John Rabe
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Oscar-winning director Florian Gallenberger explores the crucial role that foreigners played in helping countless Chinese escape a fate worse than death in this period docudrama concerning the 1937 invasion of Nanking by the ruthless Japanese Imperial Army. Casually known by historians as the "Rape of Nanking," the relentless assault on the then-Chinese capitol found countless men, women, and children slaughtered with a ferocity that shocked the entire world. Yet, despite the violence that surrounded them, some people refused to sit by silently as the innocents perished. One of those… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is a tale of a true hero, even if in its minor details it's less than entirely true. For a movie with ambitions as big as "John Rabe," that doesn't just make it good. That makes it epic."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"One of the main virtues of John Rabe is to demonstrate that, however much we know about the worst of all wars, it still has little-known corners that can amaze us."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"It's worth seeing this feature about the heroic figure of John Rabe, even though the movie leaves much to be desired dramatically."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Despite a reliance on docu-drama contrivances, a reasonably intelligent, impressively mounted account of a little-known act of twentieth-century heroism."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"An often contrived, melodramatic and pedestrian war drama slightly elevated by Ulrich Tukur's captivating performance, exquisite production values and a modicum of suspense."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"Thanks to Tukur, what we get here is still something: a stunning portrait of a good man caught in a widening inferno."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Despite its gruesome scenes of hundreds of Chinese prisoners of war being lined up and executed and its ostentatious shots of severed heads, the movie is less than indelible."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"A serious, large-budget treatment of Rabe's exploits and a moving, terrific film about trying to maintain one's decency amidst horrors."
‑ Burl Burlingame, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
"One of the few films so far this year that deserves to be called an epic. Great acting and superb sets and cinematography make this a great success."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Portrait of altruism in the face of staggering odds by a righteous group of foreigners, movingly and passionately enacted as full individuals, not plaster saints."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"Drawn from Rabe's diaries, the film is rich in telling and ironic details."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"There are many powerful moments, including a mass beheading, before the film turns into a sappy, Frank Capra-esque affair."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"John Rabe preserves history while painting a portrait of a most complicated hero."
‑ Christian Toto, What Would Toto Watch?
"Deftly incorporated into the narrative is archival footage from the Nanking Massacre -- a stark reminder of the horrifying true events on which the film is based."
‑ Annlee Ellingson, Moving Pictures Magazine
"Reduced to obscurity after the war, Rabe deserves to be remembered for his role in shielding hundreds of thousands in a "safety zone" on company grounds. But the film will help little in securing his legacy."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
More reviews for John Rabe on Rotten Tomatoes