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8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 248
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  1. BruceC.
    Aug 5, 2007
    10
    One of the most powerful and affecting films ever to take the viewer inside the minds of the perpetrators of oppression. Brilliantly constructed, avoiding predictability and cliche the denouement is extraordinarily moving and insightful.
  2. SteveK
    Oct 11, 2007
    10
    The best movie I've seen in a long LONG time. It's a movie that manages to be both entertaining and meaningful, heartbreaking and uplifting. This is a great movie.
  3. MarcM.
    Jan 20, 2007
    10
    If a great symphony could be turned into a movie, this would be it. Moments that seem happenstance take on greater importance upon reflection. Nothing could be added or taken away without diminishing the overall impact. This isn't a good movie, it is a great one.
  4. FredR.
    Feb 10, 2007
    10
    An absolutely incredible performance by ulrich muhe(gkw.7) best movie i've seen in years.
  5. LyndaM.
    Feb 20, 2007
    10
    SEE the film. AVOID the reviews,(at least until after you've seen it.) Too many spoilers. Being an observer as the characters unfold, reveal and transform themseves is one the beauties of this film. Incredible acting, exquisitely crafted story, a true work of art.
  6. OlegM.
    Mar 4, 2007
    8
    Of all movies about the life under communism this is the one most true to reality: the story could've happened. I gave it an 8 only because this kind of story doesn't translate into visual art (movie) as easily as into a for example a book: it pleases the mind more than the eye, I mean.
  7. DanB.
    Aug 26, 2007
    10
    No comment. It's just plain good.
  8. SteveS.
    Dec 24, 2006
    9
    Very disappointing and unperceptive wise-aleck review from Mr. Foundas. The picture is no more nostalgic for the days of East German Communism than any equivalent film dealing with a Nazi functionary's gradual change of heart would be for the Third Reich. Since East German Communism finally fell without the firing of a shot, one can certainly infer that by the end of that regime, it Very disappointing and unperceptive wise-aleck review from Mr. Foundas. The picture is no more nostalgic for the days of East German Communism than any equivalent film dealing with a Nazi functionary's gradual change of heart would be for the Third Reich. Since East German Communism finally fell without the firing of a shot, one can certainly infer that by the end of that regime, it must have been riddled with just the sort of disillusioned secret policemen Foundas finds so unbelievable here. Nor is it particularly the policeman's exposure to art that subverts his loyalties to the state; a deeper and fairer reading of his character might locate the reason for that change in his discontent with his own empty personal life, compared to the appealing human attachments of the people he's spying on.....Where do I apply to write film reviews for LA Weekly? Expand
  9. PaulB.
    Nov 3, 2007
    9
    Great movie. Even the East German Stassi can get mugged by reality. American liberals, are you paying attention?
  10. AnickP.
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    A superb film with touching, convincing characters who show that, despite the minister's prediction at the beginning, one can change for the best. A remarquable ending. The film's message is similar to Pan's Labyrinth's, but this movie, in my mind, is superior (though my husband disagrees). A ne pas rater.
  11. ChristinaK.
    Feb 12, 2007
    10
    Best film I've seen in years - it sticks in your mind and doesn't let go. Nearly all reviews have extensive spoilers - avoid reading them and just go see this splendid film.
  12. Filmfan
    Feb 10, 2007
    10
    Powerful and involving drama without Hollywood style overdrawn characters and cliche plot twists. Really really good. The kind of film Clint Eastwood is unable to make, no matter how hard he tries. NOTE: We all agree that the guy from L.A. Weekly is out of his league!
  13. JimM.
    Feb 9, 2007
    10
    Best film of the year, no doubt about it. See this film!
  14. SheilaP.
    Mar 11, 2007
    10
    Extraordinary film. I cannot stop thinking about it. This film deserves an Oscar for best foreign film and any other presigious awards available. Don't miss it.
