(140)7.41 h 30 min200213+
Based on the acclaimed stage play by Michael Frayn. Long after their deaths, Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg look back on their 1941 meeting in occupied Copenhagen. Old friends, Bohr and Heisenberg revolutionized physics in the 1920s but by 1941 were on opposing sides in the Second World War. The meeting was awkward and fraught with danger so why did Heisenberg return?
Howard Davies
Stephen ReaDaniel CraigFrancesca Annis
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Simon CurtisRichard Fell
BBC Studios
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4.3 out of 5 stars

140 global ratings

  1. 68% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

DetectorReviewed in the United States on September 10, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
watch it.
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It seems like a sedate, set-piece parlor movie with talking heads to amuse us with wit and intellect.
It isn't. It's terrifying.
I'd always thought of Heisenberg as a great maths physicist who sold his soul to the Nazi's to keep working, and that it was largely Nazi dogma about Jewish well as the persecution of Jewish scientists...that prevented them from investing enough to build a bomb . This movie suggests that Heisenberg unconsciously, but in accord with his true nature, strangled the Nazi A-bomb in its crib.
7 people found this helpful
OAJReviewed in the United States on September 27, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
The unbearable lightness of being
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I have to confess: I fast-forwarded through the entire movie, hoping to find the moment, the nugget, the piece of wisdom that would justify its creation. I was terribly disappointed. Disappointed by the didactically patronizing script of throughout the entire movie: trying hard to explain to the "stupid audience" the contemporaneous history of the main characters, and the influence of their discoveries in the future of the world. Dumbed down, as if anyone who was attracted to watch the subjects of this movie would not already know, and would not be familiar with their history; as if anyone watching would not know that measurements of certain systems cannot be made without affecting the system ... This melodrama was an empty gesture by someone trying to use humans as puppets to try to dissect the meaning of the meaningless... Teach them to know... Sadly, a beautifully shot cinematic endeavor wasted...
4 people found this helpful
kevinReviewed in the United States on September 16, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Vetting
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This movie looks at some complex themes in some ways - beyond friends, love, hatred, the morality of science as an act of contributing to war.. Three ghosts really but the themes explored are so visceral. It can be boring at times as the themes ebb and flow. Dark. Scientific. And yet it involves very real themes such as one's otherness as a means of being used by society. And about allowing oneself to be used. If you love science this is for you. If you're a romantic or a dreamer stear very clear. This is like a Sylvia Plathe play with cinematic overtones. (Yes I know Plathe was not a playwright).
3 people found this helpful
Art EdwardsReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant, Beautiful Writing: Very Good Physics
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This is a fascinating movie. A beautiful mixture of the personal, the political and the scientific. Only three speaking roles, but the movie felt complete. However, the discussion of uncertainty was, I thought, incomplete. I think the disdain for Schroedinger was overstated. In fact, Bohr was at least pertly responsible for the correct, probabilistic interpretation of Schroedinger's wave function. If you are stuck in the Marvel or DC universe, I wouldn't recommend this. However, if you find you can like a movie without a single cape, then I strongly recommend this.
4 people found this helpful
George GoldbergReviewed in the United States on September 12, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Too much politics, not enough science, but intelligent dialogue and fine acting
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I didn't see the play, so I can’t make the comparisons that other reviewers have made. I am familiar with the time and somewhat familiar with the physics. With that background, I found the acting excellent, the dialogue intelligent, and the history accurate, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t more science. In the end, this is not a play about science but about politics, a much less interesting subject.
3 people found this helpful
DiscerningReviewed in the United States on September 20, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
I have watched this every few years since it came out
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and I have always found a new angle to think about. I think if you like to mull over why people do the things they do, what their point of view and how they are perceived, especially in the context of WW2, atomic power, the bombing of Japan & the murder of innocents, it is quite stimulating. In terms of easy light entertainment, this isn't really that. I find myself debating what really happened each time I see it, which delights me.
3 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on October 11, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Science and morals of working on nuclear bomb projects in WWII
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Friendship, science, war, and morals. Those are the topics of Copenhagen. It uses the famous meeting of two of the leading physicists of their time Niels Bohr/Stephen Rea and Werner Heisenberg/Daniel Craig in Copenhagen in 1941 to explore those issues. Bohr and Heisenberg were old friends but on different sides during World War II Bohr a Dane and Heisenberg a German. The film comes to deal with the role of scientists in building a nuclear bomb and whether that was right or wrong. It is a very interesting set of conversations even when they go into scientific theory. They make it more interesting by flashing back and forth between 1941 and take their 1941 meeting from different perspectives. During the time the nuclear bomb was considered a means to end a bloody war but obviously since then has become more controversial. Copenhagen throws its hat into the ring into what it might have meant for the scientists working on it.
One person found this helpful
A. GordonReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
So glad I found this
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What a marvelous examination of the 1940s relationship between Heisenberger and Bohr. I'm glad I got to see it. Sorry I never got to see the play but this movie reenactment is worth seeing - for anyone interested in physics and quantum theory and atomic theory and the problem WWII caused for scientists, pitting former friends against either because of politics. All the arguments & disagreements were ell done. And thank heavens this theoretical meeting in the far future ended with understanding and a pleasant parting.
3 people found this helpful
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