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Narrowly escaping her volatile ex-husband, Yella flees her small hometown in former East Germany for a new life in the West. She finds a promising job with Philipp, a handsome business executive with whom an unlikely romance soon blossoms. But just as Yella seems poised to realize her dreams, she finds herself haunted by buried truths that threaten to destroy her newfound happiness.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This unusual film has all the appearance of simply being a well-done drama, but there is considerably more on writer-director Christian Petzold's mind."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Strikes a perfect balance between corporate intrigue and metaphysical mystery; his 2007 drama is filled with suspense but ends in delicious ambiguity."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Petzold, a leading light of the current generation of young German filmmakers, succeeds in making the modern world strange again."
‑ Chris Darke, Film Comment Magazine
"The twist ending that softens the blow of this otherwise unique and atmospheric work is not for me to ruin, but it should be said that it shows a chink in the filmmaker's armor"
‑ Chris Cabin,
"Yella clamps down on the viewer with a psychological hold that doesn't immediately reveal itself."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"[A] tightly controlled metaphysical horror movie."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"Yella is a reserved young woman with unrevealed depths of intelligence, larceny and passion. Their gradual revelation makes this more than an ordinary thriller, in great part because of the performance of Nina Hoss in the title role."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"An edgy, intellectual and enigmatic dream-like metaphysical thriller about living in post-reunification contemporary German as a venture capitalist."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A strange blend of corporate thriller and supernatural mystery."
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"This German rip-off of Herk Harvey's 1962 Carnival of Souls replaces the junky eeriness of the original with a disassociated pretentiousness that is more irritating than creepy."
‑ Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"This crisply made thriller begins as a harrowing tale of a young German woman stalked by her deranged ex-husband, but quickly turns into an investigation of the murkier depths of capitalism."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"The German offering Yella begins with an utterly gripping first 15 minutes, follows with a passable drama and ends with a big disappointment."
‑ Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune
"Yella is a strange beast: a twisty, slightly surreal mystery wrapped around the tedious art of the business deal."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"While too lean and unassuming to provide real chills, Yella is a cool, disorienting trip, a meditation on death and the complexity of the human brain."
‑ Stan Hall, Oregonian
"The film feels far too schematic and, even allowing for its unrelentingly mercenary premise, far too cold to inspire much viewer identification."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
More reviews for Yella on Rotten Tomatoes

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