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The Lives of Others (2006)
"Das Leben der Anderen" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  30 March 2007 (USA)
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 232,131 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 396 user | 212 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Thomas Thieme ...
Hans-Uwe Bauer ...
Paul Hauser
Volkmar Kleinert ...
Albert Jerska
Matthias Brenner ...
Karl Wallner
Charly Hübner ...
Udo
Herbert Knaup ...
Gregor Hessenstein
Bastian Trost ...
Häftling 227
Marie Gruber ...
Frau Meineke
...
Schriftexperte (as Zack Volker Michalowski)
...
Einsatzleiter in Uniform
Martin Brambach ...
Einsatzleiter Meyer
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Storyline

Gerd Wiesler is an officer with the Stasi, the East German secret police. The film begins in 1984 when Wiesler attends a play written by Georg Dreyman, who is considered by many to be the ultimate example of the loyal citizen. Wiesler has a gut feeling that Dreyman can't be as ideal as he seems and believes surveillance is called for. The Minister of Culture agrees but only later does Wiesler learn that the Minister sees Dreyman as a rival and lusts after his partner Christa-Maria. The more time he spends listening in on them, the more he comes to care about them. The once rigid Stasi officer begins to intervene in their lives, in a positive way, protecting them whenever possible. Eventually, Wiesler activities catch up to him and while there is no proof of wrongdoing, he finds himself in menial jobs - until the unbelievable happens. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Before the Fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany's Secret Police Listened to Your Secrets See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lives of Others  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$213,589 (USA) (9 February 2007)

Gross:

$11,284,657 (USA) (7 September 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked 2nd best film of 2007 by Empire magazine, narrowly missing the top spot to The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). See more »

Goofs

When Dreymann discovers the microphone towards the end of the film, the wallpaper under the light switch is already ripped, which only happens in the next scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Guard: [subtitled version] Stand still. Eyes to the floor.
[pause]
Guard: Walk on.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pauw & Witteman: Episode #5.146 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Wie Ein Stern
Performed by Frank Schöbel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
best German dramatic movie in years
16 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

having had the joy - while not living in the old gdr itself - to have some "accidental" run ins with the good old stasi then, i found it awkward that a German director from the "west" would have the guts to take on the subject of this "ministry of greyness".

writer/director florian henkell von donnersmarck (nice name for a teutonic director, me thinks, very fancy - makes you bang your heels) not only survived this bout of pretension which could have let him drowned in a swamp of reproaches and allegations about executing the "justice of the winners", but he transformed the tale into a story that can and will be understood anywhere in the world: a tale about power, treason and the almost anarchistic potency of emotions.

while at the same time not falling into the trap of moralizing with a waving finger but showing us "the system" as an bureaucratic nightmare powered by - eventually - once even good intentioned human robots of socialist self-righteousness who actually destroy all real positive socialist impulses in the ones they plague, this film is - even if one disagrees with it's premises - probably the most important political drama coming out of Germany for years.


173 of 237 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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the red thumb print mk1319
complete copy of '1984' by george orwell baesuk81
Loved the characters,but very badly written film monika-36
Last Scene-Question? bumworkinsw
Plot holes Ti_Perihelion
Is this happening in China as well? lisa_lee44
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