Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. I don't claim to have seen every entry from around the world, but it's hard to imagine five better than this deliciously offbeat comedy, as wildly inventive as anything Billy Wilder ever conceived.
  2. In a disarmingly entertaining fashion, this multiaward-winning German bittersweet comedy seems to encapsulate all the emotion and drama of that profound geopolitical event.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    This is a very funny picture, though it's never burlesqued and is, in fact, occasionally poignant.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    One of the most enjoyable movies I've seen lately, but it has a biting knowledge of that which history gives and history takes away.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Reveals more about the German people through sentimental comedy than such overtly political films as "The Nasty Girl" or "The Marriage of Maria Braun."
  6. A funny and intermittently sharp German satire that musters gentle nostalgia for East German communism while mocking the not-so-distant past.
  7. 83
    One of those gratifyingly nostalgic works of art that accept the present day but remind us, as well, that the past wasn't necessarily worse.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Marvelously entertaining, and occasionally brilliant, political satire.
  9. Funny but not a comedy, serious but never overbearing, emotional in an engaging and bittersweet way, Good Bye, Lenin! is a wonderful film unto itself about a world unto itself.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    A romantic comedy so smart and sweetly mature, it's liberating.
  11. 75
    A comedy, but a peculiar one. Peculiar, because it never quite addresses the self-deception which causes Christiane to support the communist regime in the first place.
  12. It's a tasty but evasive treat, no matter what your taste in politics or movies.
  13. 75
    There's a strange, bittersweet melancholy in watching the protagonists of Good Bye, Lenin! being buffeted about by change, but refusing to let go of each other.
  14. Wolfgang Becker's premise is absurdist and makes great sense as political satire.
  15. 75
    It is not a step-by-step chronicle of German reunification, but it gives a perspective of the time. It's a bonus that this comes as part of an engrossing and well told story.
  16. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    Relies heavily on strong performances from Brühl and Sass to make the illusion believable.
  17. 70
    Director Becker and his sharp screenwriter, Bernd Lichtenberg, come less to bury communism than to hurl darts at the Western commodity culture that floods East Berlin.
  18. 70
    Surprisingly successful blend of goofy political farce and sober family drama.
  19. Reviewed by: Melissa Levine
    With light-hearted wit, compassion for its characters and artful attention to detail, the film is winningly funny and humane.
  20. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    This triumph of historical verisimilitude in the service of solid storytelling requires no detailed knowledge of the period to be appreciated as the moving story of a son's unconditional love for his mother.
  21. 70
    Becker handles the film's comedy with fluency.
  22. 70
    Goodbye, Lenin! is often drab--the color is washed out, the lighting flat. Yet the movie is sweetly enjoyable as a sardonic elegy for a dream that went bust. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
  23. 63
    There are many funny lines and situations, accompanied by strong performances all around. Sadly, Good Bye Lenin! falters at the end, when it loses its edge and lapses into sentimentality.
  24. It's mainly a hunt for ironies, usually playful but occasionally poignant, and the search is definitely successful enough to merit our attention -- although maybe not the two-hour running time.
  25. 60
    Overlong and a bit tiresome but it's actually about something.
  26. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    It's a sweet family dramedy whose political undertones don't flatter either capitalism or "democratic socialism."
  27. 60
    When the movie got serious again at the end I wasn't buying, though the whole endeavor is helped along by an appealing cast.
  28. Will richly award locals with sly in-jokes and a wonderful comic performance by Bruhl. Non-Germans will certainly get the essence of the humor but may find the movie long and repetitive.
  29. The film seems overlong and drawn out, with variations on the same joke occurring throughout. Although the performances are good, the nostalgia for the past seems quaint in the new "have it your way" Burger King world.
  30. 50
    Much too long. It starts to feel like a flabby, dramatic version of the first "Austin Powers" movie, another exercise in living anachronism as a storytelling device. By the time the picture's final note about German reunification is struck, "Lenin!" has raised a wall of indifference for the audience.
  31. Combination of comedy and gravity is certainly common enough, but it requires a sure hand and perceptible intent. This screenplay has some neat touches, but it never makes up its mind.

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