In Tranzit

5.81 h 52 min200718+
In the chaotic aftermath of WWII, a group of German POWs are mistakenly sent to a female-run Soviet prison camp. When the guards are given the task of weeding out the SS officers, they play a bitter game of cat and mouse with the prisoners. Both sides gradually learn that circumstances are not what they seem; prejudice is unavoidable; and love can be found in the most unlikely places.
Tom Roberts
John MalkovichThomas KretschmannVera Farminga
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Daniel Bruhl
Jimmy de BrabantMichael DounaevKami NaghdiKatie Goodson
Phase 4
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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3.6 out of 5 stars

216 global ratings

  1. 39% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 22% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 14% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 15% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Lawrence RobertsReviewed in the United States on August 2, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Not very beleivable, but very touching and romantic
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Great Movie.
Some reviewers here have said this was based on a true story. I did not give it 5 stars because I found it simply unbelievable historically. Not unbelievable that German POWs wound up in a Russian female supervised prison camp, but that the humanity of both the Germans and the Russians could actually emerge in such a setting. The references to the Leningrad siege are absolutely true. Russians did eat rats to survive and near the end, Soviet soldiers had to enforce anti-cannibal laws upon their starving citizens. Nearly 90% of German POW's died in Russian prison camps - however, Russians were treated no better with an equal rate of demise due to disease and starvation in German POW camps. Given the destruction that these armies wreaked upon each other and their citizens, it is hard to believe that people in the military on either side could be so forgiving so soon after the war. That women from the town would sleep with German POWs seems equally unbelievable, since many of them probably lost their husbands to the German army. Now why give it 4 stars? Well the acting was superb as was the cinematography. I shivered from cold throughout the movie, felt the hopelessness of the POWs in that stark and unforgiving camp, the empathy of the doctor and her captain, and even the anger and bitterness of Pavlov. All of the things which I said seemed historically unbelievable are the very things that made this such a heart rending, romantic story. A story perhaps about the true human spirit of kindness and empathy - that gets lost or crushed in the horror of war, but somehow survives it and reemerges when the carnage finally stops. I fell totally in love with the Soviet doctor, and was near tears at her plight in the end. What a wonderful job by that actress. What a wonderful character created by the writers and developed by the director. Yeah, if I could get past the historical concerns, it was a five star movie.
16 people found this helpful
RobinReviewed in the United States on September 26, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
I loved this. The acting is superb
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I loved this. The acting is superb. A lot of people have a problem with the script and pace, but I for one think they did an incredible job all around... they didn't need to put dates, or mark the passage of time- that's the point of the POW experience, time ceased to have meaning because of the endless grueling days. It's important for the viewer to remember that German POWs spent ten years in those camps before returning home. This film showed rather than told. You see the group cohesion among the women guards solidify as first the cruelest guard is taken away, and then again when they lose one of their own. They go from suspicious of one another to working with each other, complicit in the liberties they allow the POWs to take. They are in a lonely area, one can assume that the camp is remote, despite the beginning statement that it was "in Leningrad"... concentration camps in the Soviet Union frequently said "in" the nearest city, but in actuality would be over a day's drive away. So on the one hand, you observe the change in the guard's demeanor, reflective of anyone whose toxic work environment improves with the removal of the worst people. And you can see the friendships among them. Each character has their own mystery, and I liked that- too many movies answer all of the questions, this one leaves you wondering, it's closer to real life. I found myself at times liking Pavlov, at other times despising him- but one should keep in mind that if you objectively observe NKVD employees, many of them couldn't afford to show compassion, because they were just as subject to being purged as the rest of Soviet society. You don't know for sure if the most "likable" German (aside from Peter) is good or bad-there is always that line "I know who you were before" that makes you wonder, and thus, it's conceivable he was lying when he said he didn't know who was guilty of war crimes, and said that he himself hadn't committed any. All you can do is judge them from how they conduct themselves in the camp, and he's certainly honorable enough there. The Doctor is also fascinating- you really want to know about her life with her husband, before he was injured. A picture of him in her office suggests he was highly decorated in the Soviet military before his head injury. He's an inscrutable character, at times seeming to mock Pavlov, other times not even recognizing that the Doctor is his wife. I also think that it was brilliant that they don't disclose the contents of the note- it's something private. As an audience, we are too used to having things spelled out for us. The ending leaves you with the sense of how remote and lonely the camp is, and the lives of the citizens who live near it- noticeably there are almost no men left, and even at the dance you see women partnering with each other. This was a very truthful feeling touch- so many men died, the Soviet losses were far higher than anyone else in WW2, there would have been a strangely empty feeling in the cities as people tried to resume their lives. I only have two contentions with this film. 1) Language. The fact that it's in English doesn't bother me (even if there are slightly different English accents, one can expect that Russian accents vary depending upon where the Russian is from, so if the film is in English, then the characters might as well have slightly different accents, which would reflect different cities of birth) but they should have done a better job of indicating who was bilingual and when the conversations were in German or Russian- this is relevant because it helps understand how much the people around the speakers actually understand. 2) One POW is identified as a war criminal because of a birth mark. Any tattoos and birth marks should have been recorded immediately in the first medical assessment of the prisoners. And the SS men usually had their blood type tattooed on their arm- since it's stated they are looking for SS men, they should have found them more quickly. Granted, there were some who never did that (Mengele comes to mind) but the majority of them did, and if they caught one, the Soviets would most likely have ferreted out the rest. Other than that though, I loved this film. The performances were really incredible, and make you want to know every single character's back story. I would also like to know the "true story" this is based off of, because so far I have been unable to find any books/memoirs that this could have been based on.
8 people found this helpful
DetectorReviewed in the United States on January 1, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
a small film, definitely worth a watch.
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seemed implausible, women guards for male pows, but hey, maybe the soviets were just way ahead of us. t's a study in the aftermath of ww2, in a small bit of the soviet gulag, wherein a few German POW's found themselves isolated, and how soviet intelligence methods worked to expose SS war criminals hiding among them, not incidentally manipulating and brutalizing its own citizens, who had to be "good" Soviets, even at the cost of their humanity. Nonetheless, some managed to bring humanity, decency and beauty into this bleak scenario.
Some Useless GeekReviewed in the United States on March 10, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
As usual, Malkovich does not disappoint.
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John Malkovich is on a very short list of actors whose presence in the cast will cause me to watch any film. This drama is another vehicle worthy of his talent, even though he is only a supporting cast member.