  15. TonyB.
    Mar 22, 2007
    10
    Great film. Enjoyed it while watching it, and the more I think about it, the better it seems. As others have said, the ending was perfect. Many times I don't understand how critics and viewers can rate films as they do - this time, the reviews were right on. I hope Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck continues making great films - I saw him outside the AFI Spirit awards, and, in Great film. Enjoyed it while watching it, and the more I think about it, the better it seems. As others have said, the ending was perfect. Many times I don't understand how critics and viewers can rate films as they do - this time, the reviews were right on. I hope Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck continues making great films - I saw him outside the AFI Spirit awards, and, in addition to making this great film, he seemed like a truly nice person. Expand
  16. MarylnL.
    Mar 4, 2007
    10
    A very tense and deeply moving film.
  17. NigelP.
    May 30, 2007
    9
    Undoubtedly, one of the best films I have ever seen! The casting was excellent. It must be seen! Having sub-titles adds to the film, I would hate to see it dubbed!
  18. Nadie...
    Jun 16, 2007
    10
    Smart, simple, intelligent, funny. The new post-Berlin wall cinema (as Goodbye Lenin) teaches us that you don
  19. TristanJ.
    Jun 5, 2007
    9
    I didn't expect the quality I witnessed when I saw this film. The acting is superbly subtle and the issues of the period delicately positioned around the characters to create a rewarding and technically superb experience.
  20. SlotkinsQ.
    Aug 25, 2007
    10
    Not overpraised at all. This is one of the best films of our time.
  21. WesselK.
    Jan 4, 2008
    10
    Deeply, deeply moving!...my god what a masterpiece.
  22. Trevor
    Aug 30, 2008
    10
    Really lives up to its acclaim. A brilliant, engaging film with no discernable flaws.
  23. [Anonymous]
    Jan 23, 2007
    10
    Thrilling and emotionally involving.
  24. MountC.
    Jan 4, 2007
    9
    Saw the movie in the qualifying week it played in L.A. It moved me and the rest of the audience to tears!! Missed 3 1/2 minutes because I had to go the bathroom, though, 'cos it was pretty long. Can't believe the comments by the L.A. weekly guy Scott Foundas. How can anyone be so stupid? The only likeable Stassi guy is the one man who STOPS OBEYING ORDERS!! How he could call Saw the movie in the qualifying week it played in L.A. It moved me and the rest of the audience to tears!! Missed 3 1/2 minutes because I had to go the bathroom, though, 'cos it was pretty long. Can't believe the comments by the L.A. weekly guy Scott Foundas. How can anyone be so stupid? The only likeable Stassi guy is the one man who STOPS OBEYING ORDERS!! How he could call this revisionist and Nazi is beyond me. His comments are not worth the paper they're printed on. But go and see this film!! Expand
  25. A.S.
    Feb 16, 2007
    10
    Excellent and very well done movie - reflecting painful truth...
  26. MatarsakZ.
    Feb 26, 2007
    10
    Sometimes a film, even if it gets a bit too melodramatic, even when it has a bit too much of a predictable and "clean" ending, does not leave one's thoughts for days. This, surely, is the sign of a great film. Even as I sat there, aware of all the classic "cinema" moments in the film, and predicting the too predictable clear cut ending in the films later years moment by moment as it Sometimes a film, even if it gets a bit too melodramatic, even when it has a bit too much of a predictable and "clean" ending, does not leave one's thoughts for days. This, surely, is the sign of a great film. Even as I sat there, aware of all the classic "cinema" moments in the film, and predicting the too predictable clear cut ending in the films later years moment by moment as it unfolded, I still didn't mind. For once I loved being party to predictability unfolding. Which speaks to the skill of this particular filmmaker... This is exactly how I felt during the Italian film Best of Youth. I think people need to see this more as a human story than a German one - it could have been set in any repressed part of human history. Its simply a lovely piece of storytelling with great restraint and skill. Expand
  27. PPR.
    Mar 15, 2007
    9
    Absolutely magic. It's not about politics, it's about mankind and the best it has to offer under harsh conditions. And that ending, man, it's breathtaking... If you only see two or three movies this year, make sure this is one. You will NOT regret, guaranteed.
