Picks and Pans Review: Downfall

UPDATED 03/07/2005 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/07/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara
CRITIC'S CHOICE

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  



You've seen them in movies, miniseries and ad nauseam on the History Channel, but never before have Adolf Hitler's final days seemed so real or chilling as in this German film. Downfall, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Das Experiment) with an eye for the small, telling detail, shows the dictator coming unglued while confined to a bunker beneath the Chancellery in Berlin in 1945.

An Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film, Downfall is based on two books—by a historian and by Hitler's secretary—that meticulously chronicled the end of the Third Reich. As Russian troops encircle Berlin, a delusional, tantrum-throwing Hitler (Ganz, who's scarily perfect) forbids surrender. His top aides, in between drinking binges, plot against him or plan their own suicides. Meanwhile, secretaries and Hitler's mistress Eva Braun sneak outside for smoking breaks. Though long (2 hours, 28 minutes), Downfall keeps you riveted. (Not rated)

HISTORICAL

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters