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Schindler's List
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Schindler's List More at IMDbPro »

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275 out of 544 people found the following review useful:

The color of the film isn't the only thing that's black and white.

Author: Levi Ferry from Australia
7 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Nazis in Schindler's List are portrayed as evil heartless demons who seem to lack any kind of soul (well, Amon Goeth was pretty evil), while Schindler and other "goodies" are portrayed as saints with hearts of butter; It's time to wake up people! My grandfather who is now 85 served in the war verses the Germans. I've had many talks with him and his war buddys and I can promise you that what you see in this film (and many others that are "based on truth") is purely fictional and shouldn't be allowed to even claim it is based on truth. And if it must it should have to give us a percentage of truth that it is based on, eg: based on 6% truth. Honestly, just take a look at the war on Iraq to see a current example of how the victors completely turn the truth on its head and sell it to the masses; who readily accept it as fact.

Schindler at the end of the film is seen giving away his watch and a few rings (last of his possessions) as to save a few more Jews. Well, truth is Schindler made off with A LOT of money in reality. He profited from the Jews slave labor just as much as they profited off his humanity. I'm not saying that Schindler wasn't a good man for saving the many Jews that he did, I'm just saying lets not go overboard with the exaggeration. And this is just one of the many liberties the director took with this story to spice it up a bit. Some of the scenes which were designed to shock the audience with brutality from the Nazis towards the Jews were so over dramatized and fake they made me want to blow chunks in my popcorn. I don't mind fantasy but for gods sake don't mix it with truth, especially when you have an audience which sadly seem to often refer to this film when they are in a debate about world war 2 or the holocaust, as if it was some kind of historical reference with any credibility.

PS: For a good film about world war 2 and the Nazis, check out "DownFall", a German film which is very, very well made.

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Schindler's List, or How I Learned to Stop Profiteering and Love the Jews

Author: paladeen from Reykjavik, Iceland
2 August 2008

Schindler's List is one of the most overrated films of all time: It won seven Oscars. It is the 6th highest rated film on IMDb. The critics loved it, and the Internet is flooded with reviews where people rave about being "deeply moved" or "touched."

Ultimately, the film is a shallow failure.

A good drama film needs several qualities. Of these, the most important is the exposition of characters and their interactions. Schindler's List flops spectacularly in this respect. We start out following the tale of Oskar Schindler, an opportunistic, profiteering businessman. But midpoint in the film, this Schindler persona has disappeared, and we have a new character clothed in the same flesh -- a self-sacrificing philanthropist who spends his entire amassed fortune to save the Jew workers. How did we get from one to the other? How did Schindler transform from the evil Mr. Hyde to the benevolent Dr. Jekyll? Steven Spielberg certainly doesn't show us -- maybe it happens via magic, like the bicycle ride in ET?

And what about Amon Göth, the representative Nazi? A "grotesque caricature" if there ever was one. He's an evil, sadistic, Jew-hating Nazi bastard -- but do we get to know why he wakes up every morning, takes a swig of booze and snipes Jew prisoners for fun? No. Spielberg thinks the answer is obvious -- he's a Nazi, and Nazis don't have reasons for the things they do. They're just rabid dogs out for blood, utterly devoid of any moral dimension. But this sort of shallow political correctness can't possibly cut any slack with intelligent viewers. We want to know why Göth hates the Jews so much that he fires his pistol into a pile of decimated corpses, but we never get to know. Apparently, he does it because he's an Evil Nazi, and that's all there is to it.

The attempt to add depth to Göth's character by dwelling on his twisted love affair with a Jewish girl is easily seen for what it is -- a cheap exposure of Nazi hypocrisy. How about trying to dwell on real issues here, Spielberg? How about trying to pass these people off as genuine (albeit twisted) human beings?

This shortcoming is not restricted to Spielberg. When will Hollywood own up to the fact that the men who ran the Third Reich were not mindless monsters? Some of them were cultivated intellectuals and scientists, others compassionate family men and devoted friends. Germany was the best educated country in Europe when the Nazis rose to power. The true intrigue of the Holocaust does not lie in the brutality, but rather in Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil". How can a man (or millions of men) arbitrarily narrow the moral sphere to exclude people seemingly no different from neighbours, friends and family? How can a man fall under the sway of a dispassionate and cruel ideology while leading a normal life of compassion?

