead of being afraid of showing this monster in that light, why don't we embrace it ... maybe we'll Utterly riveting. Required: an interest in human history and an understanding that evil comes from humanity. Otherwise, yes, you'll be totally bored. That's why the latest Ashton Kutcher film is playing for you down the road. Hitler, believe it or not, was human. Instead of being afraid of showing this monster in that light, why don't we embrace it ... maybe we'll learn something from it. Expand
  6. JoshG.
    Jul 1, 2005
    10
    A brilliant movie that truly captures Hitler's insanity and the events following the downfall of the third Reich. Four stars.
  7. Crockiye
    Aug 26, 2005
    10
    Zach RH gave this movie a 2,but I believe he didn't think well. In his conception,all movies about the Nazis have to criticize them frontally.If you watch the movie carefully,you'll see that it isn't meant to make the Nazis not guilty.The one who watches the movie can make some conclusions,that,at the end,incriminate the Nazis. Regarding the fact that the soldiers were Zach RH gave this movie a 2,but I believe he didn't think well. In his conception,all movies about the Nazis have to criticize them frontally.If you watch the movie carefully,you'll see that it isn't meant to make the Nazis not guilty.The one who watches the movie can make some conclusions,that,at the end,incriminate the Nazis. Regarding the fact that the soldiers were forced,it is partially true.The jews are not mentioned many times because the principal fear of Hitler was now the war.It was the first time when he started to believe that he will lose power,and he could no longer think of the jews.Plus,do you see any jew in the movie?That also proves that they were all in camps or dead. Expand
  8. ChrisS.
    Feb 20, 2006
    10
    Absolutely haunting film that has left me going over the events of 1945 in my head again and again. The director successfully paints layer upon intricate layer of despair, loyalty, betrayal, joy, sadness, and delusion that must have been permeating in that small space. The one element that I think is missing, and purposely I think, is the idea of guilt. From Hitler to his henchmen, there Absolutely haunting film that has left me going over the events of 1945 in my head again and again. The director successfully paints layer upon intricate layer of despair, loyalty, betrayal, joy, sadness, and delusion that must have been permeating in that small space. The one element that I think is missing, and purposely I think, is the idea of guilt. From Hitler to his henchmen, there is little attention to the idea that the choices they had made being inhuman or that they would have to answer to someone for their actions. Having been to Berlin, and having stood on the ground above that very spot where these events took place, I never once considered any sort of "humans" existing below that ground...only monsters from textbooks. This movie completely changed the way I view that now. I think it is often simpler to characterize people and situations in black and white or good and evil, especially those involved in such horrific acts. However, I think this film shows that things are much more complicated than that. Decisions and loyalties are based on much deeper and more complicated criteria than simply saying this path is "good" and this path is "bad". I give this movie a 10, although I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone. I would, however, recommend it to individuals that enjoy thought provoking films that don't rely on mindless action and typical hollywood movies. Expand
  9. Myles#13
    Sep 8, 2006
    10
    Outstanding film on the final days of Hitler and the Third Reich! Fantastic acting (Hitler, Goebbels, Magda Goebbels and Prof. Schenk stand out) goes hand in hand with accuracy in the events... the film is simply breath-taking to view, whether you're familiar with the story (which helps a bit) or not. It gives you the shivers... not only is Hitler acted to perfection, but you Outstanding film on the final days of Hitler and the Third Reich! Fantastic acting (Hitler, Goebbels, Magda Goebbels and Prof. Schenk stand out) goes hand in hand with accuracy in the events... the film is simply breath-taking to view, whether you're familiar with the story (which helps a bit) or not. It gives you the shivers... not only is Hitler acted to perfection, but you actually feel sorry for the tired, withered old man whose terrible world is falling down around him. If you've never watched a foreign film before, watch this one... it will change the way you think. Expand
  10. DanH.
    Aug 7, 2008
    10
    This film is a vital, contempary step towards denazisification. It depicted a delusional society being handed it's reality by force. However, it provides contemporary Germans with a way out. Now that the majority of eye witnesses to the third reich are dead, many german people can say, " It wasn't my grandfather, He tried to save the children. " Even Eva Braun's distant This film is a vital, contempary step towards denazisification. It depicted a delusional society being handed it's reality by force. However, it provides contemporary Germans with a way out. Now that the majority of eye witnesses to the third reich are dead, many german people can say, " It wasn't my grandfather, He tried to save the children. " Even Eva Braun's distant relatives can speak up. She wanted desperately to dance to swing music, in a sense of defiance. The riff would have clearly been banded in Nazis Germany (for being negroid.) It's possible this scene was included to poke a hypocritical finger at the allies, for having segregated races in combat. In an interesting way the movie concluded with Hitler as a man who made the most sane choice under the circumstances, poison yourself prior to shooting yourself, before the Russians pull your limbs off your body . In that sense he was facing reality which is a form of mental health, while those around him loomed in a circus atmosphere, which would define the rest of the society as crazy. Expand