  28. BibliotecaS.
    Mar 18, 2007
    10
    Best movie since Apocolypto since Walk the Line since Gone with the Wind since...? This movie is very smart and the payoff is worth the journey/subtitles once again. This movie is about the reality of what took place from '77 to '89 East Berlin. Socialism and the West are starkly portrayed. The written word is convicting. The freedom of expression is subdued despite the pleas for mercy.
  29. ChrisP.
    Mar 19, 2007
    10
    Best foreign language film I've seen since "The Best of Youth". I can see why Pan's Labyrinth lost best foreign film at the academy awards. This movie is more honest and in-depth and in turn hits its emotional high points with more intensity. Bravo.
  30. ArgelX.
    Mar 19, 2007
    9
    Very good, a simple, intense plot. The Stasi officer is great in the role. A little slow for the first half.
  31. SeanP.
    Mar 4, 2007
    10
    Excellent film. Pan's Labyrinth still should've won the Oscar over it, but i loved this movie nonetheless. It's amazing this is the guy's first feature film. Can't wait to see what he does next, and where his career will end up.
  32. RobertI.
    Apr 1, 2007
    8
    Searing portrait of one human consciousness that triumphs over the totalitarian state. An affirmation of common humanity.
  33. HenryV.
    Apr 2, 2007
    10
    Screenwriting at its most meaningful and mature. This thriller, romance, period piece, and character study will stand the test of time and grow in prestige as the years go by.
  34. WernerGross
    Apr 28, 2007
    10
    It reminded me very much of my brief encounter in East Berlin with the split in being a human being within the totalitarian state and the red tape senior officers had to subject themselves too. The decision how to deal with my situation was refered to the PolitBureau.
    I am not and never was a citizen of the DDR.
  35. CriticsR.
    May 22, 2007
    8
    Great movie. Had some really interesting insights. I have no idea what movie the LA Weekly critic was watching, but it must not have been the one I was watching. There is no nostalgia about the stasi days. Absolutely not. Instead, you got the claustrophobic atmosphere of having to watch everything you said or who you said them to. Neighbors or friends reporting on you or even your own Great movie. Had some really interesting insights. I have no idea what movie the LA Weekly critic was watching, but it must not have been the one I was watching. There is no nostalgia about the stasi days. Absolutely not. Instead, you got the claustrophobic atmosphere of having to watch everything you said or who you said them to. Neighbors or friends reporting on you or even your own children. It must have been a nightmare to live in those times. And might still be in some countries. Also, the world is not black and white. We are all human beings. Can't you imagine there would have been at least one sympathetic stasi? I have to totally agree with Tony B. The more I think about the movie, the better it is. Expand
  36. MikeN.
    May 29, 2007
    10
    All actors are fantastic in this film which never lets go of the viewer. Till i saw it I thought "After the Wedding" should have won best Foreign.
  37. JohnS.
    Aug 22, 2007
    10
    Excellent! The only movie that I could whole-heartedly recommend this year. The lead is a revelation.
  38. RayS.
    Aug 27, 2007
    10
    This is the best foreign movie I have seen in a long time. It deals with the political and personal realities of its time in a totally different way than Pan's Labyrinth. Both excellent movies, I would rate Lives of Others a little higher because it gave the characters more breath, more subtlety of emotion.
  39. Fritz
    Aug 28, 2007
    10
    Despite the LA weekly review this movie does NOT imply anything. The viewer (as in so many German movies these days) is shown just 'another' side of the coin. Fictional or not, in order to write and portait such a metamorphosis in a little over 2 hours takes great acting talent. No car chases, special effects and gunfights needed. Thank you Ulrich Mühe and rest in peace.
  40. Bill
    Aug 29, 2007
    10
    Films don't get much better than this. A simple story that manages to portray human strength and weakness in uncommonly poignant terms and does so with humor and wit. Must-see simply for the reminder of how malignant the power of the state can be.
  41. XavierL
    Feb 25, 2008
    10
    Once in a blue moon I will agree with critics, except as usual with the LA weekly who never understood anything about movies . This is movie making at its best, very poignant especially for those of us who grew up confronting the iron curtain
  42. JudyT
    Feb 29, 2008
    8
    Very good movie with a limited cast but quite powerful. Wish American movies could be this emotional and important.
