A beautiful film. freo, you really are missing the point, btw. :-)
A good movie as much as about how a harsh, cold man can, through becoming deeply involved in the lives of others, find empathy, compassion and respect for people as about life in Eastern Germany during socialist control with policing by the Stasi. A heart warming and factual drama. Well worth a watch.
German language film with English subtitles. Several extra features also worth viewing.
I obviously have got to disagree with "freo", see his review below. BUT I also loved this film, 5 vstars, no doubt about it. Brilliant plot and acting, sensitive and subtle masterpiece. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to anybody indeed! Great stuff!
a truthfully written and acted film of life when the people of the 'far left' take over - think Bob Brown and the greens - and slowly, political correctness and the looming threat of violence or imprisonment takes all your 'taken for granted' freedoms away - and you do as your told.....or else. Pray that this never comes to Australia.
The really frightening thing about the intelligence system in the former East Germany is that it is only recent history; it doesn’t take much imagination to think it could still be happening and not only with foreign governments. This is a great film that grips you from the opening scene. It works on many levels, script, direction and performances. Not one character is one-dimensional or without purpose even to the little boy in the elevator. The script is tightly woven, even seemingly inconsequential incidents are intricate to the overall plot and it is filled with surprises. The direction is tight, sensitive and pacey. The characters are not static, they all have a journey and none more so than the protagonist.
This film is a remainder of the cruelty of war and the distrust which permeates still throughout the world. Great and realistic acting.
Well acted, specially the role of the senior Stasi agent who runs the surveillance on the playright and his girlfreind as he begins to understand what despicable job he does spying on good people going about their lives.
Without a doubt one of the best movies that has been released in the past 10 years. In a world where the major sector of the movie industry has really gone downhill, this movie is truly refreshing. It's artful, engaging, respects the intelligence of the audience and treats the topic at hand in the most proper manner. This political thriller from Germany is a true testament to film history that I see being looked at as a classic one day.
Excellent. No wonder it won so many awards (see "The Making of" in the extras). This is one of those movies where everything comes together to create perfection.
totally unexpected, such a good movie, you felt all the things that was going on.
excellent, good suspense and great acting
Absolutely brilliant movie.
great story, but the dvd itself had a melt down half way through so we never say the end...!
This is my benchmark for a perfect movie, completely flawless and powerful.
Brilliant acting, fantastic story. Even though subtitled there was never a problem following it. Beautiful story.
What a fantastic film. Well written, great characters and an interesting look at how the Stasi watched over the general populace of East Berlin.
One of the best movies i've seen in a long while, totally recommend this one. 5 stars !
wonderful story, good movie.
An outstanding movie from start to finish with superb photography and musical score. A story line that just grips you in there..the time just flies!
Acting was brilliant...and having been in 1980s eastern Europe..the sense of bareness, cold and darkness was just perfect.
Thoroughly recommend this with 5 stars!
Watch this movie. Even if you don't like subtitles, or don't know much of the historic context. This movie and it's characters grow on you as you watch it. The drama, the suspense and nice touches of comedy are all superbly achieved. One of the best movies of the last 10 years.
Really enjoyed this film and highly recommend it. Great story and beautifully shot.
What an outstanding film. A must see.
There's not many films I would give 5 stars to but this deserves it for many reasons. A story about how humans can change for the better, a beautiful love story, redemption, incredible suspense and a very satisfying ending. It is no wonder it won best foreign language film a couple of years ago. Saw it at the movies and seeing it again on DVD was as satisfying as the movie experience.
Having visited East Berlin before The Wall came down, I was very impressed the accuracy with which it was depicted - almost no cars on the streets and very dark. Looking back with hindsight this era of history seems so ridiculous. I have seen this movie twice and loved it both times.
Brilliant film! One of the best I've seen for a long time. So well done on every level - clever directing. Great acting. Compelling story. Also very interesting to listen to the interviews with Director/Writer
What a great movie. I am German and this is easily one of the best movies I have ever watched. The depth of it, something a Hollywood Movie hardly ever achieves.
One of the best movies I have seen in years. A fascinating and absorbing movie, brilliantly written and acted. Absolute must see for anyone who loves quality cinema.
a 9/10 movie ..read all the reviews and believe this is a great view...
Excellent movie, well worth watching. Persevere through the first 15-20 minutes as it builds up. Good story and great characters.
What a film. Meticulously written over 5 years. Great direction. Great acting. I loved this film. And what a music score!
