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57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Based on a true story, John Rabe tells the story of a German businessman who rescued more than 200,000 civilians during the so-called “Nanking Massacre” in China. (Strand Releasing)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 80
    Gallenberger tells Rabe’s story deftly, establishing essential elements of the man’s personality in subtle shorthand.
  2. Drawn from Rabe's diaries, the film is rich in telling and ironic details.
  3. Thanks to Tukur, what we get here is still something: a stunning portrait of a good man caught in a widening inferno.
  4. 60
    One of the main virtues of John Rabe is to demonstrate that, however much we know about the worst of all wars, it still has little-known corners that can amaze us.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    60
    Triumph seems the wrong note for a feature film about mass murder. Yet Gallenberger insists on an old-school historical melodrama, with the darkest of terrors leavened by humor, tenderness and even romance. It's only the terror that rings true.
  6. 58
    In spite of a subtle performance by Ulrich Tukur in the eponymous role, Gallenberger’s film feels labored and emotionally disengaged, an autumn-hued history lesson that’s as studiously reserved as its steel-spined subject.
  7. Proudly matter-of-fact but, sadly, far from gripping.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. JaneG.
    May 22, 2010
    8
    An excellent film. Worth the 134 minutes viewing.An important docudrama done with taste and class.
  2. PHL
    Sep 26, 2010
    8
    Based on a true story, this is a moving and powerful movie. At times difficult to watch such cruelty, it's uplifting to see the humanity thatBased on a true story, this is a moving and powerful movie. At times difficult to watch such cruelty, it's uplifting to see the humanity that was exhibited by John Rabe during a horrible war. Perhaps it would take Steven Spielberg to comment on it and compare his heroism to Schindler's for the movie to get more attention and wider distribution. Expand
  3. Jul 30, 2011
    8
    It is a interesting movie, a great history about a good man, who doesn't matters leave his comfortably life in order to save people who don'tIt is a interesting movie, a great history about a good man, who doesn't matters leave his comfortably life in order to save people who don't know. In some parts is a little slow, but have great a impact moments. Expand
  4. Jun 8, 2011
    7
    The rape of Nanking has been visited quite often of late. This movie attempts to focus one John Rabe, a Nazi businessman in Nanking, but endsThe rape of Nanking has been visited quite often of late. This movie attempts to focus one John Rabe, a Nazi businessman in Nanking, but ends up, inevitably in focusing on the small group of westerners who do their heroic best to save as many chinese as possible from the ravenous Japanese army. The atrocities take a back seat to the machinations of the group to be rescuers while surrounded by barbarians. As a Nazi Rabe manages to use his countries alliance with Japan to keep a safe zone open to 200,000 chinese. An ironic image is of hundreds of them huddled under a vast flag emblazoned with a Swastika, as it signals the Japanese to bomb elsewhere. Inadvertently they are saved by the emblem of a regime that personified the genocide of innocents.

    For some reason the other hero in the story Minnie Vautrin, an american missionary responsible for saving 20,000 young women from rape, is presented as a French woman, who risks everyones life in the zone by hiding chinese soldiers, expressly against the charter for the zone. In the end the atrocity of Nanking gets short shrift; rape is mentioned but only as a menace, the dead are mostly soldiers, and the postscript tells us Rabe died a pauper in Germany shortly after the war, unsung. That postscript might make a more fascinating story.
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