  43. JoseS.
    Aug 24, 2008
    9
    Terrific German film, similar to The Conversation. Won both US and British Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Tense, intimate, uncompromising, a must see!
  44. RicoK.
    Dec 3, 2006
    8
    Scott Foundas of LA Weekly got it all wrong. Poor dogmatic man. In Germany, this film was criticized for being too hard on the Stasi secret police actually. I do not want to go on about the misguided comparison of the Stasi to the Gestapo. Anyway, the film is set in the 1980s when the socialist system was about to dissolve and the Stasi exercised less power over people, especially Scott Foundas of LA Weekly got it all wrong. Poor dogmatic man. In Germany, this film was criticized for being too hard on the Stasi secret police actually. I do not want to go on about the misguided comparison of the Stasi to the Gestapo. Anyway, the film is set in the 1980s when the socialist system was about to dissolve and the Stasi exercised less power over people, especially artists, than in the years before. The kind of GDR the film portrays is more like the stalinist communism of the 1950s. While in the years after it was still a totalitarian system, people took their freedoms and started to care less about the overpowering presence of the state. So, this film painting the Stasi as omnipresent and powerful got it wrong and the reviewer Foundas got the film all wrong, calling it revisionist. He should get his facts right before he starts reviewing European films. I wonder why Americans can be so terribly political (and p.c.!) when it comes to reviewing films that are about people, really. Even had it been a Gestapo officer, I would be interested in his feelings, private life etc. Would it be a revisionist film for trying to convey such a story? Expand
  45. IamheA.
    Feb 23, 2007
    10
    It may seem as though control systems are monoliths, but they are run by people, whose human hearts may occasionally be able to transcend their highly-constrained roles within those systems. And the small crack in the wall that you see may be a sign of a much larger breach waiting to bring down the entire house of Usher. This film shows us the fascinating interplay between the small and It may seem as though control systems are monoliths, but they are run by people, whose human hearts may occasionally be able to transcend their highly-constrained roles within those systems. And the small crack in the wall that you see may be a sign of a much larger breach waiting to bring down the entire house of Usher. This film shows us the fascinating interplay between the small and the large parts of that process. The story unfolds with one revelation after another, deepening our understanding of the characters and also of the surprising level of human goodness that can be expressed even under extremely difficult circumstances. An optimistic film that justifies its optimism through its believable and highly sympathetic characters. Expand
  46. TylerP.
    Feb 27, 2007
    10
    Absolutely amazing film. I had to see this after it beat Pan's Labyrinth for best foreign language film. I don't want to spoil it so I'll keep this brief. See the movie, you won't be disappointed.
  47. Sep 14, 2011
    10
    Very thrilling and exciting movie, the whole time I was stuck to the screen, because i was really interested in the concept of the film. It wasn't like that usual stalker movie that you watch, there's much more to it, then just that, and that made the film stand out. It was just perfect.
  48. Oct 19, 2012
    10
    powerful, thought provoking film where it questions your duty towards your country [ however oppressive that is]. The best german movie so far in my viewing.
