Before the Fall (Napola)
Before the Fall (Napola) (2004)

Albrecht Stein, a youth coming of age in Nazi Germany, is enrolled in the Napola political academy by his father. While being groomed for a membership in the SS, Albrecht becomes disillusioned with the Nazi ideology he at first embraced.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: July 4, 2004
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006
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Critic Score: 68% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Despite a degree of predictability and cliches, the high production values and sincere performances by the leads elevate this coming-of-age story set in Nazi Germany.

Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press

Nearly every point made in Before the Fall, be it about militarism or the secret sexual codes of fascism, is made too obviously, or has been made before, in films from Cabaret to Europa, Europa.

Tom Keogh
Seattle Times

One senses that Gansel took the most egregious stories from his research and stuffed them all into the shapeless script.

Paul Chambers

Quite a nice study of the Germany military schools where young men were most sheltered from the atrocities of World War II. The central character knows what's happening but instead focuses on a better future than his father had. But, still decisions mus

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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle

It asks us to sympathize with teenage boys being groomed for National Socialist glory, and for that reason alone, it absorbs.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

The film is a competent but callow work dealing with a monstrous subject that automatically rejects callowness.

Eric D. Snider

Gansel is to be commended for finding a way to tell a beautiful story simultaneous with indicting his countrymen for their ugliness.

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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle

... hooks you by focusing on Friedrich's very human story.

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Eleanor Ringel Cater
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A fascinating look at a little-known aspect of the Nazi regime.

Jeff Vice
Deseret News (Salt Lake City)

The plotting is too obvious, too contrived and too convenient.

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More reviews for Before the Fall (Napola)

Flixster Audience Score: 84% Flixster User Reviews
Cynthia S.
These are the kinds of movies that people who don't like to read sub-titles miss out on. This was a great original story set right before WWII. It's… More
Lady D'arbanville
An intense Drama of powerful proportions. This is a film about ambition, conformity and above all, questioning beliefs. A film that cannot fail to make an… More
Daisy Maduro
Before the Fall, another German movie about WWII, only this one showed what happened in the German Elite Nazi school for male teenagers in 1942. Students were… More