Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Hannah Arendt conveys the glamour, charisma and difficulty of a certain kind of German thought.... The movie turns ideas into the best kind of entertainment.
The Hollywood Reporter
Von Trotta seems to borrow some of her subject’s haughty disdain for compromise in a serviceable script that does the job of telling us who Hannah Arendt was like a good pair of solid, gray walking shoes; there’s nothing fancy or modern to distract from the portrait of one of the most important thinkers of the century.
Village Voice
The writer-philosopher Hannah Arendt is brought to life by a mesmerizing Barbara Sukowa in Margarethe von Trotta's film.
Talky but fascinating period drama.
A watchable, even suspenseful portrait of a woman who spends most of the film smoking cigarettes, sitting at typewriters or sparring at dinner parties.
En route, despite some clumsy exposition and the reduction of heavyweights like Mary McCarthy and William Shawn to fifth-business caricatures, the film does manage one impressive intellectual achievement of its own: rescuing that “banality of evil” phrase from the banal cliché it’s become and, by providing the full and daring context, giving it real meaning again.
Opting to leave somewhat open the question of whether its subject was a traitor to her Jewish people or a conscientious scholar determined to conduct rational analysis free of public and peer pressure, it remains a mildly intriguing drama of the often unavoidable and contentious intersection of intellectual analysis and personal prejudices.
Slant Magazine
The film's most striking quality, and it's not insignificant, is director Margarethe von Trotta's refusal to fossilize the controversies she dramatizes.
A movie of one billion cigarettes, Hannah Arendt is about moral reason, not personality. It could do worse than lead you straight to the woman’s books.
Von Trotta’s Arendt biopic feels like a movie stuck in another era, stolid and rote, more of an outline for a dramatic treatment than the real thing.

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