Set in the 1980's, The Lives of Others is a story about communist East Germany and the Stazi (East German Secret Service). An East German writer is placed under surveillance as are many other writers during the time of the Berlin Wall. Unbeknown to him, the Stasi follow his every move and determine if he is the writer of an anti-East German communistic letter which is smuggled across the border into West Germany. Brilliantly written and well acted, this move is an eye opener of what a development two countries have made to be reunified back into one. Germany has certainly had its downfalls in the last century, but has picked itself up to be a powerhouse nation.
The first 20 minutes or so are a bit boring, which may make viewers stop watching, but the other 2 hours worth the shot!
Foreign films are great. Clearly an original story, and even better - it has a twist.
Pace is fairly slow but hits it's stride about a fifth into the film. Great acting, interesting characters, especially the observer. Never too sure what side he's playing but i guess that's another reason to appreciate the film.
A good Sunday night film. Just watch it a bit early because it's kind of long and you really need to pay attention at the beginning to pick up all the necessary details. Makes the rest of the watch more enjoyable.
Didn't realise that it was in a different language - can't watch movies with sub-titles - annoys me....
This movie is stunning. The drama is very understated, but it is still an emotional journey. I love watching movies about the GDR, and this one is special because while it portrays the oppression and misery, it is also somewhat sympathetic towards the individuals that found themselves caught up in the politics and the system.
Wonderful movie, beautifully understated.
Easily the film of 2006, just loved every minute of it.
Fascinating and intriguing movie, highly recommended.
Even some though guy if you sprinkle a little humanity...
flawless movie making, every time you expected the movie to finish it moved to another unexpected area. One of the best of 2006.
One of the best films I have seen. I recommend it highly!
A really good film, with one of the best conclusions I have ever seen. But even as a lover of world cinema there was a lot of reading to be done (subtitles), but I can hardly call that an issue, its the film itself we're here to see. Do yourself a favour and see it.
That film is a gem, a Down to Earth story with an insight of the inhumanity of dictatorships.
I wanted to turn off in the first 10 minutes not knowing if it would be interesting but then I was I was hooked.
Not many films we see these days have such an impact and make the viewer be part of the story.
Freedom of speech is just so important. Shows how a State can try and impose it's power on normal people, but good will win in the end. Shocked at the betrayal to save a career, but thought the message of thanks at the end was a brilliant way to end the film. Here's to the importance of Freedom!!!!
An interesting look at life under Communism with its everpresent atmosphere of fear and betrayl. But even though we may be betrayed by those we love, there may be good acts by those we fear. Measured and well acted, it doesn't sensationalise the subject.
What a masterpiece on so many levels. The oscar was well deserved. It was beautifully shot, beautifully written and such a good storyline. Above all, it was an eye opener into what life would be like in a dictatorship. I watched it three times because I was so fascinated!
A really great foreign movie. It makes you realise how lucky we are in our own environment. It would be dreadful living under the conditions in Germany before the wall came down.
a strong movie, with a real sight how it was to live in the DDR.
I found this a most enjoyable movie that has left me still thinking about parts of the movie two days later. The cast gave solid performances and you could easily get a feel of what life was like in East Germany.
As it is slightly long I would reccommend allowing plenty of time to watch it, but make sure you do!
Excellent very true portrayal of how people were treated during this time.
Long and boring. I found myself doing other things while the movie was on.
Great movie with intriguing storyline. You won't find Hollywood producing anything like this.
Brilliant movie...a 'must see'.
excellent one of the best movies in the gnere.
I can't remember when I have last seen such a fascinating movie: subject, acting, script, "twist" and every other aspect I can think of! A movie to make you appreciate you are alive, living in an era of comparative freedom and good fortune. I defy anyone NOT to enjoy this!
I didn't expect it to be sentimental! A gorgeous socialist love story..
Just fantastic. Loved the whole film and especially the ending. Uplifting, fascinating, and sad with plenty of plot twists. German with subtitles. Highly recommended.
This film is amazing! The script is basically flawless with not a shot or word or hair unnecessary through the entire movie.
The performances are perfect. Set and costume design are also well thought out. Everyone should see this...
I am no longer jaded about modern day film...
A powerful movie. It impacts because we like to think that this kind of play with the life of others ' for the good of the society' is only part of the past. We tend to forget that it our daily lives in western society. The moral of our elected governments does not extend beyond the pocket.
An outstanding foreign movie about the dreaded Stahsi secret police. Good Stuff!
An engrossing story of how politics seeps into everyone’s life, willingly or not, yet basic human compassion and decency win out above it all – sometimes. While the evils of East Germany may now seem as grotesque and long ago as Nazi Germany, in truth it’s all very recent and these same people are now part of our ‘us’, as the end of the film nicely illustrates.
