Four Minutes
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An embittered, 80-year-old piano teacher working in a women's prison takes on the most challenging student in her enduring career in director Chris Kraus' low-key musical drama. For years, Miss Krueger (Monica Bleibtreu) has been teaching classical piano to some of the most hardened female prisoners in all of Germany, but upon meeting brooding new inmate Jenny (Hannah Herzsprung), Miss Krueger finally seems to have found the one student she can't break through to -- until she hears Jenny play, that is. A former piano prodigy whose abusive childhood prompted her to neglect her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"So relentlessly oppressive it suffocates its potentially strong themes and characterizations."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Pitched at deafening hysteria, Chris Kraus's film might have fared better in moderato."
‑ Melissa Anderson, Time Out New York
"Potent of the ten best films released in 2008"
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Orange County and Long Beach Blade
"Bleibtreu and Herzsprung embody their characters with such vicious monstrousity that it's hard to forget that they're merely actors."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"... [filled] with minor mysteries and compelling characters."
‑ Andy Klein, Los Angeles CityBeat
"It's part Jerry Lee Lewis and part Glenn Gould."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Four Minutes is simply not to be missed."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"Credit goes to writer-director Chris Kraus and his remarkable leads for making any such complaints about the story's familiar nature moot."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Psychological insights and powerhouse performances combine to form a consistently engaging narrative."
‑ Wade Major, Boxoffice Magazine
"One of the most exciting German movies since Run, Lola, Run"
‑ Geoff Berkshire,
"A women-behind-bars plot seething with lesbianism, incest, hanging and catfights -- on paper, at least, Four Minutes promises more fun than a Roger Corman marathon."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"Although the tone of the film drifts precariously toward the self-serious, writer/director Chris Kraus redeems himself with snatches of dark jailhouse humor and a quiet attentiveness to minute gradations of human feeling."
‑ Julia Wallace, Village Voice
"Underneath the harshness and the severity there is a thick, spongey layer of pure Hollywood schmaltz, and the movie runs on predictable lines."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"The acting is excellent."
‑ Helen OHara, Empire Magazine
"There are the odd few tender moments, but they are only brief interludes between more sturm und drang."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
More reviews for Four Minutes on Rotten Tomatoes