Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas (English Subtitled)

6.12 h 1 min201313+
An epic tale of revenge set in feudalistic 16th century France, Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas stars Mads Mikkelsen as a devout and prosperous horse merchant who assembles an army to seek justice after being wronged by a callous baron.
Arnaud des Pallières
Mads MikkelsenDelphine ChuillotDavid Kross
None available
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Supporting actors
Bruno GanzDenis Lavant
Serge Lalou
Music Box Films
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.1 out of 5 stars

428 global ratings

  1. 56% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 12% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

neReviewed in the United States on April 5, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
I wasn't expecting that! Deep, intelligent, honest! No agenda!
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Excellent actors and actresses. Captivating plot. Intelligent direction. Sensible themes. Round characters. It could have less nudity and shortened sex scene, but it wasn't so bad as the most movies we get today. It does spare us from those commons violent, ridiculous scenes.
Little spoil here. The protagonist's inner conflict and the controversial justice bestowed on him at the end of his trial brought me to a sad, but compliant agreement. I really felt as I was in his skin. It made me think about how I would behave if I was in the protagonist's place. I hated the antagonist and I wanted to kill him, but at the same time, I didn't want to endanger my own daughter and my friends. That was his mistake. Should you do your own justice by yourself? When? How? If not, how to forget, or even forgive someone who hurt you so badly? That's a dilemma. One thing I know, if I was to avenge the murder of a loved one, for sure I would plan it with consideration to my future and the future of the people around me. Great movie, anyway! It touched me.
20 people found this helpful
MTReviewed in the United States on February 15, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
there are things to appreciate here, but I don't think it's a 'really good film
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The prime video presentation suffers a lot from sloppiness: the year was 2013 not 2014 (not a huge difference in this case but to any sort of art, the year matters, and prime always manages to get dates wrong somehow), the language is French, not German, the video's v dark (as in, it’s difficult for someone myopic like me to distinguish faces) and the x-ray is no help because the actors and characters listed are totally wrong.

The movie itself skips plot turns (on what grounds did he assemble his army; who killed a certain person), but I resent that the sacrifice seems to be made in favor of aesthetics. The scenes with Martin Luther were the best parts of the movie to me, but I had to confirm he was Luther by stopping the video and checking Wikipedia. The French (and some form of Spanish) are intelligible to a modern ear, but I think they use some antiquated words, so I’d advise turning on captions unless your fluency is high. Only English captions are available, not ideal.

I think the second hour was significantly better than the first, so if you reach the hour mark and are debating the merits of horse videos, at least wait for the scenes where they discuss morality and applications. To its credit, the movie could have been more violent and made money, so it’s tasteful in a way. And of course, there’s the aesthetic virtue. More could be gleaned during a second watch; but I doubt I will watch it again.
15 people found this helpful
Cole CReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Highly recommended. Extraordinary.
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Beautifully shot, cast, directed, acted... tragic, and frankly, I couldn't finish it because I knew how badly it would end. But you may have a stronger stomach than I.

IMHO, the two best actors working right now are Tom Hardy and Mads Mikkelson. They are similar in that they are both minimalists. Hardy does more with his voice than Mikkelson, who prefers silence to all things, but what a face... the Greek sculptors of antiquity would weep over him, carved from pain and lit with the fires of hell. Mikkelson wisely lets his face and body talk. Watch everything you can of these men and be glad you were alive at the same time.
46 people found this helpful
Shannon K GreeneReviewed in the United States on July 4, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fantastic rendition of a Kleistian masterpiece
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Expect a slow-paced literary masterpiece that absolutely keeps your attention, not an action-packed modern cinematic distraction.

Kleist's novella Michael Kohlhaas is unemotional in tone yet heart-wrenching for the reader; and this film version captures the spirit and seriousness of the literary classic. Des Pallieres and Mikkelsen cannot be faulted in what is a flawless interpretation of the original work.

Kohlhaas in the novella , and Mikkelsen gets this perfectly, has a view of the world that is without cynicism, is realistic, righteous, confident, and imbued with a harmonious and orderly view of right and wrong. For persons who also see the world this way, Michael Kohlhaas will be one of the best literary works you ever read. You begin by feeling what he feels, you respond matter-of-factly as Kleist would have you respond; you don't cry out at injustice but rather, like Kohlhaas, you want to sort out right and wrong and see that justice prevails. Yet as Kohlhaas' sense of righteousness takes its toll on his personal life, you stop feeling along with him and only wish he would see reason., if only for his own sake. As such, it is a work of literature, and here, a film, that makes you better and wiser which is usually the effect that Kleist has.

The film, at least the screenplay, tips more in the direction of portraying Kohlhaas as a hard-hearted fanatic, but Mikkelsen under Des Pallieres' direction rescues that. What seems to be unnecessary umbrage regarding horses as property is also an outrage, never stated outright, at the mistreatment of horses. What seems to be a willingness to bring his family into danger is also a belief that the courts will correct injustice and Kohlhaas will have made the world as orderly and as good as he would have it be for his family. Mikkelsen navigates all of this flawlessly. Kleist's Kohlhaas is halfway between Christ and Captain Ahab; Christ-like because he is willing to die so that good may prevail over evil; and Ahab-like because for all his qualities of righteousness and forgiveness, he cannot forgive the baron, and cannot stop hunting for justice. As stated above, the screenplay leans more toward Captain Ahab while Mikkelsen's performance has no trace of fanaticism, but instead is strong, wise, of sound judgment, and fights for the sake of others. The effect of the film is startling; but again, I think you have to be a person who deeply values order and justice, and fighting for a righteous cause from a position of goodness and without a trace of cynicism, in order for the story to have its most momentous impact. Kohlhaas, in his righteousness, insists, and succeeds, in demanding justice; and with Mikkelsen as Kohlhaas you rather feel sorry for anyone he is opposing!

