M (1931)

Fritz Lang's classic early talkie crime melodrama is set in 1931 Berlin. The police are anxious to capture an elusive child murderer (Peter Lorre), and they begin rounding up every criminal in town. The underworld leaders decide to take… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 31, 1931
DVD Release Date: October 20, 1998
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A landmark psychological thriller with arresting images, deep thoughts on modern society, and Peter Lorre in his finest performance.

Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

Lang's movie is that rare thing, a nail-biting soul-searcher. While M steers clear of analyzing deviance, it is startling in its musings on which punishment fits an inhuman crime.

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out

This is a movie that dares to sympathize with a sick person, that risks making the monster real and us (in an era when Germany's cinema was still shellacked in canted angles and fanciful shadows).

Cole Smithey

[VIDEO ESSAY] A precursor to the serial killer and policier genres, "M" is first and foremost a suspense thriller made all the more gripping because the identity of the killer is revealed in the first act.

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Pauline Kael
New Yorker

Our identification with [Lorre] as a psychopath is so complete it's hard to believe that while appearing before Fritz Lang's cameras in the daytime, he was, at night, acting as a comedian in a farce.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The moral issues are complex and deftly handled: Lorre is at once entirely innocent and absolutely evil. Lang's detached, modified expressionist style gives the action a plastic beauty.

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Mark Kermode
Observer (UK)

Lang's razor-sharp dissection of crime and punishment never puts a foot wrong.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Few films are gripping and effective 82 years after their original release, but this one surely is.

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Variety Staff

An extraordinary, good, impressive and strong talker. Again fine work by Fritz Lang, and his wife and helper, Thea von Harbou.

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Peter Bradshaw

It is a cousin to the early Hitchcock of The Lodger, and I have always found something even something faintly Ealingesque about its cynicism and satire.

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More reviews for M

Flixster Audience Score: 95% Flixster User Reviews
Alex roy
Fritz Lang crafts a stunning work of dramatic thrills with his 1931 film M. This being his first talkie after years of making silent films, Lang's… More
Dan Schultz
A masterful exercise in suspense from the decorated Fritz Lang, concerning a child murderer (Peter Lorre) and how his killing spree angers not only the families… More
Melvin White
Hans Beckert: What do you know about it? Who are you anyway? Who are you? Criminals? Are you proud of yourselves? Proud of breaking safes or cheating at cards?… More
paul oh
Awesome???? This film is not only impressive for a 30's film but still gripping today. Loved the dark ending and Lorre's acting!
Kristijonas Fussman
A meticulously crafted German crime-drama. Peter Lorre's performance is haunting and inspired, and only complements the sharp screenplay, complex story arc… More
Tsubaki Sanjuro
It's a movie you will watch mostly for it's historical importance, it's cinematic techniques, and for Lorre's performance. Too many scenes… More