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on May 18, 2014
What I enjoyed most about this film was the way the story shows this very personal relationship between two men: one Jewish(played by Jason Issacs) and one non- Jewish , both Germans, who are wonderful friends until the Nazi movement tears their friendship to pieces. I also found it ironic that the non-Jew, played beautifully by Viggo Mortensen, was going a bit mad, hallucinating people singing and playing music through out the film)demonstrating the negative effects the Nazi movement had on decent, honest, and ordinary Germans, who had no recourse but to go along with the madness of Hitler and his thugs.

I have watched this movie repeatedly and am reminded how such tragedy and insanity can infiltrate any society if the wrong person(s)is brought to power. It is frightening to think this could easily happen again if we ever forget the atrocities inspired by Adolf Hitler during WWII.
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on July 14, 2012
This film is a creative attempt to demonstrate how so many "good" Germans were sucked into a narcotic-like dependence on the Nazi Party in pre-WWII Germany. The review immediately preceding this one misses the point of the film entirely. They say that the protagonist was a weakling and not the kind of person who would have been a member of the Nazi Party or the SS. In fact, he was exactly the kind of person who populated the ranks of the Nazi Party: Morally ambivalent weaklings and cowards with a chronic lack of self-esteem. Like most bullies and wolf packs, many members of the Nazi party only found their "strength" in numbers. Many where sadistic sociopaths while others were civil servants or academics wallowing in their mediocrity, depending on National Socialism, like a drug addict, to lift themselves above their shortcomings. Vigo Mortenson does an excellent job and the acting, with a few exceptions, is uniformly good. The one problem I have with this movie, that is really just a pet peeve of mine when it comes to movies about Nazi Germany, is that all the actors speak with an English accent, including Vigo Mortenson who doesn't have an English accent to begin with. But I also have a problem with movies, like the Oddessa File, where the actors speak in English, but with bad German accents. I prefer movies about this period that are done in German, with subtitles, but I know that's a lot to ask of filmmakers who want to have their film distributed.
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on June 27, 2015
I liked the premise of this movie...how good people under extraordinary difficult circumstances can be swayed or intimidated to act or behave in a way not normal to their beliefs or personal values. This was a good man, but out of fear, he did not speak up and was pushed into a position he hated...by the Nazi's and his power and position-hungry wife. The results were overwhelming for him. I did NOT like the ending. Maybe I am too dense to get the meaning of the last scenes of the film. but I felt let down and therefore only gave it 3 stars for what I would call a poor conclusion
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on August 6, 2014
I enjoyed the acting, and as always, Viggo Mortensen is good in this as well. The other actors were also very good. It is a different take on the horrors of WWII and the Nazi's, as seen through the eyes of a German professor who gets drafted by the SS. I don't want to say too much, but it shows how many of the German people were wary of Hitler, but didn't really believe that such horrors could or would ACTUALLY HAPPEN. As we all know, Happen they did.
Anyway, it wasn't a GREAT movie, but was interesting enough to keep me watching it until the end.
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on March 14, 2016
I love this movie and always recommend it. It's got a unique perspective, and exemplifies "the slippery slope" people are always talking about. It's a little "European" so don't expect a happy ending.
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on December 3, 2015
Unfortunately, this movie did not live up to it's name. Unlike most movies Vigo Mortensen commits to this one was not very good. He's an excellent actor, which is what attracted us to watch it. Not sure if it was the "character" he portrayed or just a weak story, but he's certainly played in better roles and movies. HRT
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on June 2, 2014
While the film is not as understandable as C. P. Taylor's play, the film is very, very good. The play employs music throughout, and that does not do well in the film version. Still, this is a powerful examination of a "good" man gone wrong through his choices and selfishness. I think it is a must see.
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on August 29, 2015
The main German character is oblivious to what's happening to Jews in Germany despite the shocking insights from his long time friend who happens to be Jewish. Its not until its too late does he realize that his friend was right and things are far worse than they seem. Its one of those film that tries to show how many Germans were unaware of what was actually happening during one of the darkest periods of history. Good film with some good moments. Not the best holocaust film out there, but certainly worth watching.
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on February 11, 2018
Fascinating and extremely culturally relevant for 2018. Shocking to my core.
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on April 30, 2011
This is a thought provoking story. It's easy to condemn others for things that are done. When we look at ourselves, what would we have done? I don't like much of what goes on today, but I don't feel I can do anything about it. The acting is wonderful! It's interesting that the very social structure that the jewish friend is so ready to throw aside, is what would have protected him had it remained intact. We never really know what will result from seemingly small actions.
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