Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 28, 2013
    100
    Hannah Arendt conveys the glamour, charisma and difficulty of a certain kind of German thought.... The movie turns ideas into the best kind of entertainment.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 30, 2013
    80
    Talky but fascinating period drama.
  3. Reviewed by: Marsha McCreadie
    May 28, 2013
    80
    The writer-philosopher Hannah Arendt is brought to life by a mesmerizing Barbara Sukowa in Margarethe von Trotta's film.
  4. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    May 10, 2013
    80
    Von Trotta seems to borrow some of her subject’s haughty disdain for compromise in a serviceable script that does the job of telling us who Hannah Arendt was like a good pair of solid, gray walking shoes; there’s nothing fancy or modern to distract from the portrait of one of the most important thinkers of the century.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Aug 15, 2013
    75
    Hannah Arendt takes seriously the life of the mind.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Aug 1, 2013
    75
    The rare film that flows from a wellspring of ideas.
  7. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    May 10, 2013
    75
    En route, despite some clumsy exposition and the reduction of heavyweights like Mary McCarthy and William Shawn to fifth-business caricatures, the film does manage one impressive intellectual achievement of its own: rescuing that “banality of evil” phrase from the banal cliché it’s become and, by providing the full and daring context, giving it real meaning again.
  8. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 10, 2013
    75
    A watchable, even suspenseful portrait of a woman who spends most of the film smoking cigarettes, sitting at typewriters or sparring at dinner parties.
  9. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jun 6, 2013
    70
    Barbara Sukowa's performance in the title role is the kind that reverberates long after the screen goes black.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark Zhuravsky
    Jun 4, 2013
    67
    As a filmic examination of an extraordinary mind, it doesn't breathe much life into the frame.
  11. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    May 29, 2013
    67
    Opting to leave somewhat open the question of whether its subject was a traitor to her Jewish people or a conscientious scholar determined to conduct rational analysis free of public and peer pressure, it remains a mildly intriguing drama of the often unavoidable and contentious intersection of intellectual analysis and personal prejudices.
  12. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    May 30, 2013
    63
    It’s involving, as biopics go, but the shattering debates that still swirl around Arendt’s view of the Holocaust are relegated to walk-ons.
  13. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    May 27, 2013
    63
    The film's most striking quality, and it's not insignificant, is director Margarethe von Trotta's refusal to fossilize the controversies she dramatizes.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 26, 2013
    60
    This is a formal and pedagogic production, but worthwhile nonetheless.
  15. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    May 28, 2013
    60
    A movie of one billion cigarettes, Hannah Arendt is about moral reason, not personality. It could do worse than lead you straight to the woman’s books.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jul 4, 2013
    50
    A film that ultimately says more about banality than evil.
  17. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    May 10, 2013
    50
    Von Trotta’s Arendt biopic feels like a movie stuck in another era, stolid and rote, more of an outline for a dramatic treatment than the real thing.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Lyn
    Feb 5, 2014
    9
    I've only read one book by Hannah Arendt -- very cerebral, needless to say. It's fascinating to see a side of her that also touches on herI've only read one book by Hannah Arendt -- very cerebral, needless to say. It's fascinating to see a side of her that also touches on her warmth and her marriage and her friendships. Fascinating, also, in this time of the 24-hour news cycle, to think about her take on "the banality of evil" as personified by Eichmann, and the complexity of trying to explain that to people who demanded a one-dimensional portrait of a monster. Barbara Sukowa -- here middle-aged, dowdy and in the ugliest of '60s wardrobes -- gives a performance of great subtlety and humanity. A thought-provoking film. Full Review »
  2. Sep 21, 2013
    10
    I find it weird that there are no user reviews for this film, which is one of the very best of the year. Incomparably better than MuseumI find it weird that there are no user reviews for this film, which is one of the very best of the year. Incomparably better than Museum Hours, an okay film which gets an 86 Metascore while Arendt gets a mere 67. All aspects of Arendt are superb: script, direction, cinematography, acting, you name it. And, of course, the subject is one of the most fascinating women of all time. What's not to like? Full Review »
  3. Jul 25, 2013
    10
    I find it weird that there are no user reviews for this film, which is one of the very best of the year. Incomparably better than MuseumI find it weird that there are no user reviews for this film, which is one of the very best of the year. Incomparably better than Museum Hours, an okay film which gets an 86 Metascore while Arendt gets a mere 67. All aspects of Arendt are superb: script, direction, cinematography, acting, you name it. And, of course, the subject is one of the most fascinating women of all time. What's not to like? Full Review »