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The Silence (2010)

Ulrich Thomsen , Wotan Wilke Möhring , Baran bo Odar  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ulrich Thomsen, Wotan Wilke Möhring
  • Directors: Baran bo Odar
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Music Box Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 23, 2013
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,455 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


"A taut, beautifully acted thriller." --The Village Voice

FOUR STARS "A first-rate thriller." --Time Out New York

"A harrowing and humane German-language whodunit." --Entertainment Weekly

Product Description

The Silence begins on a hot summer day, when a girl named Pia is brutally murdered in a field of wheat by Peer, as his helpless friend Timo watches. Exactly 23 years later, another 13-year-old, Sinikka, is missing, her bicycle abandoned in the same spot, leading police to suspect the same killer may be at work again. Recently widowed detective David and his colleague Janna struggle to solve the mystery of these parallel crimes with the help of Krischan, the retired investigator of the unresolved case. While Sinikka s distraught parents are trapped in an agonizing period of waiting and uncertainty, their daughter s fate rips open unhealed wounds in the heart of Pia s mother and sends Timo in search of Peer and their own old desires

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Field of nightmares July 23, 2013
Generally speaking, a field of wheat is a field of wheat; nothing more, nothing less. However, in the realm of crime thrillers, such benign rural locales can harbor ominous underpinnings ("Memories of Murder", "The Onion Field" and "In Cold Blood" come to mind). And so it is in "The Silence", a low-key, quietly unsettling genre entry from Germany. In the hands of Swiss-born writer-director Baran bo Odar (who adapted from Jan Costin Wagner's novel), a wheat field emerges as the principal character; an unlikely venue for acts running the gamut from the sacred to profane, as unfathomably mysterious and complex as the humans who commit them within its enveloping, wind-swept folds.

A flashback to the mid-1980s, involving the disappearance of a 13-year old girl, whose abandoned bicycle is found amidst the aforementioned waves of grain, sets the stage for the bulk of the story, which begins 23 years later with an eerily similar incident at the same location involving a girl of the same age. A team of oddly dysfunctional homicide detectives (several of whom worked the former unsolved case) sets about to investigate. However, Odar quickly discards standard police procedural tropes by revealing the perpetrator to the audience long before the police figure out who it is. Interestingly, this narrative choice echoes another German crime thriller (arguably the seminal German crime thriller), Fritz Lang's "M". And, just like the child-murderer in Lang's film, this is a monster hidden in plain sight who walks "among us"... personifying the banality of evil.

Putting the "mystery" on the backburner allows Odar to focus on the aftermath of tragedy.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting! June 10, 2013
A young girl is raped and murdered in July 1986, and then twenty-three years later an eerily similar crime occurs. The police are trying figure out if the two are connected. This German film is outstanding, bringing together the elements of crime investigation, murder mystery and grieving parents to make a film that is filled with tension. This movie contains no dull moments, and the viewer knows the culprits, but seeing the local authorities go through the investigative process is riveting. For anyone who appreciates high-quality foreign films, this is a good one.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
there are two murders of young girls which take take more than two decades apart. we see the first one committed. the murderer had said to his horrified friend that he had figured out what he was from seeing him watch children. he starts pandering to his interests in friendship and then one day rapes and murders an eleven year old while his friend is along. the pedophile friend takes off and disappears and the murderer returns to being alone. over twenty years pass and then another young girl is killed in the same field and the same way.

this murder mystery is so much more than another murder case or pedophilia tale. it is a long meditation on being alone and alienated. youcan be so twisted from this aloneness that you even sporadically take up perversions, like pedophilia, just to stop being alone, you decide that having a pedophile as your friend is better than having no friend,

we are all conditioned to believe that themguy watching child pornography on his computer at home is the most dangerous person out there. however, many of these people only watch. it is very chilling to realize that loneliness can be a darker and more lethal condition by far.

this is very well done and it has been on my mind constantly since i saw it.

