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The Silence(Das letzte Schweigen)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Germany
·
2010

2h 0m

Director Baran bo Odar
Starring Ulrich Thomsen, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Katrin Sass, Sebastian Blomberg
Genre Crime, Thriller
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13-year-old Sinikka disappears on a hot summer night, with her bicycle as the only trace. It's found in the same spot where a girl was killed 23 years ago. The investigation of Sinikka's disappearance forces those involved in the original case to face their past, and may solve both mysteries.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Total Film by

In his feature debut, Swiss director Baran bo Odar counterpoints the tranquillity of the landscape with the mental torment of everyone involved, and what could have been just another serial-killer whodunit becomes a complex study of grief, obsession and the persistence of guilt.
70

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

[Mr. Odar] allows the story to unfold at a deliberate pace, emphasizing the psychological nuances of the mystery rather than its procedural details, and using graceful wide-screen compositions and haunting sound design to create a compelling mood of menace, anxiety and sorrow.
60

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

In the end The Silence is more like an intriguing work of misdirection than a great crime film, but it has a dreamlike and disturbing undertow you won’t soon forget, and Odar is unquestionably a director to watch.
63

Slant Magazine by Andrew Schenker

The slightly dour tone is the perfect backdrop for the director to skillfully weave together his varied narrative strands in a surprisingly entertaining medley.
80

Time Out by David Fear

As a macro- to micro-exploration of guilt—over giving in to sexual deviancy, its use as a psychological crutch or as something that keeps grief from transforming into closure — The Silence speaks volumes.
85

NPR by Ella Taylor

What you'll carry away is the film's austere sympathy for the struggles of its benighted characters and its bleak conviction that justice and resolution mostly happen in movies.
50

New York Post by Farran Smith Nehme

Director Baran bo Odar puts all this in the service of ghastly clichés. The rape of children has long since grown nauseatingly familiar, in books, in films, in each season of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
100

Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

The Silence is an exemplary German-language thriller, a complex and disturbing examination of guilt, violence and psychological torment that chills us to the core not once but two times over.
67

The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

From moment to moment, The Silence can feel a bit pokey, as it divides its attention among a host of characters and never builds up much urgency about the fate of the second victim, whose body hasn’t been found.