  11. JamesT.
    Jan 6, 2009
    10
    Everything about this film is great. From cinematography and score to everyone's acting. It shows that even though Hitler did what he did, he still was after all a human. It also emphasizes Hitler's ideological mindset that made him insensitive to the killings of his own German soldiers and citizens. The acting of each and every person is most convincing and satisfying as is the Everything about this film is great. From cinematography and score to everyone's acting. It shows that even though Hitler did what he did, he still was after all a human. It also emphasizes Hitler's ideological mindset that made him insensitive to the killings of his own German soldiers and citizens. The acting of each and every person is most convincing and satisfying as is the sense of realism which pervades this film. It is truly a masterpiece. A work of art. Expand
  12. PeterP.
    Feb 17, 2005
    10
    What a film! Very dense atmosphere, an empathic portrait of the unbelievable and finally one begins to notice that the villainous and evil can be next to our door or within ourselves, and might not be the privilege of the few we just simplified as monsters.
  13. JackF.
    Feb 19, 2005
    9
    This film has raised the bar on all previous films about Hilter and W W ll. The acting and direction are brillant. In a few weeks I see again. I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen, even with the sick feeling in my stomach.
  14. DavidG.
    Mar 18, 2005
    10
    Very well done from the German view point without praising him, but show him as he was. It is amazing that how many people blindly followed him without question.
  15. ChrisC
    Apr 1, 2005
    10
    This film is brilliant. It shows Hitler was a selfish evil man, but not Satan himself. You can see his cronies are all cut from the same cloth. They follow him until it is clear it is not in their best interests to do so. They all betray him one at a time. It takes more than one evil man to bring some much death and destruction to the world. It takes many.
  16. ChadS.
    Apr 17, 2005
    9
    "Downfall" is downright bizarre when you consider that Adolph Hitler is relatively likable in comparison to Magda Goebbels (Corrina Harfouch). But it's the right choice to show the lighter side of Hitler because he couldn't have carried out his plan to eradicate life if the German people hated him. Still, the viewer is faced with a moral dilemna. We don't see the "Downfall" is downright bizarre when you consider that Adolph Hitler is relatively likable in comparison to Magda Goebbels (Corrina Harfouch). But it's the right choice to show the lighter side of Hitler because he couldn't have carried out his plan to eradicate life if the German people hated him. Still, the viewer is faced with a moral dilemna. We don't see the crematoriums. We don't see the Jews reduced to stick figures. We don't see any non-Aryan blood spilling on the streets. You have to remind yourself, early in "Downfall", not to be charmed when the boss takes pity on a nervous secretary. This is Hitler, but when we see him, he's more old man than the fuhrer. You could say that Bruno Ganz's performance is too good. The film wants you to sympathize with Hitler's lost dream of world domination. The evil, I think is transferred from the real life figure to the actor, because although we can't identify with being responsible for the Holocaust, we know what its like when life doesn't go our way. "Downfall" is a propaganda film of sorts in its own right, and like "The Triumph of the Will", undeniably compelling. There just had to be more Jew-hating banter in that bunker than what is depicted here. The film conspires with Traudl Junge's claim that she didn't know anything until the Nuremberg trials. If there was more racist talk, we couldn't like Traudl and the other Nazis, who got exactly what they deserved. Expand
  17. MustaphaS.
    Jun 22, 2005
    10
    One should certainly view this movie before reading anything, positive or negative, by the so called critics. If you are looking to be entertained in the traditional sense of movie going, well, then this movie is not for you. This is neither a Disney movie nor a
  18. DanC.
    Aug 15, 2005
    9
    A towering film acheivement. The critics who gave it raves said it better than I can. Ignore the few who gave it lukewarm reviews due to some misguided guilt complex over "humanizing" Hitler, and the ones who describe it as over-long and boring. If you have any appreciation for psychological drama and momentous historical events, you will drawn deeply into this film from the first A towering film acheivement. The critics who gave it raves said it better than I can. Ignore the few who gave it lukewarm reviews due to some misguided guilt complex over "humanizing" Hitler, and the ones who describe it as over-long and boring. If you have any appreciation for psychological drama and momentous historical events, you will drawn deeply into this film from the first moments. The film shows Hitler in all his inhumane madness and racially-driven hatred, but also reveals the charisma and strong will that allowed him to capture absolute power over a nation. That power continues to hold sway over those around him, even as the evidence of their imminent destruction at the hands of the Soviets becomes obvious to everyone - even Hitler himself, until he chooses, after an interlude of lucidity and resignation, to once again believe in nonexistent German armies on the march to rescue Berlin from the Soviet assault. My only quibble with the film is the protrayal of Hitler's secretary's relatively easy escape from Berlin through the Soviet lines. As has been well-documented, the women of Berlin were subjected to mass rape by the conquering Soviets. I did see the documentary ("Hitler's Secretary") about the real-life person on whom this character is based, and I can't recall what she said about escaping from Berlin. Perhaps the film accuratley portrays her experience. Still, I was a bit taken aback by the absence of any portrayal or even reference to the huge amount of sexual violence that occured during the fall of Berlin. But that is a minor point about a film that is truly magnificent. Expand