4 stars for making me aware of what impact the Berlin wall had on people. I had no idea...
We thoroughly enjoyed the movie - well acted and engrossing and gave insights into how truly horrific life could be in East Germany.
Refreshingly non-hollywood and a very moving story - incredible that it's based on the real thing! The movie is not too engaging, though. I don't know if it's the acting, that gives you the impression that 'it's not so serious'. As if there's not an incredible amount of punishment if the dissident is caught by the Stasi. See this movie if you have a spare evening - it's quite good.
Eye opening movie with a feel good ending. Interesting for anyone who ever visited the East before the wall came down.
I found this a disappointing film that failed to live up to the hype of Academy Award winner. The story is simple: Government Minister falls for an actress, orders the Stasi to 'monitor' her playwright lover and the man tasked with the task begins to question his orders. In fact a story that simple did not need more than 2 and a half hours in the telling. This should have been a good film but it portrays the East Germany we've come to know from cinema: dark, fear-filled, colourless, full of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, a place where you're either in the Party or 3 minutes away from committing suicide. To me it felt like a parody of a country more interested in showing a politically correct view of the past than in portraying reality and it was impossible to develop any feelings for the cardboard cut-out characters. Don't waste your time.
A wonderful movie that investigates the power and sources of redemption. Probably more a 4 1/2 star film for me. Great performances and if you know that old East Berlin even more redolent.
Excellent - great insight into the period
4+ Well acted impressive emotive movie. No doubt still going on today in some countries. How lucky we are to live in Australia !!! Highly recommended
One of the best movies I have seen in ages. Beautifully done, every shot styled without it feeling artificial. Understated but immensely powerful. Excellent acting. Highly recommended.
A film of great humanity and beaty which exalts the role of the artist in society.
Top movie - almost! The last section was damaged (reported separately) so unable to appreciate fully the final outcome.
Just a fantastic film - gripping to watch, beautifully made, subtly observed, and very satisfying to watch. Best film I've seen for ages.
Superb. I have heard that there are plans to make a Hollywood version of this film - I wonder if they can do it justice. Wonderfully acted and shot.
This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. A subtle masterpiece.
A truly sensitive and brilliant film of life in the German DemocraticRepublic before the wall came down.
Superb film. If you are only ever going to watch one German film in your life watch this one. Rightly won the Oscar.
Excellent film about the antics of the Stasi before the wall came down - thank God I've never been under that much scrutiny - it certainly makes you appreciate the democratic freedom we take for granted.
A truly excellent movie; touching, well drawn characters engage the viewer totally. Such a relief after so many trite and predictable Hollywood films but be prepeared to put in the work and read the subtitles!
This was interesting, amazing to see how difficult it would have been to live under such terrible circumstances.
An outstanding movie, suspenseful and ultimately uplifting.
A wonderful screenplay backed by superb directing and acting.
Thoroughly engrossing. Very well made.
This is an excellent film, one that really lets you enter the skin of the life behind the iron curtain.
Too depressing to watch. Turned it off after 30 minutes.
Great movie ... interesting to see what they had to cope with ... prob the best movie I have seen on this topic
this might off been a great movie as all the comments say, but it was subtital and i had no idea that it was and i dont like those type off movies. so i have to say that i didnt watch this movie to comment on a review
An excellent film set in Germany about the Stasi police and its operations monitoring their citizens prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Gives good insight to the oppression of these regimes on ordinary people. Well acted and very evocative of this period in Germany's history with authentic surviellance equipment used in the filming. The extras on the disc is worthwile viewing. Very deserving of the many awards it has received.
A highly emotive movie which demonstrated what life would have been like under a totalitarian regime, where every move is monitored. Well acted and full of pathos.
Wonderful movie- loved the ending.
best film we have seen for years,great acting,orgianl plot,so intense,loved the ending,do not miss this
Just amazing! Just brilliant.
We enjoyed this view into life in East Germany. Lovely pace, interesting unfolding of events. Not over-explained.
What a brilliant movie! I can’t say enough superlatives about this cinematic masterpiece that captures the oppression of the German Democratic Republic in 1984 set against human courage and compassion. The film examines the rule of fear as exemplified by the Stasi, the East German secret Police, and man’s ability to defeat it in ways that are not predictable. There are periods of gripping tension building to a series of pseudo conclusions before a final heart rending and, I must say, tearful resolution. Don’t fail to see this one!