Needless to say, none of these issues are explored by Spielberg.

Another peeve of mine: Accents. There are English-speaking films and then there are German-speaking films. Schindler's List, on the other hand, does not belong to either of these categories. Instead, Spielberg opted to have the characters speak English with a German accent. What the hell? Listening to Liam Neeson strut about trying to sound like an Anglicised German is just pathetic. : Spielberg's trying to please Hollywood audiences by making the film accessible to them (and hence, no spoken German), but for the love of God! We get the point! They're in Nazi Germany. Yes, Hitler's in charge. Yes, it's a nasty, genocidal regime. Please, no cheesy accents.

One of the truly unforgivable aspects of the film is the ending. A mildly touching speech by Schindler about being a war criminal on the run, wanted by the victors of the war, set just the right mood. It would have been perfect. But no, Spielberg couldn't resist messing it up -- he had to have Schindler break down, bawl and cry, grief-stricken and lashed by pangs of conscience. Spare me the anguish, Spielberg. The grief should have been that of the Jews, not Schindler.

When Schindler took off his gold ring and blubbers out "I could have saved one more", I experienced a feeling of mild revulsion. Look, the guy did a great job, he saved a lot of lives. No point in getting all worked up about the fact that he didn't literally sell the skin of his back to save people he didn't know.

What does this film leave us after 195 minutes of running time? Let's see:

* The Nazis were *Really Evil* * There was a man called Schindler who didn't care about anything but money at first, and then for some reason he started to care about saving the Jews.

Brilliant, Spielberg. Positively brilliant.

All of the above-mentioned flaws are bad enough -- but the way the film manipulates the viewer really takes the cake. Shots of emaciated, shaved potential Holocaust victims starving and screaming, with tragic violin music to boot. It has been done in many films before, and will be done again. It doesn't take skill for a film-maker to coerce the viewer into sorrow -- It takes skill to produce the same feelings without resorting to cheap, melodramatic trickery. The Pianist is a superb counter-example. A journey of the mind is so much more satisfying than a journey of the senses...

Like most of Spielberg's films, Schindler's List is technically outstanding. It captures the mood of wartime Germany perfectly. The sets, costumes and cinematography are all top-notch, and the acting is not too bad either. However, none of these things can overcome the fact that Spielberg is a director of extremely limited vision. His moral and intellectual depth is that of a child.

Stick to making films for children, Spielberg. Stick to making children's films. You're out of your depth.

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40 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

the most overrated movie ever

Author: Mohammad Albazz
9 November 2013

when i say overrated, really i mean it..

i just watched this movie and i found it boring 3 hours for nothing this movie is just to make people feel sorry about the Jewish i want to say we must feel sorry about any human .. Jewish have made many holocaust in Palestine and no one said a word.

and why they screen it in black and white i don't know i think there is better movies about war and Nazis or Jews i wonder why this movie have this high rating i think Liam neeson and Ralph fiennes acting was very good specially for ralph but there is many actors in the movie they not good .

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72 out of 140 people found the following review useful:

Can we criticize this movie now?

Author: FilmSnobby from San Diego
2 March 2004

I mean, has enough time passed? Or has the release of *Schindler's List* on DVD fueled a new hushed awe towards the picture?