  19. AndrewB.
    Feb 18, 2005
    10
    Great movie, superbly acted- saw it when it was first released in Frankfurt, with english subtitles. What an experience! Really drove home how crazy this man was and the attrocious acts he committed all the way to his death. Definitely recommend this movie, no matter what religious faith you may fall under.
  20. MarcK.
    Apr 13, 2005
    6
    Definitely long, and seemingly thorough and meticulous. But not at all entertaining. Almost a documentary in its presentation. And there's a reason why most documentaries don't do very well...they're simply not entertaining enough.
  21. AndyH.
    Apr 12, 2007
    10
    Film-making doesn't get much better than this. The decision to portray the main protagonists as ordinary human beings makes the crimes perpetrated by the Third Reich even more horrific and incomprehensible than would have been the case if they had been portrayed as two dimensional monsters. The feeling of claustrophobia and impending disaster in Hitler's bunker is palpable, and Film-making doesn't get much better than this. The decision to portray the main protagonists as ordinary human beings makes the crimes perpetrated by the Third Reich even more horrific and incomprehensible than would have been the case if they had been portrayed as two dimensional monsters. The feeling of claustrophobia and impending disaster in Hitler's bunker is palpable, and the scene in which the Goebbels children are murdered by their mother is truly one of the most appallingly horrific and uncomfortable sequences you are ever likely to see, but it is used to underline just how much the Nazi philosophy had perverted the mindset of diehard fanatics, to such an extent that they were willing to kill their own children rather than have them live in a world without National Socialism. A classic of modern cinema. Expand
  22. Aug 23, 2010
    10
    A unique portrayal of a war from the villain's point of view, telling it like it is. Every single actor is absolutely amazing in their performances. Writing is fantastic and shocking. It shows that even animals can have feelings.
  23. May 5, 2015
    10
    So this movie didn't win a Oscar for Bruno Ganz spectacular performance or didn't win for best foreign language film, man f**k the Oscars.

    The movie is about a group of young women to Wolf's Lair, Hitler's headquarters in Eastern Prussia. They are candidates for the post of personal secretary to the Fuehrer. Among them is 22-year-old Traudl Junge, a fresh-faced girl from Munich. Traudl
    So this movie didn't win a Oscar for Bruno Ganz spectacular performance or didn't win for best foreign language film, man f**k the Oscars.

    The movie is about a group of young women to Wolf's Lair, Hitler's headquarters in Eastern Prussia. They are candidates for the post of personal secretary to the Fuehrer. Among them is 22-year-old Traudl Junge, a fresh-faced girl from Munich. Traudl is chosen for the job and she is overcome with joy at the thought of serving beside her Fuehrer. BERLIN, APRIL 20, 1945: Hitler has retreated to a bunker system under the German Chancellery. Traudl Junge is asleep in her room, deep beneath the ground. She is awakened by tremors from artillery fire. The enemy is getting closer. Charting the last 10 days of Hitler's life, from his 56th birthday on April 20th, 1945 to his suicide on April 30th, the film uses multiple characters to show the chaos of a country coming apart at the seams, from Hitler's henchman under the streets of Berlin, to the soldiers and civilians fighting and dying as the Soviet Army ravaged the city above.

    You know that video on YouTube "Hitler reactions to this", and a lot of people may not know where that scene came from and it's this movie when it's during Hitler couple of minute rant and putting those reaction videos to the side this is a great scene if you can get pass that. I thought about bringing that up just in cause you didn't know.

    I what to start off this review by saying that Bruno Ganz gives one of the best performance of 2004 and probably my favorite performance of all time. Bruno Ganz got Hitler spot on and he delivered a masterpiece of acting. What Bruno Ganz did so well is add a little human to Hitler as you can see his struggle and I know we what to see him fail because his a horrible person but as horrible as he his he's struggle to win a battle that he started and it quickly going down hill slowly breaks him, at one point you slowly see him losing it and Bruno Ganz powerful performance that creates are powerful moment that we can feel a little bit of it. Amazing performance Bruno Ganz.

    The directing in this movie is what works the best as the director shows every detail of Hitler's upcoming fate. I forgive Oliver Hirschbiegel for directing the epic fail that was Diana the film as he made a better historical drama.

    For problems with the movie these not a lot to be honest, you can say it's kind of a snail paste at times with the pasting but that's really it for problems.

