Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: In Berlin in 1941, on the eve of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, level-headed officer Wilhelm (Volker Bruch) is full of patriotic fervor as he heads for the eastern front with his sensitive younger brother Friedhelm (Tom Schilling). Charlotte (Miriam Stein) is a young nurse in loveIn Berlin in 1941, on the eve of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, level-headed officer Wilhelm (Volker Bruch) is full of patriotic fervor as he heads for the eastern front with his sensitive younger brother Friedhelm (Tom Schilling). Charlotte (Miriam Stein) is a young nurse in love with Wilhelm who is serving in the Red Cross. Greta (Katherina Schüttler) is an ambitious singer who longs to become another Marlene Dietrich, while her boyfriend Viktor (Ludwig Trepte) faces a daily struggle for survival as a Jew in an increasingly oppressive regime. [Music Box Films] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Jan 16, 2014
    80
    Generation War holds the line admirably in showing how totalitarianism corrupts almost everything in its path, individual responsibility included, and creates an appalling space where sadists and conformists alike can flourish and break every rule of war at will.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Jan 23, 2014
    75
    Director Philipp Kadelbach crafts a war drama cued to the ethics of the characters.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Mar 13, 2014
    75
    The films are highly entertaining and highly disturbing, in the latter case for both the right and the wrong reasons. While admirably delineating moral decay, which eats away at one character like a virus, the movies never really get at the seed of evil.
  4. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jan 23, 2014
    58
    While it's an effective memoriam for the well-meaning Germans whose lives were ruined by Hitler's mad dream, the refusal of Generation War to focus on any other sort of German makes it both dramatically and historically suspect.
  5. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Jan 16, 2014
    50
    By conveniently exempting its protagonists from ideology or culpability, Generation War feels less like a reckoning than a dodge: Yes, your grandparents may have been Nazis—but they could have been these nice people, too.
  6. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Jan 17, 2014
    50
    The densely plotted Generation War sweeps past implausibilities and offers the can’t-put-it-down qualities of a superior airport novel; its last third is affecting. But a bold confrontation with the past? Not so much.
  7. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jan 27, 2014
    50
    While re-creating the vast swing of German forces in and out of Russia, Kadelbach tries to capture the inner turmoil of two men. Call it half a victory.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jan 20, 2014
    10
    I just absolutely love this mini-series and how the story line conveyed was just magnificent! When I heard about Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter,I just absolutely love this mini-series and how the story line conveyed was just magnificent! When I heard about Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter, I thought it would be like the German version of the Band of Brothers; in the perspective of the German Wehrmacht fighting with their 'band of brothers' in wars like Op. Barbarossa and in France but it was completely something else, something deep. Although it does show some perspective of the war through the Wehrmacht soldiers (just like Maj. Winters, Nixon, etc. in Band of Brothers), this focused on the lives of 5 friends, which 2 of them shares experiences of their life in the 'homefront' and what is happening in Germany itself; not entirely focused on the war effort. I cannot say much without giving too much spoilers (which is all of what I was going to say after this); you just have to watch it. I do not know whether this "Generation War" move is condensed or made shorten, I'm not sure because I don't want to watch it because I've watch the original. But if the critics gave this an average score based on the cut version or condensed version to fit into the theater, they should watch the miniseries.

    Btw, Katharina Schüttler's song "Mein kleines Herz" is excellent and very deep and sad! I just had to buy the song after I heard it.
    Expand
  2. Oct 27, 2014
    10
    I really loved watching this miniseries. some parts are pretty far fetched but you can put that down to creative license. If you have anI really loved watching this miniseries. some parts are pretty far fetched but you can put that down to creative license. If you have an interest in WW2 then this is well worth a watch. Expand
  3. May 8, 2014
    9
    The clichés "gripping, captivating, compelling and enthralling" do not do this German WWII drama justice: I was entranced. Perhaps the bestThe clichés "gripping, captivating, compelling and enthralling" do not do this German WWII drama justice: I was entranced. Perhaps the best word to describe it is "beautiful", although "haunting" has merit too. Often harrowing and heartbreaking, Generation War is saturated with foreboding and suspense. Scenes of horrific violence and warfare are offset with moments of acute, aching poignancy.
    I withheld giving Generation War a perfect 10 only due to the implausibility of certain aspects of the character Viktor.
    Collapse
  4. Jul 13, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Brilliantly filmed and excellently scripted, "Generation War" treads carefully on the subject of what it was like to be a citizen of Nazi Germany during WW2, yet delivers a compelling storyline nonetheless.

    "Generation War" enjoys outstanding performances from its cast. I found Miriam Stein as Charlotte downright charming and thought that Tom Schilling and Volker Bruch gave very convincing performances as two brothers serving in the Wehrmacht who both become disillusioned with the war in very different ways. From a storytelling point of view, the character arcs of all five of the main protagonists alone earn the mini-series high marks.

    As far as historical accuracy, having read history texts that include letters and statements from Germans during the second world war, I think that "Generation War" is tenuously believable, although it depicts five young people whose views start out on the more socially liberal side of the German political spectrum during this time period. (Spoilers to follow) I encountered a few moments during this film plot-wise where I could not suspend disbelief: namely when the character Viktor escapes from a moving train and when a Russian POW character whom Charlotte betrays early in the movie later returns as a Soviet NKVD officer. However, I consider both of those to be minor issues that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the movie.

    Few countries have had to bear such existential guilt as the Germans have concerning WW2, and it is a subject that most modern Germans will avoid discussing. I can imagine that "Generation War" (called "Our Mothers, our Fathers" in German) would have a very different impact on a German audience than it did on me as an American with an academic interest in history.
    Expand

Trailers