  49. Jan 27, 2012
    10
    The Lives of Others is a movie about the German Stasi - essentially the secret police. The main idea of the movie was the Stasi monitoring a man named Georg Dreyman. In some parts of the movie it can be a little sad or dark, but in the end, it has a very touching message. It shows, through a man named Weisler, that mankind can have good in them as well as bad. He helped Dreyman, anThe Lives of Others is a movie about the German Stasi - essentially the secret police. The main idea of the movie was the Stasi monitoring a man named Georg Dreyman. In some parts of the movie it can be a little sad or dark, but in the end, it has a very touching message. It shows, through a man named Weisler, that mankind can have good in them as well as bad. He helped Dreyman, an innocent man, escape the punishment of the Stasi. Even though he wound up risking and ruining his career, Weisler still saved Dreyman multiple times without even Dreyman knowing it. That is something that can be hard to grasp because most people are unwilling to help someone to that extent when they themselve lose more than they gain. It actually goes against our normal instinct as human being. As well as being an uplifting an somewhat emotional movie, there are many, many, many deeper psychological aspecs to it. Overall, a great movie! Expand
  50. Jan 23, 2013
    10
    Similar to the communist witch hunts that alarmed American's in the 1950's, "The Lives Of Others" offers a riveting view of life behind the Berlin Wall. It's 1984 in East Berlin and Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muhe) is a secret agent of the Stasi, who investigate people who are suspected of undermining government authority. But his newest subject has an unanticipated effect on the Captain.Similar to the communist witch hunts that alarmed American's in the 1950's, "The Lives Of Others" offers a riveting view of life behind the Berlin Wall. It's 1984 in East Berlin and Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muhe) is a secret agent of the Stasi, who investigate people who are suspected of undermining government authority. But his newest subject has an unanticipated effect on the Captain. He sits in an attic day after day, night after night, spying on the people in the flat below.
    The flat is occupied by a playwright named Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his mistress, the actress Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck). Wiesle first saw Dreyman at the opening of one of his plays, where he was informed by a colleague that Dreyman was a successful man. Dreyman is good-looking, successful, with a beautiful lover; he must be getting away with something. Driven by suspicion, or perhaps by envy, Wiesler has Dreyman's flat wired and begins an official eavesdropping inquiry. Though von Donnersmarck accords Dreyman and Crista a fair amount of screen time, their roles are to act as catalysts. This is Wiesler's story and, although there are moments of tragedy, it's ultimately one of redemption. Wiesler is a fascinating character in that he is a blank slate if you will, trained by his life to reflect no emotion. Sometimes not even his eyes move. As played in Muehe's performance of infinite subtlety, he watches Dreyman as a cat awaits a mouse. And he begins to internalize their lives, because he has no life of his own; no lover, no hobbies, no distraction from his single-minded job. Wiesler has no one he can really talk to. His gradual transition from loyal soldier to actual human being is what's most compelling throughout. The seduction depicted in "The Lives of Others" is inadvertent. Wiesler is enticed by the possibility of art, meaning, and love, all of which are absent from his existence, but present in that of Dreyman and Crista. Wiesler lives in a bare apartment, with nothing to distinguish it from a hotel room and, when he desires company, he calls a prostitute. By listening to Dreyman and Crista, he discovers the potential of a more fulfilling existence. Eventually, his desire to be part of something meaningful leads him to act to protect the couple, even though his actions violate the law and place his career in jeopardy. Gripping and arresting drama from first time director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is masterfully executed. Ulrich Muhe gives a phenomenal performance, a film that will stand the test of time. Oscar winner as Best Foreign Language Film.
    Expand
  51. Jun 2, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of the best films I've ever seen. A brilliant story about an East German secret policeman who gets transformed by "The Lives of Others" he is supposed to be monitoring, and in the end he gives up his career in an attempt to spare them from their inevitable fate. I went into this film not knowing anything about it. What I found was a truly remarkable and touching story. Ulrich Muhe as Wiesler and Sebastian Koch as Dreyman stand out as part of the brilliant cast. A superb masterpiece! Expand
  52. Jul 5, 2013
    9
    It's a world you've probably heard about, but never actually realised existed. It's real people surviving in such a world. The acting is superb especially the main character (this is where Oscars should be going to).
    PS I don't speak a word of german, but that did not get in the way of my enjoying this film. One of the best films in a while? Probably. Definitely worth seeing.