    Overall DownFall is excellent movie with amazing acting, great writing and directing and a brilliant historical drama.
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  24. JohnH
    Mar 18, 2005
    3
    I like what The Boston Globe reviewer sais about
  25. ZachRH
    Jul 7, 2005
    2
    Some good acting, but overall an oversympathetic, easy way out for the Nazis. Lets face it, the film never criticizes the Nazi soldiers...basically, it shows that they were forced, had no other option, etc., and that we should feel bad for them. the jews are mentioned only in passing by Hitler, and in the end, the film is overlong, monotonous, and nothing new in terms of its scenes of Some good acting, but overall an oversympathetic, easy way out for the Nazis. Lets face it, the film never criticizes the Nazi soldiers...basically, it shows that they were forced, had no other option, etc., and that we should feel bad for them. the jews are mentioned only in passing by Hitler, and in the end, the film is overlong, monotonous, and nothing new in terms of its scenes of war. Besides that, one has to question the purpose of making a film that shows the fall of Hitler, if its insight is both dangerous and cryptic at the same time. Expand
  26. RaulA.
    Feb 15, 2005
    2
    Es increible el poner a Hittler como un santo.
  27. DanS.
    Oct 13, 2005
    3
    This movie would be a revelation if it had humanized Hitler. But it didn't. Bruno Ganz' performance was uninspired. He's a great actor, but he doesn't do anything that strays far from cliche. A lot of yelling and sweating and twitching. The only thing revelatory about the movie was the character of Goebbels and his wife; or rather, the performances of said characters This movie would be a revelation if it had humanized Hitler. But it didn't. Bruno Ganz' performance was uninspired. He's a great actor, but he doesn't do anything that strays far from cliche. A lot of yelling and sweating and twitching. The only thing revelatory about the movie was the character of Goebbels and his wife; or rather, the performances of said characters by their actors. The movie was disappointing and almost pointless because the moviemakers created the movie on the assumption that the making of it would justify its existance. It didn't. There is no idea in this movie. It is just props. Try it again, Germany. Expand
  28. RobR
    May 14, 2006
    1
    An extremely tame and sanitised portrayal of Hitler's madness. Boring, absurd dialog, no passion, no intensity, not a hint of grit. Oh wait, it has subtitles so it must be masterpiece!
  29. marcoc.
    Apr 28, 2005
    7
    A very good film tarnished by an overly sympathetic portrayal of the Germans. Bruno Ganz is amazing. This film is worth seeing for his performance alone.
  30. SarahH.
    May 3, 2005
    1
    Too long!
  31. TomE.
    May 3, 2005
    1
    Oh my god, my arse fell asleep! Why won't you finish!
  32. Apr 18, 2013
    7
    While it may be sedately paced, "Downfall" still delivers a complex and challenging representation of the "Third Reich"'s befitting demise, frequently dazzling the audience with a brilliant performance from Bruno Ganz in the process.
  33. PatC.
    May 2, 2006
    9
    Engrossing if drawn out exposition of the final days of the people at the heart of the 3rd Reich. Doesn't explain much, but doesn't obscure either. Rather than develop the characters, the film successfully presents a tour de force of people clueless while the hell they have facilitated on others turns on them and savages their cherished beliefs. These people had assumed the Engrossing if drawn out exposition of the final days of the people at the heart of the 3rd Reich. Doesn't explain much, but doesn't obscure either. Rather than develop the characters, the film successfully presents a tour de force of people clueless while the hell they have facilitated on others turns on them and savages their cherished beliefs. These people had assumed the lives of others as expendable, so their own lives do not merit our empathy, specifically in the days of this story when their world is collapsing and no one has a safe place to indulge in self importance. Yet a sense of empathy is provoked nonetheless, not because we care about these people but because of the tragedy and waste of their misdirected mindsets that could easily have been our own. The film ends with a sense of emptiness reminiscent of a bad film, but within this particular emptiness simmers valuable understanding that alludes to how the German people rose from their ashes. The acting is generally straightforward as it should be, with the exception of Mrs. Goebbels last hour with her husband and children - probably some of the finest acting ever committed to film. Expand
  34. PaulB.
    Feb 14, 2005
    9
    Great film. Manages to recreate the wartime atmosphere very well, nicely shot and well acted.
  35. JimK.
    Feb 16, 2005
    10
    A masterpiece!
  36. Romanski
    Feb 21, 2005
    10
    What a movie! Brilliant !!!!
