Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 100
    An explosive but scrupulously journalistic drama about the radical group that terrorized Germany for nearly 30 years.
  2. It leaves us with a question that may be unanswerable: How does one extinguish terrorism when its causes are myriad?
  3. Reviewed by: Bonnie J. Gordon
    A long but powerful true-life drama of 1970s German terrorists features masterful storytelling and bravura performances.
  4. A taut, unnerving, forcefully unromantic fictional film.
  5. 89
    The end result is an electrifying, morally complex story of the evil that men (and women) do in the name of the greater good.
  6. 88
    The result is an exciting, infuriating, combative experience.
  7. Has been criticized as endorsing or condoning violence, but that assessment is unfair and inaccurate. If terrorism is to be eliminated, it must be understood, not oversimplified.
  8. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Fascinating history, very good movie -- but demanding, and its lack of easy answers will frustrate some. Lessons about 21st century terrorism are implicit, but not overly stressed.
  9. A fascinating hybrid of a film. Even though its purpose couldn't be more serious, its style could hardly be more pulp.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Edel's clear-eyed and exhaustively researched account is unique in its refusal to either romanticize or villainize the terrorists. It's a study in the seductive appeal, and inevitable failure, of the attempt to bomb one's way to a better world.
  11. 80
    Seems propelled by a doomed sense of inevitability and is all the more gripping for it.
  12. 80
    I have seen The Baader Meinhof Complex three or four times now, and, despite exasperation with its fissile form, I find it impossible not to be plunged afresh into this engulfing age of European anxiety.
  13. If Edel's Oscar-nominated film drags in its final 40 minutes, it's a function of the director's fidelity to the facts - and the fact that the founding trio (and the film's stars) have become prisoners of the state, confined and confused.
  14. For a thoroughly fascinating, true glimpse into the horrors that vanity and self-delusion can wreak, take some time to see The Baader Meinhof Complex.
  15. 75
    Swift, brutal, lurid, often overheated, and occasionally comical, but it’s also a serious, well acted, and unromantic exploration of the rise and demise of a terrorist gang whose radicalism ultimately reached beyond the young men and women who set it in motion.
  16. 75
    The film is gummed up by Bruno Ganz as an intelligence officer who wants not only to capture the bad guys but to understand them -- and to explain them, hand-wringingly, endlessly.
  17. 70
    This is no art film, but Edel and Eichinger supply an action-packed, reasonably coherent account of youthful rock 'n' roll idealism run amok, and how it produced the craziest phenomenon of the crazy European far left.
  18. 70
    The movie is a sweeping, hectic docudrama that would have been immeasurably helped by the use of informational intertitles.
  19. 63
    The film would have benefitted by being less encompassing and focusing on a more limited number of emblematic characters -- Meinhof and Herold, for starters.
  20. For two and a half hours, Edel lays out the bombings, kidnappings, and murders committed by the Baader-Meinhof group, which mutated into the RAF. He catches the violently delusional self-righteousness of their antifascist fervor, but as individuals these cultish guerrillas remain opaque.
  21. Reviewed by: Boyd van Hoeij
    An explosive performance by Johanna Wokalek gives some relief to an otherwise long and humdrum series of characters.
  22. 40
    This isn’t revisionist history; it’s a key moment in political radicalism reduced to an empty pop-cultural posture.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jul 3, 2014
    Muhteşem bir film. Almanyada çekmil bu dehşet-i cengiz filmi bence kaçırmayın. Almanya siyasi hayatına ışık tutan bu filmin iyi irdelenmesi lazım. Puanım: 10/8.1 Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2013
    “The Baader-Meinhof Group” is a provocative, brutal, German film meticulously directed by Uli Edel "Last Exit to Brooklyn" (1990), written by Bernd Eichinger "Downfall" (2004), and stars some of Germany's best actors: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek and Bruno Ganz. These talents come together to tell the story of the founders of the Red Faction Army (RAF), one of Germany's violent left-wing anti-capitalist group against western imperialism in Germany, whose logo is a combination of a Red Star and an MP5 sub-machine gun.
    Working off of transcripts and real-life accounts, Uli Edel simply re-creates the story and history of the Red Army Faction in accordance with the historical record, while never imposing judgment or opinions.

    Germany in the 1970s: Murderous bomb attacks; the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy infiltrating high levels of government is rocking at the very foundations of the fragile German democracy. The radicalized children of the Nazi generation are led by Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, and Gudrun Ensslin who are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the German establishment--many of whom have a Nazi past. Their aim is to create a more human society, but by employing the use of terrorism and the threat of violence, they lose their own humanity in the process.

    "The Baader Meinhof Complex" is visually riveting with fantastic action scenes, and at times can become almost emotionally overwhelming. Edel propels the complex narrative and its myriad ricochets, and it surprisingly holds together quite well. That being said, the sheer length and constant brutality and bloodshed mount, making the viewing of last third of the film laborious. An impressive, well done period piece, but "The Baader-Meinhof Complex" is diluted by too many events, with too many characters, distributed over too much time.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 14, 2012
    Great film. I went into it expending some propaganda piece one way or the other but i left with thoughts similar to Hitchens about the beautiful display of blurring lines between criminality and rebellion/revolution. It's well casted, well acted. Baader seemed to be a bit over the top psychopath/sociopath, but i don't know the history well enough to know if he was really like that. The movie was very immersive and it hardly felt subtitled at all. Went in skeptical, left a fan. Full Review »