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Lautlos
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Reviews & Ratings for
Lautlos More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Different

8/10
Author: nemonidas from Germany
10 August 2004

For everybody, who likes the shiny American action film, this truly might be a bit different. What I like especially about this "german action movie" is, that everything has a kind of normal color and sound. Nothing is overdone, overcoloured. What appears as boring compared with action movies with high pace like e.g. Bad Boys is the attempt of making it more realistic and not so shiny. The villain, for example, is not the typical bad guy, shootings don't try to "look or sound good" or the SEK (german S.W.A.T.) appears quietly and nearly invisible - like they should - without any of that heroic "fly-through-the-picture-shooting". The characters are also carefully designed to maintain this realistic approach, although the investigator in charge may be considered a bit weird. The killer, however, is as normal as can be - somebody you could meet on the street. Especially Joachim Krol, who's most famous appearance was in "Der bewegte Mann" (german comedy) surprised me with his totally different character.

All in all a film worth seeing, particularly while the story is different to all the action kind of movie you usually get.

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Thought-provocative

9/10
Author: helblazr from Belgium
25 February 2005

Coming totally left-field in the German movie landscape, this movie takes the clichés of the genre and twists them around and brings a fresh new perspective. It is like a breathe of fresh air that rekindles the dying embers of this style of movies. The images are crisp and clean, with interesting shots, which break the mold that this convoluted genre at times shows. It must be said that the music in this movie is not just background static, as it is in most motion pictures. Quite the contrary, it adds a layer of psychological depth to the characters, as if the acting weren't enough. All in all, it is a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final denouement. I'm looking forward to more of this director!

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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Could have been great if the dialogue had been better

7/10
Author: willyboy1973 from Berlin, Germany
11 May 2004

Lautlos is a movie from Tom Tykwer's film company, and you can see his influence as a producer in the sometimes dreamlike, introvert sequences. The film is about a serial killer who finds love and subsequently plans to quit his old underground life. Joachim Król plays the silent hitman very well, he gives a hint of broken softness to the character so that it's easy to like him. The plot is also exciting enough to keep your attention, with the right balance between action and character development. The only big problem about this movie are the dialogues. They are deliberately artificial but in such an exaggerated way that they just spoil the whole thing. Still, with the Król-bonus, it's a 7 out of 10 for me.

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

An Action Film With Class!

9/10
Author: Ed Cohen from Philadelphia, PA
20 April 2005

The action film, like the crime novel, is a satisfying ritual—with an allegory of good overcoming evil as its centerpiece—for many people. In the USA, this is normally done with famous stars and elaborate stunts, the better to make it "realistic" and "believable." I pass on most of those films because they seem silly to me. I cannot "buy" their pretensions to believability.

"Soundless" makes no pretense of believability. This film sustains a stylized, dreamlike quality throughout. The story is carried by the images. The dialog is banal because it is incidental. (That is in keeping, and does not detract from the film for me.) I found it thoroughly refreshing to spend ninety-four minutes in that dream, at the Philadelphia Film Festival.

This year, I have seen a veritable treasure trove of new German films that took themes seen before, and took them in new directions in keeping with changed times. While a wide theater release for "Soundless" may be too much to hope for, I hope it will be available for people in the USA desiring to see it.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

a film about intimacy

8/10
Author: politian from United States
6 August 2006

This is a thoughtful film, rich in implication. It begins in a bedroom, which is being monitored by some police agency, we don't know who. They have the room bugged, and under camera surveillance, and a hit man still manages to do his job. We learn as the film goes on that this hit man is effective precisely because he studies his subjects, gets to know them so well that he can think like them. Deep sympathetic powers are the source of his deadly capabilities. This element is doubled in the cop assigned to stop him - another student of human nature, who uses observation and intuitive sympathy to predict the hit man's moves. Each of these characters is profoundly able to be intimate with the object of his quest. The development of the bond between the hit man and the woman he loves works out this theme of intimate knowledge and sympathy on a parallel plane. The psychological truth of this keeps us entranced by the film despite some elaborate technological machinations (the hit man's wall of fire, for example) that would normally defy credibility.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Unusual and provocative!

8/10
Author: eaglestrike45
5 November 2007

This is a very interesting perspective of action movies in other countries.No thoughtless Hollywood action flick here. This one is very well done. No overblown special effects, shootouts, chases. Very very realistic. NO cheesy one-liners or nonsense swearing. This one has normal colors and tones that make it seem real. Excellent acting from the actor who plays Felix. Also, the music adds a soft touch and expands the characteristics and the moods throughout the movie. It takes out the overblown action music and replaces it with a soft beat that adds in the suspense. Excellent movie! Additionally, good movie for anyone who would like to expand their German, like me!Actually understood most of the words without reading subtitles... 8/10

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Triumph of style over substance

4/10
Author: groggo from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
10 April 2007

Interesting crime film that left me as confused at the end as I was at the beginning. Except for an undeveloped reference about a murder when the killer was nine years old, the film just doesn't give us enough information about a cold-blooded (but perfectionist) killer. It's too slick by half, although the visuals are quite stunning. One critic suggested that you're not supposed to examine this too closely -- just absorb what you see and enjoy it. Fair enough if that's good enough for you. I could not engage with the characters, who seem like they're seeking an author in a Pirandello play. The acting is first-rate, the forensics interesting (if you like that kind of procedural stuff), but in the end it lacked a solid story that made you want to care about Viktor, the silent, soundless killer.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sound in mind and soundless in body – the perfect killing machine?

