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62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: Patagonia, 1960. A German doctor (Alex Brendemühl) meets an Argentinean family and follows them on a long desert road to a small town where the family will be starting a new life. Eva (Natalia Oreiro), Enzo (Diego Peretti) and their three children welcome the doctor into their home andPatagonia, 1960. A German doctor (Alex Brendemühl) meets an Argentinean family and follows them on a long desert road to a small town where the family will be starting a new life. Eva (Natalia Oreiro), Enzo (Diego Peretti) and their three children welcome the doctor into their home and entrust their young daughter, Lilith (Florencia Bado), to his care, not knowing that they are harboring one of the most dangerous criminals in the world. At the same time, Israeli agents are desperately looking to bring th German doctor to justice. Based on filmmaker Lucía Puenzo's fifth novel, the story follows Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death," a German SS officer and a physician at the Auschwitz concentration camp, in the years he spent "hiding", along with many other Nazi's, in South America following his escape from Germany. Mengele was considered to be one of WWII's most heinous Nazi war criminals. [Samuel Goldwyn Films] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Apr 22, 2014
    91
    The subtle menace of the would-be geneticist of the Master Race mingles with ordinary pre-teen foreboding to create a riveting cocktail of unease.
  2. Reviewed by: Missy Schwartz
    Apr 23, 2014
    83
    The family he preys on is a tad too unsuspecting to be believable, but the film still hits notes of deep tension. And the cast is superb, especially Àlex Brendemühl as the “Angel of Death” himself.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    May 22, 2014
    75
    Puenzo has a knack for plumbing the heads and hearts of teenage girls. The director coaxes a mesmerizing, unmannered performance out of Bado, who is making her feature-film debut.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Aug 14, 2014
    63
    Puenzo’s initial premise is more promising, though, than her sensational tone.
  5. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Apr 22, 2014
    60
    The story-telling is a little too pat to deliver the surprise moments that reveal character or sweep audiences up emotionally. The film remains a creepy story with a lot of morbid fascination, set off by the captivating young Florencia Bado in her first screen role.
  6. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 14, 2014
    50
    Writer/director Lucía Puenzo (XXY) has a nice feel for her characters and, especially, the viewpoint of adolescent Lilith. But by giving away the story’s big reveal at the very beginning, it infuses the film with a potent sense of dread rather than suspense.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Apr 22, 2014
    40
    As horror scenarios go, Puenzo’s setup takes the most heavy-handed approach possible.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Sep 29, 2014
    7
    This film grabbed my attention partially because it takes place in 1960 in an Argentinean mountain town where my son and his wife went for aThis film grabbed my attention partially because it takes place in 1960 in an Argentinean mountain town where my son and his wife went for a skiing vacation last year. They described the town as very German in style and appearance but certainly not remotely Nazi-like in the present day. The movie is interesting, supplying detail about a post-war situation that is often mentioned but rarely explored. I found it to be a bit slow in story development, partially because there really isn't very much story there. The fascinating neighboring house and its mystery are left frustratingly unexplained. The ending: A bit of an anti-climax even though required as such by the true history of events. Expand
  2. Dec 7, 2014
    6
    Eh, kinda slight for such a prominent and horrific figure of the holocaust. The film covers one of the least interesting chapters of his exileEh, kinda slight for such a prominent and horrific figure of the holocaust. The film covers one of the least interesting chapters of his exile and delves neither into the psychology, nor the gripping details of his atrocious acts. For most of the film, Mengele remains to the audience as he does to the little girl he experiments on - a mystery. There are some side plots involving the girl's first experiences at school and a doll-factory venture that ultimately supply no thematic weight to the picture, only serving as filler for when Mengele (the truly magnetic subject here) is not onscreen. Something worth mentioning is that The German Doctor portrays him as both a sadistic villain and a human being (of sorts), which is somewhat true to the testimony of other holocaust accounts. He could be simultaneously caring and warm to the children that became his victims, while also holding no qualms over sending them to the gas chambers and making them suffer through his horrid experimentations. The performances are all-around decent, if somewhat plain. Even the lead performance of Mengele himself comes across as slight, though this may be because the screenplays commitment to historical accuracy over dramatic heft leaves very little room to breathe for all involved. A biopic more encompassing in scope and daring in its presentation could have been quite more effective, but, for what it is, The German Doctor still gets by (barely) through sheer watchability. Expand

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