Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 7, 2013
    Australian director Cate Shortland’s straightforward approach to the blinders worn by Hitler Youth creates a disconcerting and eerie film, made even more memorable since it’s seen through the prism of childhood’s end.
  2. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Feb 5, 2013
    What starts as a flipped survival tale turns into historical tragisploitation that wallows in its slog of endless suffering.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Jul 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. One minute, the bigot in the bar, holding court at a table full of enabling friends, regales angrily about being passed over for a promotion to a Jew(because "I'm better than a Jew," he says), and then the next minute, in Time Out(from The Twilight Zone: The Movie), the bigot stands outside the tavern, staring out at Nazi-era Germany. The door, now a transmogrified wall, marks the beginning of a fever dream, in which the bigot pinballs between Berlin and Vietnam, learning firsthand about being "the other" in the midst of a pogrom. Ultimately, the American is forcibly escorted onto a train headed for Auschwitz, where he will, no doubt, burn in a crematorium. Not so dissimilar to Time Out, an unnamed journalist, the wife of a Nazi soldier, in A Woman in Berlin, also over drinks, albeit at a swankier affair and setting(a party at a hotel), likewise, denigrates the Jews, but implicitly. Even worse than pontificating about the inferiority of the Jewish people through slurs, they go unmentioned, in which she advocates the ongoing holocaust by asking for "a moment of silence", a heartfelt testimonial to honor the "brave" young men fighting across the European expanse. Six million dead later, the quietly anti-Semitic woman takes a walk in her enemy's shoes, as the film expands on Time Out's idea of comeuppance for racists, when she finds herself being raped by a Russian soldier and the ensuing ironic humiliation, upon the dawning that this basest of all subjugations is the Red Army's prerogative. The film itself is a reveal, that epiphanic moment when the audience has to reorientate themselves to the narrative's time and place, that climaxing reversal of fortune which characterizes The Twilight Zone occurs, here, instead at the outset, since the bombed-out buildings and the abounding detritus of war, with a start, we realize, doesn't belong to Krakow. It's a ghetto all right, but it's Berlin's ghetto. That's the twist. Continuing where Downfall left off, in Lore(adapted from Rachel Seiffert's triptych novel The Dark Room), the German side, once again, is given the agency, which to the controversy of some, humanizes the Nazi Party by precluding Jews from the narrative, a schematic necessity since the casual cruelty inflicted on the Polish citizenry, as seen in past films, would make it impossible for the audience to contemplate on the suffering that Germany endured in post-war Europe. What should we feel when Gunter, the son of a Nazi commandant, is gunned down beneath the foliage of trees? Unlike the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music, Lore and her siblings are far from being naifs; their father is too close to Hitler's inner circle, and in fact, are collaborators, when during the evacuation sequence, we see them destroying documents alongside their parents, war criminals both. The restraint that Lore displays after Vater shoots the dog in cold blood is a restraint born out of Hitler Youth-taught ideology, which empoisons her mind with the concept of Aryan superiority over non-Aryans and animals alike. Hiding out in the Black Forest, the proud family makes no pretense of assimilation among the pastoral folks, presenting themselves as superior to the apolitical farmers, conveyed through their fancy dress and having the means to pay for comestibles. It's a crucifix, not the party symbol, a swastika, that affixes the side of a family's modest house. Lore and the beloved Julie Andrews musical, perhaps, not so coincidentally, share a common character name: Liesl, since the moving afterimage of these children journeying by foot towards Hamburg recalls the Von Trapp clan's hilly landscaped escape to Switzerland while "Climb Every Mountain" plays over the soundtrack. Aware of such iconography, the filmmaker includes a brief song interlude, turning Lore ephemerally into a parodical anti-musical, when the twins, Gunter and Jurgen, perform a war song that exhorts nationalism to an old woman, a fervent Hitler supporter. Do they understand the words? Yes. Gunter died thinking that Tomas, a camp survivor who provides safe passage across a reapportioned Germany, was one of them, a Nazi. Jurgen, in showing his sister the wallet he stole from Tomas, reveals that he too knows about the camps, repeating Tomas' words: "The man was a Jew. He was dead anyway," words that Tomas used to explain how the yellow star would help him deal with Americans. The theft protects Tomas from Oma. In the documentary Hitler's Children, author Niklas Frank explains how he executes his parents anew at every one of his public readings. Like Lore, the son of a Polish Governor-General was no innocent. Conversely, like Niklas, the duped young woman severs ties with her Nazi past, in the form of smashing a beloved deer figurine belonging to Mutti, which she smashes to smithereens with the heel of her shoe. But what about the other three? Niklas' siblings never repented. Will they? Full Review »
  2. May 18, 2013
    Very well made film with a refreshing take on WWII. The strongest element of the film is how it is shot, there is beauty found in every frame.Very well made film with a refreshing take on WWII. The strongest element of the film is how it is shot, there is beauty found in every frame. The story moves along at a good pace, filled with tension. Performances are good, especially from a mostly young cast, however the central character of Lore, played excellently by Saskia Lumenthal, was quite frustrating; there were moments where she needed a kick up the backside. Ultimately though, this is an impressive film. Full Review »
  3. Apr 7, 2013
    This movie plods along and is very frustrating. Probably historically authentic poorly done writing and direction. This movie tries to showThis movie plods along and is very frustrating. Probably historically authentic poorly done writing and direction. This movie tries to show the dilemma between Nazi Germany and Jews, but can't seem to get out of its own way. I left the theater thinking I will never get this time back... Full Review »