7/10
Author: Roger Burke from Brisbane, Australia
19 September 2007

The anti-hero of this dark and moody thriller is Viktor (Joachim Krol), a professional hit-man – and a very successful one at that. Maybe that's one reason he's called Viktor?

In this story, however, he's just completed a fairly standard hit and is now called upon to perform his finale – his most important hit for his mentor and paymaster, Martin Hinrich (Peter Fitz) – and that's when Viktor's life as a killer starts to unravel. Wouldn't you just know it?

But, it all comes apart in a most unexpected fashion. For example, when was the last time you saw a film where a hit-man saves the same person's life twice? In two days? Well, you guessed it: cherchez la femme! That fairly standard hit wasn't so normal, after all: Viktor was so smitten by the blonde, Nina (Nadja Uhl), in the bedroom of the guy he just popped on the patio that he lets her sleep on, instead of eliminating her as a witness!

Now, that could've been a big mistake, but the writer/director (Mennan Yapo)of this interesting romp turns that to Viktor's advantage after he saves her from drowning the next day: she's so distraught by the death of her one-night stand that she throws herself off a bridge. Viktor, who'd followed her, drags her out and calls for medical help – then fades into the background...

Because he has that final job to do for Martin, so he must leave romance aside until the job's done – or so he thinks. Trouble is, one smart copper, Lang (Christian Berkel) is hot on Viktor's trail. How? Well, he's very smart: he uses deductive logic, forensic evidence and large data banks – and maybe some je ne sais quoi - to hone in on the most likely suspects. Not as well done as Sherlock Holmes, perhaps, but still impressive. And, maybe just a little too easy for narrative purposes.

Meanwhile Viktor stays one step (or maybe two steps) ahead of Lang as he plans his hit on the target Martin wants dead; and it's no easy job, not this time. Compounding the scenario also is Viktor's inability to forget about Nina, whom he visits at her apartment and, well, eventually, the sparks fly as you might expect. He's falling for her, and it seems that Nina shares the feeling, although she still has doubts...

Which she wants to dispel by following Viktor as he leaves her apartment to do the job – the final hit.

What follows then is a very classy and richly ironic action sequence worthy of some of the best thrillers you're likely to see, and no more ridiculous than most. That part alone is worth seeing.

It's well produced, the acting is up to the task – with Krol the consummate taciturn loner, and making Matt Damon as Jason Bourne of the Bourne franchise look positively garrulous – the photography has enough action sequences, from long shot to extreme close-up, to satisfy most, and the music is, well, almost not even there. But, when it is there, you notice it; and it fits.

The film and story are nowhere near the prowess of Luc Besson, the late John Frankenheimer, Martin Scorsese and others. But, hey, all writer/directors start somewhere and this being Yapo's second effort, I'll make sure I see future efforts.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A Dark, Tense, Atmospheric German Thriller

8/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
27 November 2006

LAUTLOS (Soundless) is yet another film by Director/writer Mennan Yapo (with writing assists form Lars-Olaf Beier) that takes on a story of a hit man on his last job and makes it into a fine psychological thriller. The cinematography, lighting, music and pacing of this strangely dark film provide an excellent background for a superb cast of actors.

Viktor (Joachim Król) is an aging hit man, a perfectionist whose reputation as a genius killer includes the fact that he works so well that he is soundless in his paid executions. We are privy to his mind's working as he focuses on his last hit, a man with a lady in his room Nina (the very beautiful Nadja Uhl) whose life he spares in the hit, an act of emotional response to the beautiful woman but an act that causes his employer to set a mark on him for his failure. Viktor saves Nina from suicide and the two become enchanted with each other. Viktor has found love at the end of his career as a murderer: Nina wants to get to know Viktor better before committing to his advances. Enter the police headed by the brilliant Lang (Christian Berkel) who is determined to capture Viktor by studying his patterns and mind tracings. Viktor and Nina are on the run but with a goal - that they will join at the sea and leave the life of crime. But before this can happen they must go through a literal wall of flames (a touch of Wagner, here). How the cat and mouse chase comes into play and resolves is the satisfying end to this polished little thriller.

Król, Uhl, and Berkel (in addition to a fine supporting cast) make this tense drama intimate and penetrating and Yapo's direction keeps the pace breathless. This is a fine little thriller in German with English subtitles. Grady Harp

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

surprisingly well done German contract killer movie

7/10
Author: armand32 from Germany
10 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Lautlos" is a well done and surprisingly fresh contract killer movie, far the best German film in this genre I know.

Choosing Joachim Krol, often playing the nice guy next door is an interesting idea that really works out well.

Krol as Viktor/Felix is playing well against his stereotype and provides an intense portrait of a dedicated character whose life changes dramatically when he meets "Nina", played by Nadja Uhl.

Andreas Berkel is nearly equally good as profiler "Lang", showing a hunter that is completely absorbed by his job.

Among other things - I like the pacing of the story and it's sympathy for the main characters, two lost souls trying to come together against major obstacles. In the end, you cannot help to develop sympathy for the lonely guy living from death but striving for love. I was very satisfied to see Viktor escape in the end, finding love and peace (?). Even his hunter seemed to like this in the end.

I definitely advise to see this one.

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