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

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  30 March 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 239,580 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 399 user | 214 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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Top Rated Movies #55 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 75 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Where power is absolute, nothing is private. [Scandinavian Blu-ray.] See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lives of Others  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The German DVD of this film was recalled due to some statements director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck made in his audio commentary about the alleged activities of politician Gregor Gysi and actress Jenny Gröllmann as unofficial agents (IM) for the "Stasi" (secret police of former East Germany). New and old revisions of the DVD can be distinguished by a marking on the back spine (old retail/rental: Z4/Z4R, new retail/rental: Z4A/Z4S). See more »


In the first scene in the theater, a program clearly states the birthdate of Georg as 1939, but just a few scenes later he says he is preparing for his 40th birthday. As the action is said to take place in 1984, there is a five-year discrepancy. [Possibility: Georg says that he is 40 in an attempt to shake off the impression that he might be 50. Hence, he could very well be 45. That age would also be the same as that of the actor who plays him] See more »


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


Featured in Pauw & Witteman: Episode #4.59 (2009) See more »


Stell Dich Mitten In Den Regen
Performed by Bayon
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The most underrated film of 2006.
17 January 2007 | by (los angeles california) – See all my reviews

Holy cow! What a terrific movie! I am a voting member of the Academy (actor's branch) so I get all the films for free. I've seen everything---60 films. This was one of the last 3 films that I saw---because I was completely unfamiliar with the title. This film slowly gripped me, but by the end, the grip was merciless. The lead actor, who should be doing The Life Story Of Peter Jennings, was wonderful. Everybody was terrific. Congratulations to the writers for their perfect structure---and to the director for his flawless storytelling---and his eliciting of top performances from his actors. How well cast it was.

But now I'm totally bewildered. Why haven't I heard anything about this film? Where was this film at the Golden Globes? I haven't even seen any reviews about it. Nothing! What's going on? I'm very active in the film business. I follow this stuff. This film (that I never heard of) took me by surprise as no other film has ever done.

Note to the IMDb: This is not a spoiler.

Jesse Vint III

644 of 786 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
Why Anton Grubitz said to Wiesler that he's carrer is over? Ihesselink
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