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Top Customer Reviews
Luther was and is an ambiguous figure to many, and this movie doesn't try to simplify anything. We see Luther (Joseph Fiennes) in the most productive and tumultuous years of his life, with the movie ending abruptly after the Augsburg Confession. The character of Luther's sponsor, Philip the Wise (Sir Peter Ustinov), is cut down, making him a friendly figure where he was in fact a shrewd politician who tried to use Luther's opinions as a way to enrich state coffers. The figure of Karlstadt (Jochen Horst) is real and receives comment, but the film doesn't really permit Luther to endorse or condemn his rebellion. Luther's wife and sometime foil, the sharp and witty Katerina von Borg (Claire Cox), doesn't even appear until near the end of the film. And Johann Tetzel (Alfred Molina), whose abuses spurred Luther's greatest accomplishments, is treated like a straw man.
This movie seems structured at times like a Cliffs Notes of Luther's life and work. Perhaps it's intended to encourage the viewing public to read the books themselves and find out who Luther was. It's certainly not a technical tour-de-force. The opening is cut together with the same abruptness as a trailer, Luther's conversions (he had three, each more profound than the last, like stairsteps) are compressed, the camera is usually unmoving, like a portable stage.Read more ›
The scope of the movie is impressive. It begins in 1505 with a young Luther running and crawling through a field, trying desperately to escape a fierce storm, all the while crying out to Saint Anne to save him. It ends twenty five years later, again with Luther in a field, though this time has is rejoicing, for he has just received the news that Emperor Charles V has given in to the German princes and has allowed Protestantism to survive. The movie ends at the beginning of religious tolerance in Germany.
The initial pace of the move is frantic. We see Luther giving his life to the service of the church and then nervously performing his first mass. We see him wrestling with his sinfulness and with his perception of an angry, vengeful God. He is assigned a task which takes him to Rome and there his disillusionment with the church grows as he sees brothels for priests and finds that the papacy is little more than a money-making institution. The poorest people in society give the little they have to the church to ransom their loved ones from purgatory. At this point the movie begins to slow its pace.Read more ›
First of all, the film is not anti-Catholic as some critics have said. It was made in Germany with the cooperation of the Catholic and Lutheran churches there. It is fact based and tells the truth about what happened. It may portray them in a bad light, but calling the film anti-Catholic would be like calling a film about the Holocaust anti-German.
This film shows the brutality of the Spanish inquisition and their notoriously anti-Prosestant attacks. Another early Protestant, William Tyndale, was executed for heresy. His 'crime' was translating the Bible into English. Though the Catholic Church did do these things, they have apologized for it.
The film has stunning performances by Joseph Finnes (Ralph Finnes' brother)and Peter Ustinov in his last film role before his death.
On October 31, 1517 A.D. the door of the Wittenberg church had Luther's 95 theses nailed on it, and with that the door to religious freedom was opened. This film should be seen even by secular people because if it were not for Luther, there may have been no seperation of Church and state until many years later.
The film is an absolute must-see for those interested in the Protestant Reformation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had seen this movie before and I wanted it view it again. Thank you!Published 2 days ago by Richard A. Hovington
What a stud! This guy defied all the nonsense and stuck truly to the Word of God - the Bible. Enough said.Published 17 days ago by Shaun Wilson
Every catholic should see this movie. Wonderfully produced. A real eye opener to idolic worshipers, as I was.Published 19 days ago by Yoland Benavides