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The Young Karl Marx(Le jeune Karl Marx)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France, Belgium, Germany · 2017
1h 58m
Director Raoul Peck
Starring August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Olivier Gourmet
Genre History, Drama

At the age of 26, Karl Marx embarks with his wife, Jenny, on the road to exile. Once in Paris, he meets Friedrich Engels, an industrialist’s son, who has been investigating the struggle of the British working class. Together they will launch the modern labor movement.

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What are critics saying?


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

The great virtue of The Young Karl Marx is its clarity, its ability to perceive the way the eddies of personal experience flow within the wider stream of history.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

This immaculately furnished film sacrifices too much drama in order to expound upon its characters’ ideals, and sacrifices too much exploration of those ideals in order to accommodate for a healthy degree of drama.


The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

An intellectually rigorous but stylistically staid peep at the 20-something author of Capital and The Communist Manifesto, Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx is at once historically impeccable and a filmic disappointment.


The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

From its lifelessly anachronistic English dialogue to its Masterpiece Theatre lighting and production design, The Young Karl Marx tries to filter radical thought through the pace and aesthetics of a middlebrow drama.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

Whatever else you think about Marx and his ideas, it's hard to imagine him as hot-blooded and young. Director and co-writer Raoul Peck, as it turns out, not only understands those contradictions, he is committed to embracing them, which is what makes The Young Karl Marx the audacious, engrossing film it is.


Screen International by Lee Marshall

A spry romp through the seven years leading up to the drafting of the Communist Manifesto, Raoul Peck’s biopic of Karl Marx’s early years feels like a mix between a prestige BBC drama and a Marx For Dummies primer.


Variety by Owen Gleiberman

It’s dutiful, but it’s also superficial and polite, and it commits the genteel sin of the old biopics: It turns its hero into a plaster saint.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

It shouldn’t work, but it does, due to the intelligence of the acting and the stamina and concentration of the writing and directing.


The New Yorker by Richard Brody

The movie’s plush, cozy aesthetic and unintentionally funny melodrama are at odds with its subjects: revolt, theory, originality, and observation.

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