  53. Steve
    Feb 16, 2009
    10
    Given that I give a 10 once every few years this film must be a stand out and it is perhaps the most human film i have seen. Although harrowing, the setting is secondary but the story universal. The lead character could just as easily be an implement of the Church in Reformation times or a government operative in many a war as it slowly dawns on him that the national values for which he Given that I give a 10 once every few years this film must be a stand out and it is perhaps the most human film i have seen. Although harrowing, the setting is secondary but the story universal. The lead character could just as easily be an implement of the Church in Reformation times or a government operative in many a war as it slowly dawns on him that the national values for which he embodys are gone and filled with a perversion. To fulfil what he views as the true values of the country effectively mean treason but a decent man must make a stand. The subject of the surveillance comes to a similar juncture as he too realises that a true patriot doesn Expand
  54. DenizY
    Sep 14, 2008
    10
    One of the best and most powerful films I've seen in a long time. Takes a highly interesting time and transforms it into a mere backdrop for an amazing performance by the actors. The only shameful part of the movie is that the English translations are pure crap, and close to nothing what is actually being said. I'm not talking about literal translation, I mean you get a One of the best and most powerful films I've seen in a long time. Takes a highly interesting time and transforms it into a mere backdrop for an amazing performance by the actors. The only shameful part of the movie is that the English translations are pure crap, and close to nothing what is actually being said. I'm not talking about literal translation, I mean you get a completely different idea of what is going on if you don't speak German and have to follow the subtitles. PS - The LA Weekly critic has it's head up you know where... The director / writer of this movie was not trying to say the people in the Stasi were just following orders. He was trying to show they are humans too. In the beginning, the main character who works for the Stasi was 100% loyal to the State, and later becomes more human from spying on these people, realizing he has no life. Typical Americans and their hubris, overshadowing the true meaning of things. And that's coming from a fellow American. Expand
  55. GeorgeR.
    Feb 12, 2007
    7
    When critics shower a movie as liberally as they have with THE LIVES OF OTHERS it can only mean one of two things; it
  56. DanC.
    Mar 11, 2007
    9
    An exceptionally good film. The final moment is both understated and incredibly moving. See it.
  57. keithh
    Jul 22, 2007
    10
    A top notch, well made film. Some of the finest acting I have seen. Subtitles are not a problem.
  58. Angela
    Aug 22, 2007
    10
    Powerful, low key, very insightful ! well written, acted, directed.
  59. HollyC.
    Jul 17, 2008
    9
    Superb film. A little 'on-the-nose' there at the end, but really, this is just a solid solid film. Before I had seen this, I was a bit in disbelief anything could've beaten Pan's Labyrinth for best FL film at the Oscars--but now I see why (still think Pan is better though). And Ulrich Muhe's character (HGW) is one of the best performances/stories I've seen on Superb film. A little 'on-the-nose' there at the end, but really, this is just a solid solid film. Before I had seen this, I was a bit in disbelief anything could've beaten Pan's Labyrinth for best FL film at the Oscars--but now I see why (still think Pan is better though). And Ulrich Muhe's character (HGW) is one of the best performances/stories I've seen on film in some time. Definitely worth the DVD rental. Expand
  60. JonK
    Dec 16, 2007
    10
    This is a slow paced film with English subtitles. If that turns you off, you may not be aware enough to enjoy it. It requires a certain understanding of the balls it took to make this film and what it says about Fascism and putting too much power in the hands of a few unchecked individuals. While I certainly enjoy the "Armageddon" or "Independence Day" this movie has stuck with me for This is a slow paced film with English subtitles. If that turns you off, you may not be aware enough to enjoy it. It requires a certain understanding of the balls it took to make this film and what it says about Fascism and putting too much power in the hands of a few unchecked individuals. While I certainly enjoy the "Armageddon" or "Independence Day" this movie has stuck with me for more that two months. I found a few minor flaws, none worth mentioning. When you're in the mood to slow down and pay attention to something that matters, this is it. Expand
  61. Dec 10, 2010
    10
    Not only is this film well written with fantastic performances, but it accurate and a great portrayal of the events following the post WWII occupation of germany.
  62. Feb 14, 2015
    10
    Best film I've ever seen. It was in my head for days after seeing it at the cinema. I couldn't stop thinking about it, I kept picturing that ending. Absolutely amazing and a breathtaking ending scene. By now you've probably heard that a lot. Believe it. It deserves the attention. It's a perfect drama. The movie of our times.