Spielberg's critic-proof Holocaust film has several problems, the biggest of which is the way it turns a horrible real-life tragedy into a three-hanky melodrama. I continue to maintain that the Holocaust is generally unfilmable, in terms of what we might call a standard movie. Generally unfilmable, but not inevitably unfilmable. Off the top of my head, I can recommend two recent films on this subject: Francesco Rosi's *The Truce*, and Costa-Gavras' *Amen". Both films approach this material with far more nuance than Spielberg's film, which, I repeat, is weepy melodrama. (And as such, treads a fine line between reverence and tastelessness.) For that matter, Polanski's *The Pianist* gives us a more unique approach than what we get here, which is a movie that features a hero whom your average American multiplex popcorn-tub-muncher can easily identify with: a gregarious capitalist named Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who, despite all the war-profiteering (read: "initiative"), turns out to have a heart of gold. Or marshmallow mush. Please don't bother pointing out that this is a "true story": those who've read the actual book by Thomas Kenneally on which the movie is based will be rather shocked by the movie's willingness to sacrifice verisimilitude for "dramatic license". The biggest example of this is the "villain" of the piece, SS-Kommandant Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes in a career-making performance). The screenplay ladles all sorts of Freudian syrup over this character, meaning: he's crazy as a loon. So much for the "banality of evil": instead, we get, via Fiennes' Method-y performance, a study in mere neurosis instead of a rigorous examination of the murderous pathology that's inherent in humanity. Spielberg can't resist having Herr Goeth develop a crush on one of his Jewish housemaids, and we get the requisite "Hath not a Jew eyes" speech, delivered with what is supposed to be irony by Fiennes. Then he beats the crap out of her. Change the plot particulars, and you've got your standard "Lifetime Channel" movie about an abusive husband.

Don't get me wrong, the film is not a total waste of time: even melodrama has cumulative virtues, and many of the scenes in *Schindler's List* are quite affecting, particularly the very last sequence in which the surviving "Schindler Jews" appear (in color), accompanied by the actors who portrayed them. They pay tribute to Schindler by laying stones on his grave. Moving stuff. Ben Kingsley, who portrays the worry-wart Itzhak Stern, must also receive special mention. And Spielberg's technical mastery is never open to question: this is one beautifully mounted film, impeccably photographed. The set-design, which is called upon to perform the daunting task of replicating Nazi labor camps and so forth, is beyond reproach. Proving that he's still the same guy who directed *Jaws*, Spielberg is able to send chills up our spines when a train full of Jewish women & girls is accidentally routed to Auschwitz: it's a night-scene, replete with a light-tower that approximates a beacon from Hell.

But, all-in-all, the movie remains an elementary approach to the Holocaust genre. It's tailor-made for desultory viewings by 12th-graders: "Hey mom, we learned about the Holocaust in class today." Nothing wrong with that, but aren't the kids better served by a FACTUAL documentary about this subject, rather than an Oscar-baited exercise in self-importance? You decide.

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85 out of 166 people found the following review useful:

Overrated, manipulative, dishonest garbage. Classic Spielberg, in other words...

Author: werewolfsex from Svalbard and Jan Mayen
26 December 2007

This is honestly one of the most overrated films of all time. Stephen Spielberg (one of the most overrated directors of all time, who has not made ONE honestly good film (yes, even including "Jaws")) knew that nobody could objectively criticize this movie, and basically exploited the memory of the Holocaust in order to guarantee himself a "masterpiece".

I am rating this movie as 1(awful), because of all the undeserved praise. If this film were being judged solely on it's own merits, I would probably rate it a 2 or 3 at best, for being exploitative, dishonestly emotionally manipulative, historically inaccurate, and artistically bankrupt.

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95 out of 186 people found the following review useful:

My list

Author: elaurens88
20 September 2000

Here is Barbara's List of all the reasons why Schindler's List is the most annoyingly overpraised film of all time. 1.Overlong 2.Spielberg's most self-indulgent film, which is pretty pathetic, considering that he also made Saving Private Ryan 3.self-consciously arty 4.overabundance of cheesy filmmaking gimmicks.

If I had more time, I could go on forever....

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125 out of 246 people found the following review useful:

Spielberg, stick to alien abductions and monster movies

Author: thomadsen from New York
15 December 2002

As a (Jewish) professor of mine once said, "Spielberg doesn't have a glimmer of what it would take to do this material right." Don't be suckered by the subject matter--it's still schlockified for mass consumption. And worse still, it's likely the reason why every year since then we have to put up with some sappy Spielberg backed Holocaust movie or documentary winning another Oscar. Is this really how we want to respond emotionally, intellectually and otherwise?

