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Good Bye, Lenin!

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Germany

2003

Rated R • 2h 1m

Director Wolfgang Becker

Starring Daniel Brühl, Katrin Sass, Chulpan Khamatova, Maria Simon

Genre Comedy, Drama

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In 1989, Alex is living with his mother and sister before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Suddenly, his mother, a loyal member of the Socialist Unity Party, falls into a coma and misses the fall of the Wall. Asserting that any shock or change could cause his mother to have a heart attack, Alex and his sister must pretend that the wall is still standing.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Elsa Bauerdick Profile picture for Elsa Bauerdick

This is a wonderful movie. The acting is excellent and the story rings true even to someone who has never lived through the end of soviet rule in East-Germany. A little melodramatic at times, but it always rings true and is a heartbreaking portrayal of familial love.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

70

Film Threat by

Relies heavily on strong performances from Brühl and Sass to make the illusion believable.
50

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Much too long. It starts to feel like a flabby, dramatic version of the first "Austin Powers" movie, another exercise in living anachronism as a storytelling device. By the time the picture's final note about German reunification is struck, "Lenin!" has raised a wall of indifference for the audience.
70

Variety by Eddie Cockrell

This triumph of historical verisimilitude in the service of solid storytelling requires no detailed knowledge of the period to be appreciated as the moving story of a son's unconditional love for his mother.
70

L.A. Weekly by Ella Taylor

Director Becker and his sharp screenwriter, Bernd Lichtenberg, come less to bury communism than to hurl darts at the Western commodity culture that floods East Berlin.
80

Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

Funny but not a comedy, serious but never overbearing, emotional in an engaging and bittersweet way, Good Bye, Lenin! is a wonderful film unto itself about a world unto itself.
50

The Hollywood Reporter by Kirk Honeycutt

Will richly award locals with sly in-jokes and a wonderful comic performance by Bruhl. Non-Germans will certainly get the essence of the humor but may find the movie long and repetitive.

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