Downfall

 (2,956)8.22 h 35 min2005R
Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.
Directors
Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring
Bruno GanzAlexandra Maria LaraCorinna Harfouch
Genres
DramaDocumentary
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Studio
Shout! Factory
Rating
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Violencefoul languagedrug use
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
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Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

2956 global ratings

  1. 80% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

The Video WarriorReviewed in the United States on February 18, 2016
5.0 out of 5 starsBest movie I've ever seen about the final days in the bunker.
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Superb movie. I've seen two other movies about the last days in the bunker. One with Anthony Hopkins and another with Alec Guinness which were both very good but this movie puts them in the dust.
Given "Downfall" is all in German and so well-acted it seems like it was shot "live" in those actual days. Its subtitled of course but you adjust quickly and it doesn't distract from the move in any way. Many of the actors bare striking resemblances to the real characters. I have read many reviews that complain this movie humanizes Hitler more but I don't really agree. I think it shows him for what he was and in no way makes him a sympathetic character. If you like well done movies and World War II interests you then I recommend this movie above all others about the last days in the bunker.
191 people found this helpful
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on August 3, 2019
1.0 out of 5 starsEnding was totaly false. Soviets rampaged with murder and endless raping
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At the end when they were walking peacefully thru the throngs of Soviet Russians, it couldn't have been more wrong. This is revisionist re-writing of history and is despicable. The world needs to remember the horrible treatment all Germain women endured at the hands of the Soviet Russian captors. Some survivors today still tell the stories of rape and torture at the hands of the Russians. Never.....forget the truth
66 people found this helpful
D. J. LeedhamReviewed in the United States on March 24, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsRemember Me But Forget My Fate
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"When I am laid in earth, Remember me, but ah, Forget my fate." -- Purcell - Dido And Aeneas

This was the background music through much of the movie. Purcell. Not Bach. Not Wagner. Otherwise some Lehar or other operetta music.

