The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others (2006)

A man who has devoted his life to ferreting out "dangerous" characters is thrown into a quandary when he investigates a man who poses no threat in this drama, the first feature from German filmmaker Florian Henckel von… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: March 23, 2006
DVD Release Date: August 21, 2007
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Unlike more traditional spy films, The Lives of Others doesn't sacrifice character for cloak and dagger chases, and the performances (notably that by the late Ulrich Muhe) stay with you.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The Lives of Others is a powerful but quiet film, constructed of hidden thoughts and secret desires.

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Tom Long
Detroit News

A political thriller that's consistently as inventive as it is creepy.

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Richard Porton
Cinema Scope

Cinematic smugness has a fatal impact on the delineation of Wiesler's quietly heroic political calisthenics and The Lives of Others' supposedly uplifting denouement.

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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film is a melodrama in a minor key, quietly affecting, quietly chilling, quietly quiet. It captures the drab architecture of totalitarianism, the soul-dead buildings of a soul-dead state.

Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press

Few would deny that The Lives of Others is true to its self, and in its depiction of human nature -- and human spirit.

Dorothy Woodend
The Tyee (British Columbia)

The worst crime that this film has to offer is pure old simple dumbness, paper-thin characters, and a plot that leans heavily on artiness to give it the look of a more serious thinking story.

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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle

Its suspense builds on the fragile and nuanced business of emotional rebirth.

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Jim Emerson

Watch it, and you may get the feeling it's also watching you.

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David Gritten
Daily Telegraph (UK)

Reopens our eyes to the cruelties and soul assassinations that were carried out daily in the name of state socialism.

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More reviews for The Lives of Others

Flixster Audience Score: 96% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Reminded me of Terry Gilliams's Brazil but with none of the the fantasy elements. And a lot more somber. Somberer. (?) Any one else get that?… More
xGary Xx
A member of the East German secret police who is investigating a famous playwright and suspected subversive grows ever more sympathetic towards the people he is… More
Spencer S.
Detailing the lives of those in the Communist controlled GDR, "The Lives of Others" succinctly shows the humanism of those in the Stasi (secret German… More
Christian C
Chilling and powerful. Yes -- it's in German. Get over it.
Chris Weber
Before going Hollywood with The Tourist, writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck delivered the goods with this stellar Cold War drama. The time is… More
Bruce Bruce
A good film, true story??? But it shows how the GDR was like before the wall came down. Great acting, Had to pat attention and read the subtitles. Glad I rented… More