  37. KrisZ.
    Apr 2, 2005
    10
    I spent 2 1/2 hours last night in a bunker with Adolf Hitler. If the point of a movie is to be compelling, then this is certainly one of the most compelling history-dramas of all time. I have a minor in history and this movie tells the story just the way it happened. Those people who stated this movie was apolitical don't know what they're talking about. It is both political and I spent 2 1/2 hours last night in a bunker with Adolf Hitler. If the point of a movie is to be compelling, then this is certainly one of the most compelling history-dramas of all time. I have a minor in history and this movie tells the story just the way it happened. Those people who stated this movie was apolitical don't know what they're talking about. It is both political and philosophical with a heavy dose of irony. This movie should be required viewing for all high school students, if for no other reason than to give them a sense of the consequences of their actions. Expand
  38. PhilV
    Apr 2, 2005
    9
    The talent in this movie imposes a true sense of being in the bunker. The beauty of this movie is the director's unbelievable balance between sympathy, apathy and revulsion. He does not lecture us. He lets us flow with the movie as a real-time witness and let's us leave the theater with a deep understanding of our contempt for the man and his followers.
  39. caroleg.
    Apr 2, 2005
    10
    The most profound film I've seen in a decade! The delusional nature of most of the participants contains a lesson we have not learned or applied to these insane times in America.
  40. [Anonymous]
    May 1, 2005
    9
    A shocking film! The feeling of claustrophobia in the bunker, and the extreme violence outside it's confines make this a high impact film not dissimilar to Schindler's List in leaving me needing triage and a stiff drink afterwards. Well done, for presenting Hitler as a human being, with all the complex contradictions that being human entails. We see both the shambling, A shocking film! The feeling of claustrophobia in the bunker, and the extreme violence outside it's confines make this a high impact film not dissimilar to Schindler's List in leaving me needing triage and a stiff drink afterwards. Well done, for presenting Hitler as a human being, with all the complex contradictions that being human entails. We see both the shambling, dog-loving vegetarian tee-totaller AND the ruthless, deluded, raging dictator who believed compassion was weakness, and cared not at all for the fate of those outside the bunker. Goebbels was also nicely psychopathically portrayed, but with an intense and almost admirable loyalty. This is not a film that relies on 2D characatures, but examines them as real people, while telling well the final chapter of a harrowing story. Expand
  41. HarryS
    May 6, 2005
    8
    It helps if you understand German.
  42. BoB
    Sep 9, 2005
    6
    If you ever had history lessons in school, nothing in this movie will surprise you. And that is the main problem with this film, its simply boring because you already know exactly how it ends. The fighting stuff have been done better in other films, like Saving Private Ryan, in this film you dont really care about what happens to any of the characters. Tedious and overhyped about sums it up.
  43. FrankO.
    Jan 15, 2006
    8
    Despite the subject matter, I enjoyed this movie and learned a lot about the last days of Hilter and the Third Reich. Although on the long side, it did not drag and I was intrigued by the characters. Bruno Ganz was outstanding as a demonic Hitler.
  44. TimH.
    Jan 18, 2010
    7
    Whilst Downfall is undoubtedly a compelling and intriguing telling of the final days of Hitler it is not one without serious flaws. Firstly the good points; the acting is superb with Ganz's in particular standing out for his study of a monster, touched with just the right amount of humanity, swinging between delusion and despair. This combined with the great care which has been taken Whilst Downfall is undoubtedly a compelling and intriguing telling of the final days of Hitler it is not one without serious flaws. Firstly the good points; the acting is superb with Ganz's in particular standing out for his study of a monster, touched with just the right amount of humanity, swinging between delusion and despair. This combined with the great care which has been taken in accurately recreating the settings and consumes gives the film and harrowingly real feel. However the film is marred by the script bowing to convention and including a protagonist with whom the audience is supposed to identify in the form of Hitler's Secretary ..... The film wants us to believe that she was at the heart of events in Hitler's bunker whilst simultaneously suggesting that she was a picture of innocence and ignorance. The scene near the end of the film where she seems shocked by Hitler's statement of revulsion of the Jew's is utterly ridiculous and insulting considering she has been his personal secretary for two and a half years by this point. The final part of the film which shows a clip from the documentary 'Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary' where she talks of her apparent shock of finding out about the holocaust through the Nuremburg trials and how she as absolved herself of any wrong doing because she was young and naive (she was 25 at the films conclusion!), which is given to the audience without anything to question it as there is in the original documentary, leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth. Which is a shame because the portrayal of this one character damages what is otherwise a very enlightening and important film. Expand
  45. Romanski
    Feb 21, 2005
    10
    What a movie! Brilliant !!!!
  46. FrankN.
    Feb 26, 2005
    10
    Amazing! One can easily draw the parallels to today´s political situations where uncontolled power of a small bunch of fanatics leads to brainless faith of the masses. See it and remember it at the NEXT elections!
  47. StuQ
    Mar 12, 2005
    10
    Outstanding all around. any chacne the academy will remmber this movie and Bruno Ganz' performance next year? Let's hope so.