as an aside, apparently young european girls alone on their bikes on solitary or back roads feel a lot safer than their counterparts do in america. it is hard for me to imagine an american eleven year old girl riding her bike down deserted roads or at night in empty streets. yes, back in the 1950s it was done here but not in 1986 or 2013. if it is being done here, the parents would be deemed neglectful. not so in europe apparently.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, yes, but amazing August 8, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
We didn't have high expectations for this, but if you can make it through the opening sequence (which was filmed in the least offensive manner possible imho) this is a gripping movie. Lots of emotion, suspense, amazing cinematography. Somehow, despite the subject matter, this movie evokes beauty and humanity. Highly recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wrenching, believable, well-acted August 5, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This movie was extremely powerful and well-acted - the stress and dread building to the end carries the movie past its minor plot failures. Years ago, I watched "Waiting for Mr. Goodbar" with three people in a movie theater and we all agreed to forgo dinner plans and go straight into another movie playing at the same theater - "The Deep" - just to wipe out the effects of "Goodbar". For the first time since, I had to immediately watch something else after "The Silence". So, if you plan on watching it, watch it early enough in the day to do something else afterward - it is that disturbing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, mind-bending psychological thriller October 2, 2013

Based on the novel by Jan Costin Wagner, "The Silence" is a fascinating, beautifully realized crime drama from Germany.

The movie centers around two identical crimes, both occurring at the identical place, though 23 years apart. Both involve the murder and possible rape of a young girl biking alone through an isolated meadow.

The script by Baran bo Odar examines the case from the viewpoints of the perpetrators, the victims, the victims' families, and the law enforcement officials who have some pretty intense psychological issues of their own to deal with. The life-shattering impact on the parents, along with their inconsolable grief, the frustrations of the investigators, the remorse and guilt (or lack thereof) on the part of the criminals - all are woven into a rich tapestry that mixes crime-and-detection elements with generous dollops of morbid psychology.

The most interesting character is Timo Friedrich (superbly enacted by Wotan Wilke Mohring), an "accomplice" to the initial crime and a prime suspect in the second, who has so many inner demons of his own to account for that he has become utterly consumed by feelings of guilt and self-loathing.

Unlike in the typical American police procedural, the investigators here are not played by drop-dead gorgeous movie stars but by frumpy, slightly saggy and balding middle-aged performers who look like actual honest-to-God people you might encounter in real life. And all are excellent.

In addition, the movie doesn't cater to the audience's desire for a clear-cut resolution, and in so doing, acknowledges that life does not always work out the way it does in the movies.

Odar's direction is both spare and slightly surreal at times, so that the world he's portraying always feels strangely off-kilter, as befits the subject matter.

A triumph for all concerned, "The Silence" is easily one of the best movies of 2013 thus far.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fooled By Its Stylish Visuals
It would seem that murder mysteries have been around perhaps as long as the Earth has housed mankind. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Edward Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Entry in Bleak Crime Drama genre
Other reviewers have compared The Silence to the AMC series The Killing, and that's accurate. I'd add that it also fits in the mold of movies like The Pledge (with Jack Nicholson)... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Larry Nocella
5.0 out of 5 stars Retired Richard
From the cover apperance, the story was quite different than what I expected. I turned out to be an enjoyable book.
Published 3 months ago by Retired Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected.
An European mystery movie, with a different atmosphere, a bit like the Wallander series. In spite of the gruesome crime, no gore is shown. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Randomly
1.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Freezes
Plays but in the chapter Repeat it stops and the picture splits. It will not advance until you press slow/search. Had to stop the movie and skip ahead. Read more
Published 3 months ago by John Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars A great movie with a twist
I really enjoyed this and would watch it again even.If you like a good thriller or psychological thriller, you will definitely enjoy this one!
Published 3 months ago by Lunareist
1.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Silence
First, this film is nowhere near as intelligently and deftly written or directed as The Killing. Long pauses in dialogue, silence, and agonized vacant staring into space are often... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Apello Publicus
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow but well acted
This film is beautifully shot. the cinematography is great. the pace is slow. it feels like an rural australian film. some people might not like it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Directionline
5.0 out of 5 stars Biting on the wire
We open onto a nondescript German apartment block - it's not Bauhaus, but it is a near thing. The shot tightens, drawing us into the repressing geometry and then closer still, into... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Olly Buxton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
A foreign film worth watching! The acting was superb and it kept me guessing until the end! I was hoping it to be a bit longer and I am wondering if a sequel is in the making.
Published 6 months ago by Jennifer A. Reinert
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