Although this movie's theme is somewhat depressing (post WWII Russia), the storytelling here is terrific and the portrayals by the entire cast are absolutely first rate. I highly recommend this flick for serious viewing and to be added to one's permanent collection for regular watching on an annual or more frequent basis. For reals, doode.
chessnutReviewed in the United States on June 22, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Bad Linguistics
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I'm not a historian so consider my review a grain of salt as it merely reflects one important element of In Tranzit, which is solely based on the lack of authenticity of spoken languages during World War 2.

As if the Russians' English accents weren't poor enough, the Red Army certainly didn't speak English to each other, let alone to German troops, just as Germans would not have spoken a second language amongst themselves. An entire group of German POWs (likely from various divisions) who all knew English is already far fetched. Some Germans and Russians could speak English, but it was largely based on age, education, and rank. Any communication with German soldiers would most likely be handled by a Russian officer or translator during this time period, and despite John Malkovich portraying a Colonel, he spoke perfect English. Perhaps Malkovich received some harsh reviews for his Russian accent in the movie "Rounders" but I'd prefer to hear Teddy KGB over Colonel Pavlov.

The script appears to be catered to a wider audience of Hollywood lovers and anti caption viewers but if such things don't bother you then your enjoyment of the movie should be unaffected. For me, I stopped watching 15 minutes in because I feel the language issue is a huge disservice and discredits the goal of telling a true story. However, if the dialogue was spoken in native tongues, I think most, if not, all of the actors portraying the Soviet Army would've butchered the Russian language and this film would've received deeper criticism along with a dump truck of tomatoes.
SFOPMReviewed in the United States on January 19, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Solid film - well done
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An interesting situation in 1946 USSR. Men and women on the opposite sides, angry, defeated and fed up with the horror, dying and atrocities of war and just want to have normal lives again, even if only for a moment. The best and the worst comes through with the different characters. I only give it 4 stars as I think it could have been developed a bit more. For example, what made Andre go insane? A little more backstory would have been good to develop that character more. But overall an engrossing film.
One person found this helpful
MelissaReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great WWII movie from a different angle
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I mostly watched this because I love Vera Farmiga - definitely my favorite actress - however, the movie was extremely intriguing and definitely worth a watch if you're interested in World War II movies. I loved that it was not a "traditional" WWII movie, in that it is mostly about Russia's involvement and seeing it from a different angle. Sometimes WWII movies get kind of a repetitive nature with the storyline, the characters, etc., but this one was unlike any I have yet to see (not that there aren't others similar, I just haven't seen them).

And of course, Vera Farmiga was amazing, as always.
10 people found this helpful
everyday manReviewed in the United States on May 22, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Remarkably insipid movie (RIM)
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Even the talent of Vera Farmiga and John Malkovich can't make up for a poorly written script and inept directing. Add to that their lackluster performances and you wind up with a very dull movie. Some movies are easily classified as a thriller, drama, romance, comedy, etc. while some are best classified as a RIM. This movie fits the latter category
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