Finally, Des Pallieres took one of the most innerly beautiful men of literary history and cast him with striking outer beauty in the choice of Mikkelsen for the lead role. The film is somewhat altered from the novella but not in the ways that matter most to an interpretation centered on Kohlhaas himself. It's magnificent.

Most people don't "get" the novella at first; I think this film version is more accessible, but without having lost the Kleist balance of identifying with the main character on the one hand and wanting to stop him and save him from himself on the other hand. Breathtaking cinematography. Historically on point.
8 people found this helpful
BRRReviewed in the United States on March 12, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Recommended French Arthouse film based on von Kleist's classic lit
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If you like arthouse films, you'll enjoy this one immensely, especially if you understand the significance of von Kleist's short literature written in 16th century Germany. It is considered one of the first major pieces of organized literature to break the accepted format and set a new precedent for the construction of story. On the literature alone, I could write volumes about the layers of symbolism present in von Kleist's work & its significance in culture, art, religion, and politics.
But to address the film...

If you are a fan of Mads Mikkelsen you will adore this film (and please disregard the ridiculous comments about this being "a dirty film" among the reviews here as that is the most uneducated, inane response to a film like this that I've read in ages). Mads Mikkelsen is at his finest Dogme 95 Manifesto persona here. The frame and the camera tell the story, observing Mikkelsen's elegant, understated performance as Kohlhaas, a horse trader who is wronged and wants to put things to right. If you're appreciative of Mads's greek god-like face and physique be forewarned if you're female you may lose an ovary during the sex scene between Kohlhaas and his wife. Her character doesn't have many lines, but one of the best lines in the movie is hers at the beginning of that scene, "The first time I saw you I thought to myself, 'he is so beautiful that I would drink his love from a pig's trough.' " One sympathizes.

If you're looking for a film that has a happy, Hollywood-style ending, this movie is not it. Like many European films, it's more realistic and certainly, the tale of Kohlhaas is a tragedy that occurs when a man's value system clashes with the corruption around him and he pays the ultimate price for demanding others meet his value system's requirements. When he cannot align others' behavior and response to his set of values, the consequences are dire and tragic, affecting not only his own life and business, but his entire family pays an awful price.

This film's beauty is languorous and so is its pacing. If you think this will be an action/adventure, you'll only be partly right as the pacing doesn't pick up until more than halfway through and even then it's not a break-neck pace like your typical adventure, this is a true arthouse film and a true tragedy.

I had some minor issues with the editing (clarity) and the sound (too low at times), but overall this is a wonderful movie very worthwhile time spent. Beautifully acted and filmed. For arthouse and Mikkelsen fans, highly recommended.
3 people found this helpful
PandaReviewed in the United States on May 9, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Quiet, yet powerful
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It is rare to see a film depict an era so vividly you can feel it. The lack of mood music, the balancing of words versus actions. Everything was tuned so well for this story.

If you're looking for 'Kingdom of Heaven' or similar action and pacing, this isn't for you. If you want a well told tragedy, find yourself a quiet setting and appreciate this experience. I watched with English subtitles, and honestly, the emotion behind the French words combined with the facial expressions conveyed much more than the words themselves.

Quality TV. Highly recommend watching!
6 people found this helpful
DetectorReviewed in the United States on April 7, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Competent historical film. Worth watching if you relax a little.
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Well ordered society ruled by an enlightened, Christian monarch suffers a failure of justice. Then a very near regicide ia averted, justice is served, the monarchy is preserved, and peace and social order are restored, and pious Christianity is maintained. A happy ending, almost. Excellent film, not the best recipe for folks who love furious action, or even much drama. It's thoughtful, and probably more true to the time and place pictured than many period or historical films.
6 people found this helpful
VegastarReviewed in the United States on July 25, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Very hard to sit through
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The title "Age of Uprising" is very misleading: I was expecting something more action packed. This is a very slow movie. It's very "art house-y" in how slow it is, and how sparse the dialogue is. I had to pause the movie 3 times because I just lost patience with it. But that's not the most questionable part of the movie for me. What really annoyed me was that the director (or scriptwriter) skipped over scenes that could provide context, and visually framed things in an "inappropriate" way. Here are 2 examples: in one scene, one of Kolhas's soldier is brought to justice for pillaging during a battle, and there's no absolutely no lead up to it: we don't see the pillaging that led up to that scene or any foreshadowing that the guy would pillage...The second example is one of the character dies, but his death is shot in a wide angle shot, and so I wasn't sure if it was that character who died, or if it just was a random soldier. So I feel like the movie was ambiguous in a very unnecessary way.
I give it 3 stars because it's not a terrible film: I like the lead actor, I understand the message it's trying to bring across, I just wish it wasn't so goddam boring.
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