This is an overwhelming movie. Unlike so many historical or WW2 movies it does not feel anachronistic. The generation that lived through this time is all gone now. And the one that followed immediately afterwards (mine) is on its way out. I can say this is as close to "real" as we are likely to see in popular format.
82 people found this helpful
Lawrence RobertsReviewed in the United States on February 24, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsSome humans are monsters, but monsters can be human - sometimes
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There are so many excellent reviews of this on here - perhaps I am just redundant. I liked it so much though that I felt compelled to review it. I didn't like the ending, and agree with some of the critical reviews that a pretty German woman in an SS uniform is simply allowed to walk through hundreds of Soviet soldiers seems so totally out of character with that army, not just in Berlin, but in a hundred other places and a dozen other cities, even in the city of one of their allies (Mukden, China). Obviously, that must be the way Junge told the story, but whether she is hiding some brutality so horrible in her memory that she cant bring it out, or whether she just sugar coated it for book sales and that she actually never walked through a group of Soviet soldiers - none of us can know. It is simply unbelievable to me. Having said that, I am not going to back away from the overall excellence of the movie. Some have been critical of portraying Hitler as having some bit of humanity. Well, one way monsters succeed as monsters is to show enough humanity to those close to them to entice total, cult devotion. I felt that showing his extreme swings between being kind to a secretary, charming to his lover, and nice to children exactly captured the personality of one who could have had the support of so many, basically decent, but so "sucked into him". His rage, his self righteous anger against Jews, making any kind of question of him personally a crime against the nation, etc. was the monster side of him. I felt that it was done extremely well by the actor who portrayed him. Yet, his soft voice, offering his hand to a secretary to ease her nervousness, and a very deep affection for Eva Braun brought out the human side very well. I did not object to that portrayal of Hitler as having some ordinary human kindness because - the only way we allow humans to become monsters, is that we see the human side of them until it is too late. Goebbels also was shown to have a human side - but again, I think this is necessary for us to understand. Humans that are monsters, appear to be human until they do the things that only monsters do. Imagine, mothers out there, please imagine, Magda Goebbels, putting sedatives in the mouths of her children, so that her husband and Hitler's doctors could kill them in their sleep with cyanide. I know, this is another falsehood in the movie - the mother did not directly kill her children, but she did incapacitate them so that her husband could force Hitler's personal doctor to end their lives. I want the personal side of these people portrayed, that of Hitler, the adulation and love of Eva Braun, the total devotion of Hitler's inner circle until the bitter end - and even then Goebbels stayed with him, the devoted mother who insisted on making her children perfect, but killed them when her Fuhrer faded. Yes. I want the humanity of all of the evil people in the Third Reich presented front and center - not because they were humane - but because that is what sucked an entire nation into their unbelievable cruelty. Great movie. Loved the acting. Too many did it so well, that it adds too much to an already too long review.
18 people found this helpful
Dexter LecterReviewed in the United States on May 11, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsMy favourite war movie.
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This film isn't amazing for shooting scenes or bombings. It's wonderful for anticipation and unsettling moments. You know how it's going to end but you don't know the intensity that went on during the last couple hours of his life. And it's in german which add to the realism. The actor who plays Hitler's is a little too chubby but asides from that he nails it. If your into subtitles and a war drama you'll definitely enjoy this one. I give it a 8 outta 10. And it didn't get a 10 out of ten simply because it's not crazy entertaining but done perfectly for what it was supposed to be.
35 people found this helpful
PASpaydReviewed in the United States on January 31, 2014
5.0 out of 5 starsThe German Film and the Best I've ever seen.
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This story of the last 2 weeks of Hitler's Third Reich is the best WWII film I've ever seen. It combines several stories: Traudl Junge's book is closely followed in her story as Hitler's Secretary (see her film and book), then the story of a Wehrmacht/SS doctor who tries to care for the civilians and wounded in the Russian attacks on Berlin, the story of a Hitler Youth boy who's conflicted as his world and idol of the Fuehrer implodes, the story of the last days of the bunker. Fast paced and from sources who lived thru the experience. Well done. Bruno Ganz' portrayal of Hitler is chilling - not a parody of Hitler - rather a multi-dimensional character who is believable for the first time since anyone ever attempted this difficult role. Subtitled in English, I found I've watched this story many times, as I learn the dialogue, then I go and watch the actors, their expressions and the interplay of the others. The supporting actors playing Eva Braun, the Goebbels family, Goering, Himmler, Speer, the secretaries, the medical doctor, and the young boy are incredible - a plus to this film is a discussion of the actors about the heinous characters they portray. The director discusses the background of doing this film - the FIRST totally German film about the last days of the Reich and Fall of Berlin.
92 people found this helpful
olnavy89Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2020
4.0 out of 5 starsBeware the people who think they know what's good for you.
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I am glad that Amazon Prime has made this film available.
I'm an armchair WWII historian, with credentials ranging from hours of conversations with WWII veterans and Holocaust survivors, to devouring books and films on the subject. Therefore, I cannot claim with authority which aspects of the film are historically accurate, and which are romanticized, or revisionist.
I can, however, make this observation, which serves both as an accolade to the craftsmanship of this film, and as a rebuttal to the biggest criticism that people had for this film when it first came out: that it humanized Adolf Hitler. That said, the biggest villains aren't vaudevillian archetypes “who love to be bad"; instead they are individuals who truly believe that they're fighting the good fight.
Beware the people who think they know what's good for you.
9 people found this helpful
Elisa 20Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2021
5.0 out of 5 starsAmazing portrayal of Hitler
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I've read many books about Hitler, including all of Albert Speer's memoirs and many of his interviews. But there are few answers there. We still ask ourselves today how did a man do such monstrous things by appealing to nationalism, self-interest, and religious scapegoating? How did a man like Adolf Hitler--an undistinguished man in many ways--not only gain power but hold it--and, with it, keep the loyalty of millions of Germans, including people like Speer who were not fanatical Nazis, but ambitious, amoral opportunists?

This film--particularly Ganz's nuanced portrayal--shows Hitler as I imagine he really would have been. Not always a raging bully. Not always someone who ruled by force and fear, but also someone who could, when he wished, be soft-spoken, gentle, considerate, even charming. It's a brilliant performance, but uncomfortable to watch because it's a reminder that evil isn't always packaged as a raving madman whose hateful ideology and should be obvious to everyone, always. It's a reminder that the truth is often far more subtly packaged, even though its just as dangerous. I don't think there will ever be a better portrayal of Adolf Hitler --and his final emotional, physical and mental collapse (as Germany collapses at the end of the war)--than the one Ganz gives in "Downfall".
4 people found this helpful
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