  48. SteveS.
    Mar 24, 2005
    9
    Powerful! In the grand scheme of things this event in human history occured but a few moments ago. This is an important film not so much for what it says but for what it wants us to ask. Things like 'How' and 'Why'? It is a cautionary tale that shows Hitler and his followers as real flesh and blood people; not the one dimensional monsters many would have us believe Powerful! In the grand scheme of things this event in human history occured but a few moments ago. This is an important film not so much for what it says but for what it wants us to ask. Things like 'How' and 'Why'? It is a cautionary tale that shows Hitler and his followers as real flesh and blood people; not the one dimensional monsters many would have us believe they are. The 'good old boys' of the Third Reich. ...And for that it is even more frightening. Expand
  49. StevieG
    Mar 7, 2005
    9
    Powerful and interesting film. Very German though . . . . Which means too long and too meticulous. However, the ending documentary footage of the central character, near the end of her life, and her realization of what she should have known (and what all of Gernmany should have known), brings home the main point of this well made film. Nice end piece to "The Dirty Girl" from a number of Powerful and interesting film. Very German though . . . . Which means too long and too meticulous. However, the ending documentary footage of the central character, near the end of her life, and her realization of what she should have known (and what all of Gernmany should have known), brings home the main point of this well made film. Nice end piece to "The Dirty Girl" from a number of years ago. Even though it could have been edited better, it was still moving and emotionally taught. Great film. Expand
  50. BobD.
    Mar 8, 2005
    10
    This film takes you into Hitler's bunker--and into his mind! It shows Hitler to be the powerful, compelling, captivating human he was--and leaves you not feeling, "Oh, that was another place, another time. Certainly not in America!" but rather wondering, "Could it happen here? To us? In America!" A bone chilling thought!!
  51. TravisC.
    Apr 16, 2005
    9
    A gripping film--I actually felt as though I was trapped in that bunker at the end of the war. The 2h45m went by surprisingly quick. And, frankly, if the film "humanizes" Hitler, the simple fact of the matter is that Hitler WAS human, as were all of the NAZI regime. I found myself feeling an odd range of conflicting emotions toward these people, which is probably the greatest strength of A gripping film--I actually felt as though I was trapped in that bunker at the end of the war. The 2h45m went by surprisingly quick. And, frankly, if the film "humanizes" Hitler, the simple fact of the matter is that Hitler WAS human, as were all of the NAZI regime. I found myself feeling an odd range of conflicting emotions toward these people, which is probably the greatest strength of the film. That's not to say that the film is sympathetic toward Hitler--it merely presents a man's deterioration from nearly conquering the world to commiting suicide in a bunker surrounded by Russian soldiers. The film still condemns the war, including the murder of the Jews. A great film, but definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Expand
  52. joel.
    Apr 9, 2005
    9
    Acting was excellent, sound was great. The movie was a bit to long.
  53. RosaR.
    May 9, 2005
    10
    Ótimo filme para compreender do que o ser humano é capaz de fazer em nome do poder e da ambição.
  54. paul
    Jul 11, 2005
    9
    Excellent film, more street fighting needed.
  55. SamV.
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    Excellent! Bruno Ganz as Hitler was perfect. Finally we have a movie showing what happened without worrying about cliches and everything that follows the movies about the World War II.
  56. KevinA.
    Nov 30, 2005
    10
    If there's one thing that this film does, it reminds you that Adolf Hitler was human, and that's what makes this film all the more chilling.
  57. AlexF.
    Feb 18, 2005
    10
    This disturbing, controversial film humanizes a group of people we think of as monsters. It helps explain "why somebody didn't DO something"? And it should makes us wonder what America is embarking upon in the World today. Among the five best war films ever made.
  58. AnselmoB.
    Feb 26, 2005
    10
    Great film. It was about time that we get a portrait of Adolf Hitler as the human person he actually was. Only humans can commit true crimes, and here we have both the person and the crime.
  59. MichaelH
    Mar 29, 2005
    9
    Very fine and interesting effort. Ganz was excellent as Hitler (though I am not sure about his accent...it didn't seem authentic). The use of music was a little questionable, sometimes calling forth sympathy in situations and characters that I thought might have been left more open as to how you might sympathize. I thought more could have been made of not only the German Very fine and interesting effort. Ganz was excellent as Hitler (though I am not sure about his accent...it didn't seem authentic). The use of music was a little questionable, sometimes calling forth sympathy in situations and characters that I thought might have been left more open as to how you might sympathize. I thought more could have been made of not only the German people's complicity but their co- "creation" of Hitler. Still a very interesting effort. Expand
  60. ShannonO.
    Mar 31, 2005
    10
    It was very powerful.
  61. MiguelG.
    Apr 29, 2005
    10
    Excellent portrayal of human nature: scary and funny at the same time.
  62. MikeC.
    Jul 31, 2005
    9
    Superb. A front row seat to the insanity.
  63. SoldierB.
    May 27, 2006
    10
    Fantastic. Superb acting on all parties. Chris S. couldn't have said it better.
