The Lives of Others

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 2006

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Movie Summary

Director:
Unknown
Released:
2006
Rating:
R
The Lives of Others is a 2006 German film that won the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 79th Academy Awards. The story takes place in the German Democratic Republic in 1984 and featured Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muhe) as a secret service agent who is assigned to conduct surveillance on a famous playwright and his lover. Originally Weisler intends for his monitoring to last only one night, but his curiosity gets the best of him. As Wiesler becomes more involved in their lives, he actively spends his waking hours watching their every movement. He becomes entangled in their romance and lives vicariously through them, so much so that his own life becomes of less importance. His involvement in their lives, however, proves to fatal for them, altering his life forever. Written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the film was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    The easy, complacent distance that informs much historical filmmaking is almost entirely absent from this supremely intelligent, unfailingly honest movie.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    It convincingly demonstrates that when done right, moral and political quandaries can be the most intensely dramatic dilemmas of all.

  • 80

    Variety Derek Elley

    Superbly cast drama? that looks to be a solid upscale attraction wherever the special chemistry of good writing and performances is appreciated.

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    Themes

    Historical, Foreign Language, Thrillers