  63. Aug 14, 2014
    8
    This is certainly a great film. Ulrich Muhe (RIP) is splendid in the lead role and really kills it. The suspense and thrills of the spy genre are also here and in full force. This one manages to keep you on the edge of your seat without multiple action sequences and shootouts. It is a film built on tension and shows you how to create it without those scenes. As such, the direction fromThis is certainly a great film. Ulrich Muhe (RIP) is splendid in the lead role and really kills it. The suspense and thrills of the spy genre are also here and in full force. This one manages to keep you on the edge of your seat without multiple action sequences and shootouts. It is a film built on tension and shows you how to create it without those scenes. As such, the direction from Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is great, as is the script from him. Both his direction and the writing are top-notch. As with all foreign films, the fact that is in another language can be a barrier of entry for some, but for me, this one felt like it was in English. I barely even noticed they were speaking German I was so engrossed in the story. In addition, the ending is fantastic and really brings everything to a wrap nicely. As a whole, this one is deserving of the praise it has received and stands as one of the best spy films of the past 10 years. Expand
  64. Feb 28, 2014
    10
    One of the best powerful and in the same time quiet movies I've ever seen. It's wonderful how the film is surrounded by the analogy between the hidden desires and the secret police that controlled everything in the communist bloc. Did the captain want to hide his feelings under those excruciating interrogatories when he was capable of annihilate on the mental health of the suspect, or heOne of the best powerful and in the same time quiet movies I've ever seen. It's wonderful how the film is surrounded by the analogy between the hidden desires and the secret police that controlled everything in the communist bloc. Did the captain want to hide his feelings under those excruciating interrogatories when he was capable of annihilate on the mental health of the suspect, or he became like that in a slow process of finding the true virtues of humanity? I think this is the main question the director asks himself, should we create our new beginning? Expand
  65. ECW
    Dec 28, 2014
    8
    A masterpiece!
    European cinema when it is good worth every minute. The film excites from beginning to end.
    In addition to the intelligent operation and behavioral history, there is no dead time in the film, everything has a meaning, a bond and a good pace. It's very interesting the way this movie talks about the respect or not of a person's privacy and the confrontation between
    A masterpiece!
    European cinema when it is good worth every minute. The film excites from beginning to end.
    In addition to the intelligent operation and behavioral history, there is no dead time in the film, everything has a meaning, a bond and a good pace.
    It's very interesting the way this movie talks about the respect or not of a person's privacy and the confrontation between dictatorship and freedom of expression ...

    I have to take off my hat to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He has done an excellent job.
    Yes, we all ought to take off our hats. He is an amazing director and writer.
    Expand
  66. Jan 8, 2015
    9
    Class!
    These fine actors give a subtle, understated yet brilliant performance in this historical thriller. A simple setting combined with a palatable yet complex plot, which elegantly glides through the duration of the movie. From interrogations to surveillance as well as delicately crafted dialogue between authority and rebellion, the agonizing intersection between state control and
    Class!
    These fine actors give a subtle, understated yet brilliant performance in this historical thriller. A simple setting combined with a palatable yet complex plot, which elegantly glides through the duration of the movie. From interrogations to surveillance as well as delicately crafted dialogue between authority and rebellion, the agonizing intersection between state control and humanity is wonderfully illustrated through language, costume and characterization.
    While I would question some of the political references which seem a little clichéd, as well as the somewhat swift catharsis of the main character-this film deserves a viewing from any history or German culture buff. In the same bracket as 'Hidden', 'Valkyrie' and the Bourne series. 9/10
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Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Hansen
    80
    Starts out dark and challenging then comes to a startlingly satisfying and warmly human conclusion that lingers long after the curtain has come down.
  2. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    80
    Superbly cast drama… that looks to be a solid upscale attraction wherever the special chemistry of good writing and performances is appreciated.
  3. 50
    The Lives of Others wants us to see that the Stasi -- at least some of them -- were, like their Gestapo brethren, “just following orders." You can call that naive optimism on Donnersmarck's part, or historical revisionism of the sort duly lambasted by the current film version of Alan Bennett's "The History Boys." I, for one, tremble at the thought of what this young director does for an encore.