  64. May 2, 2012
    9
    An intimate and atmospheric look at the final days of the Third Reich. The most important feature of this film is the realistic portrayal of Adolf Hitler, putting to rest crass oversimplifications of his character. The cast are excellent, particularly Ganz who dominates every scene he is in.
  65. Jan 10, 2012
    8
    Excellent portrayal of the final days of the Third Reich and in particular Hitler and his demise into insanity and paranoia. Well directed with some excellent camera work, this film was rightly nominated for an Oscar and is a must for anybody with an interest in the era of history.
  66. Sep 9, 2011
    9
    I watched this movie so many times and I really enjoyed every bit of it. For once we get to watch a film about Hitler and the Nazi's last days from the point of view of the Germans. Therefore you won't be seeing any sort of glorifying of American or Allied fighters blablabla... Instead, this film is about Hitler's desperation for survival or miracle as each day closes in for the end of theI watched this movie so many times and I really enjoyed every bit of it. For once we get to watch a film about Hitler and the Nazi's last days from the point of view of the Germans. Therefore you won't be seeing any sort of glorifying of American or Allied fighters blablabla... Instead, this film is about Hitler's desperation for survival or miracle as each day closes in for the end of the Third Reich. You will see how the most loyal soldiers are quick to lose faith while others remain loyal to the Nazi cause. The film also shows abit of Hitler's human side and his love for his country. The film is very emotional and perhaps a more accurate portrayal of Hitler's circle. If you're an open-minded person, be sure to check this movie out. It's certainly worth it!! Expand
  67. May 15, 2012
    9
    This is a fantastic movie. I am learning German at school and this was just appealing to me.
    Bruno Ganz was an exceptional Hitler. I watched this on a 10 hour flight. I watched it twice.
    The actors acted really well, the movie wasn't entirely based around violence like Inglorious Basterds was. Sure, some of the German Commanders blew their brain out...

    This is a masterpiece
  68. Apr 21, 2013
    10
    This movie is absolutely amazing. I was completely immersed and interested in it throughout the entire film. The actors were spectacular in performing their roles and the screenplay was just beautiful. Some would argue that it make the Nazis look more like human beings instead of evil monsters, and that is somewhat true. However in no way, shape, or form does it place them on a pedestal.This movie is absolutely amazing. I was completely immersed and interested in it throughout the entire film. The actors were spectacular in performing their roles and the screenplay was just beautiful. Some would argue that it make the Nazis look more like human beings instead of evil monsters, and that is somewhat true. However in no way, shape, or form does it place them on a pedestal. It accurately details the last days of Adolf Hitler based on accounts by his former secretary, Traudl Junge. If you are interested in World War II and would like to see a great movie that depicts the last days of Adolf Hitler, this is a must see. Expand
  69. Jun 8, 2013
    9
    Fantastic film from the perspective of the Germans. While you may know the ending, it certainly shined a light on some events you did not had happened. Very intriguing and informative watch that had brilliant directing and acting.
  70. Mar 2, 2013
    9
    I have never seen such an amazing movie. I felt so touched by it and kind of felt bad for the Nazis in the end. I know it's a crazy thing to say but that's how powerful this movie is. I am an English speaker and have never bothered to watch a foreign film because I thought I wouldn't have the patients. But boy was I wrong. If you still haven't seen this movie then I recommend that you goI have never seen such an amazing movie. I felt so touched by it and kind of felt bad for the Nazis in the end. I know it's a crazy thing to say but that's how powerful this movie is. I am an English speaker and have never bothered to watch a foreign film because I thought I wouldn't have the patients. But boy was I wrong. If you still haven't seen this movie then I recommend that you go see it NOW. It is on Netflix if you have Netflix and if you don't try and see if you can get it from amazon or something. It is a must own, especially if you're into WWII. Expand
  71. Dec 25, 2014
    10
    I am really disappointed with the way I've handled this movie in a first place. Obviously, like any other Internet-engulfed user, I knew it solely from Parodies made by so-called Untergangers. But one day I chose to watch it with actual translation and after that I became more impressed with historical documentaries than ever before. On one side, parodying movie made it as equally popularI am really disappointed with the way I've handled this movie in a first place. Obviously, like any other Internet-engulfed user, I knew it solely from Parodies made by so-called Untergangers. But one day I chose to watch it with actual translation and after that I became more impressed with historical documentaries than ever before. On one side, parodying movie made it as equally popular as it was 10 years ago but on the other hand, I'm really sad I didn't watch the original first. Expand
  72. Nov 7, 2013
    10
    By the end of Downfall, I came to realize more about Hitler he was mad, evil, ill, and monstrous but by the time the war is about to end, he continues to wage it in fantasy. Hirschbiegel carefully explains it through a fantastic performance by Ganz, which is described by critics and audiences, as the first portrayal of Hitler as a human being, rather than being a cartoon monster. It isBy the end of Downfall, I came to realize more about Hitler he was mad, evil, ill, and monstrous but by the time the war is about to end, he continues to wage it in fantasy. Hirschbiegel carefully explains it through a fantastic performance by Ganz, which is described by critics and audiences, as the first portrayal of Hitler as a human being, rather than being a cartoon monster. It is great to see an impressing revelation of humanizing Hitler. He is kind to his female secretaries, loves his dog Blondi, and is always surrounded by his loyal associates. But on his next breath, he shows cold ruthlessness, dispassionate brutality, and mayhem, causing the deaths of not only millions of Jews, but also millions of other Europeans and Americans. But, really, he is a man trying to fight for what he believes. Downfall is a powerful tale of menace, sadness, betrayal, corruption, ranting, and the somewhat consequence of war for Germany. It finally reach what its message expect its film to do: making a revelation of humanizing Hitler, and no other remake couldn't have the guts to surpass its expectations. Expand
  73. Nov 30, 2013
    7
    Unlike other World War 2 related movies,the character for hitler remains in the focus for a longer duration.Character were great,now you just can't expect a lot of action from this movie so given the topic of this movie is about the hitler's last hours,the whole crew has made a very decent attempt..