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Technically it's perfect and often it's very moving, but I wouldn't call it a 'masterpiece'

Author: jimbo-53-186511 from United Kingdom
17 November 2013

Schindler's list tells the story of Oskar Schindler (Neeson)who is a Nazi businessman who decides to open a factory that employs 'skilled' Jewish workers to make pots and pans (as well as other metal products). He then trades these goods and ends up making an awful lot of money. He employs Itzhak Stern (Kingsley)as his accountant and ultimately his 'right hand man'. Whilst he is clearly exploiting his workers, they don't mind as they would rather work for Schindler than be under the brutal regime of the SS. When Schindler's workforce are taken from him by the evil general Amon Goeth (Fiennes) and when he witnesses the horrors of how Goeth and his men are treating them, Schindler decides to take action and tries to save as many of those that are being persecuted as possible.

If I was to judge this film on a technical basis only then it would get a 10 for me; the directing, the cinematography, the acting were all perfect in my book. I also liked that it was filmed in black and white as this helped to not only capture the 'bleakness' of the Holocaust, but it also helped in getting a feel for the era. I also liked how the era had been recaptured and created - it certainly had an authentic feel to it. Finally we come to the acting and for me it was Fiennes that shone as the evil General Amon Goeth - he was really creepy and absolutely personified evil. Neeson and Kingsley were great too, but for me Fiennes put on the best performance.

So having said all that, you might be wondering why I'm only rating this 7/10? Well for me, it is technically perfect, but Schindler's list (at well over 3 hours long was far too long in my opinion). The first hour was brilliant and the last 30-45 minutes were also very good. It was the middle part of the film that dragged for me. I personally felt that 2 1/2 hours max would have been sufficient, but at 3 hours and 15 minutes it was just ridiculous.

Having said that this is still a film that everyone should watch. It's not an easy watch at times, but it's still a very important film. As a side note, the end of the film is probably one of the most 'moving' and 'touching' moments I've ever experienced when watching a film. Great film - but a tad too long in my opinion.

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107 out of 211 people found the following review useful:

Yes, yes, we get the message

Author: Ripe Peach from Glasgow, Scotland
24 February 2001

Ah, Spielberg's favourite theme: every single Germans pre 1950 was utterly evil and/or calculating and self serving. Still, at least after being bludgeoned around the head with this one note message for the best part of 3 hours, I had stopped noticing that the acting consists of just reading lines and not tripping over the furniture.

The cinematography is admittedly impressive, but the sound is either overbearing or cynically manipulative, and the emotional crecendo at the end is so overdone as to be positively irritating.

And lastly, while the history is substantially correct, there are enough errors or omissions to shove a stick in the spokes of any claim to authenticity. This isn't entertainment, and it's not accurate enough to be documentary, so what does that leave? Sadly, propaganda.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

This movies is the answer to, why movies are powerful medium

Author: Austin Benjamin from India
24 June 2015

I am from India. I am interested to see path breaking movies in any language. I watched many Hollywood movies in my laptop. After I saw/heard good review about this movie. I got this movie from one of my friend and I copied to my personal laptop, its been around 7 years I kept this movie in my laptop without watching it. I apologize for that. whenever I open this movie, the beginning scenes were not fascinating to me, that why I turned off and switch to other movies. 2 days before I decided to watch this movie without any distraction. I started watching at midnight 1 o clock. and I finished it around 5 o clock. I felt very guilty for not watching this movie for 7 years. But actually it was 22 years if I calculate from the year movie released.

What a movie !! I never felt this much emotional for any foreign language movie. But this movie touched my soul. I could not control tears rolling out of my eyes.

This is not a movie. This is lesson to everybody. And it shows what one rich man can do this to the world. We wont find any rich man like Oskar Schindler in todays world. He was rich at his heart. The moment Schindler started to realize the urge to help the Jews are really wonderful, only god like human can do it to them. I personally believe Gods are living in the world in form of men like Schindler.

About Spielberg, only Spielberg could create this much of emotional as he is Jew.

At last, movies like these are essential to make our world better. After watching Schindler's List I started feeling all the entertainment movies are crap.

If we deliver more number of movies like Schindler's List, our world would become full of wonderful people.

Finally, I prayed to God for Schindler's family for having person like this in their family. I bow down my head and thank to Oskar Schindler for this bravery to save mankind. And thanks to Spielberg to made this movie.

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