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The Lives of Others

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,795 ratings
IMDb8.4/10.0

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Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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DVD $14.99 $12.95
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August 21, 2007
1
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This critically-acclaimed, Oscar(r)-winning film (Best Foreign Language Film, 2006) is the erotic, emotionally-charged experience Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) calls "a nail-biter of a thriller!" Before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, East Germany's population was closely monitored by the State Secret Police (Stasi). Only a few citizens above suspicion, like renowned pro-Socialist playwright Georg Dreyman, were permitted to lead private lives. But when a corrupt government official falls for Georg's stunning actress-girlfriend, Christa, an ambitious Stasi policeman is ordered to bug the writer's apartment to gain incriminating evidence against the rival. Now, what the officer discovers is about to dramatically change their lives - as well as his - in this seductive political thriller Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) proclaims is "the best kind of movie: one you can't get out of your head."

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Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, this is a first-rate thriller that, like Bertolucci's The Conformist and Coppola's The Conversation, opts for character development over car chases. The place is East Berlin, the year is 1984, and it all begins with a simple surveillance assignment: Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe in a restrained, yet deeply felt performance), a Stasi officer and a specialist in this kind of thing, has been assigned to keep an eye on Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch, Black Book), a respected playwright, and his actress girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck, Mostly Martha). Though Dreyman is known to associate with the occasional dissident, like blacklisted director Albert Jerska (Volkmar Kleinert), his record is spotless. Everything changes when Wiesler discovers that Minister Hempf (Thomas Thieme) has an ulterior motive in spying on this seemingly upright citizen. In other words, it's personal, and Wiesler's sympathies shift from the government to its people--or at least to this one particular person. That would be risky enough, but then Wiesler uses his privileged position to affect a change in Dreyman's life. The God-like move he makes may be minor and untraceable, but it will have major consequences for all concerned, including Wiesler himself. Writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck starts with a simple premise that becomes more complicated and emotionally involving as his assured debut unfolds. Though three epilogues is, arguably, two too many, The Lives of Others is always elegant, never confusing. It's class with feeling. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Beyond The Lives of Others


Films from Germany

Other Cold War Films


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from Sony Pictures Classics

Stills from The Lives of Others (click for larger image)







Product details

  • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 2.35:1
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ s_medR R (Restricted)
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
  • Director ‏ : ‎ Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ AC-3, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 18 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ August 21, 2007
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur, Thomas Thieme
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English, Spanish, French
  • Language ‏ : ‎ German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Unqualified
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B000OVLBGC
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,795 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
2,795 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2017
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26 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2017
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32 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Dan Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Somebody is watching you...Be Afraid
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2017
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14 people found this helpful
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Patrician
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film that Grips from First to Last - Totally Compelling
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 31, 2015
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19 people found this helpful
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Legal Vampire
3.0 out of 5 stars Grey world of Communist East Germany
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 22, 2019
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2 people found this helpful
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Ashish Joshi
5.0 out of 5 stars The best debut film ever!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2019
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S P Mead
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 29, 2016
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