  74. Feb 15, 2014
    10
    This film was absolutely fantastic. Stellar performances by all the actors, a flawless screenplay, and an amazingly top notch directed film by Oliver Hirschbiegel. Downfall was perfect on every level---that I promise you.
  75. May 1, 2014
    10
    I love this film because i always hate how in some films, Hitler is portrayed as some personification of evil. He was obviously a murderous tyrant and a very cruel man, but to portray him as a 'demon' detracts from the fact that he was a human being; he laughed , he cried , he loved animals. I'm not trying to say that he had a 'good side' or that he 'wasn't all bad', i just think it moreI love this film because i always hate how in some films, Hitler is portrayed as some personification of evil. He was obviously a murderous tyrant and a very cruel man, but to portray him as a 'demon' detracts from the fact that he was a human being; he laughed , he cried , he loved animals. I'm not trying to say that he had a 'good side' or that he 'wasn't all bad', i just think it more useful to show the full picture so it can be used as a warning to prevent another person like him from appearing in the future. My final verdict for this film is that it is 'A Must See' Expand
  76. Jun 5, 2014
    10
    Otto is superb in impersonate Hitler, i have never seen a better actor on this role very well done!.

    They were able to show the human side of the nazis, but they did it without offending anyone!
    simply love this film
  77. Jan 3, 2015
    7
    I deduct 3 points:
    -1 = too long. Movie could easily have duration of 120 mins and still tell the same story. Instead it drags on much more than it should
    -1 = clumsy character introduction. Until the very ending I wasn't sure who was who. -1 = bad pacing and scene cuts. The movie likes to jump from one scene to another without some natural story development. Decent and
    I deduct 3 points:
    -1 = too long. Movie could easily have duration of 120 mins and still tell the same story. Instead it drags on much more than it should

    -1 = clumsy character introduction. Until the very ending I wasn't sure who was who.

    -1 = bad pacing and scene cuts. The movie likes to jump from one scene to another without some natural story development.

    Decent and smart movie about WW2, but requires patience.
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  78. Apr 30, 2015
    10
    gut wrenching masterpiece thats both a autobiography and anti war film by acclaimed filmmaker Olivier Hirschbiegel, Der Untergang recounts the last days of Hitler and Nazi Germany as the unimaginable terror of Adolf Hitler's rage takes effect on the german people as Russian troops storm Berlin, a film that is to traumatizing and unbearably provocative it is a film not for the feint ofgut wrenching masterpiece thats both a autobiography and anti war film by acclaimed filmmaker Olivier Hirschbiegel, Der Untergang recounts the last days of Hitler and Nazi Germany as the unimaginable terror of Adolf Hitler's rage takes effect on the german people as Russian troops storm Berlin, a film that is to traumatizing and unbearably provocative it is a film not for the feint of heart.

    A masterpiece of A dream that was shattered by lies and murder, one of the most tragic stories from the final moments of WW2, even you feel some pity for the nazi's and their demented minds

    a daring film that strikes at the consequences of nazism, Bruno Ganz in his most nightmarish performances ever gives one of the most violent portrayals on of the most notorious conquerors in modern history.
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  79. Aug 7, 2015
    10
    Great movie depicting true unbiased facts, good or bad, about Hitler!
    People should be enlightened with the story of 'Young Follower' Traudl Junge, braveness in beauty from Munich.
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: Ken Fox
    80
    Indeed, Hirschbiegel himself seems reluctant to single out a protagonist, and finally settles on Junge.
  2. The very thought of humanizing Hitler makes me queasy. If he had a good side, I don't want to know about it.
  3. 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.