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Mein bester Feind
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Reviews & Ratings for
My Best Enemy More at IMDbPro »Mein bester Feind (original title)

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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining, humorous, a bit about good and bad choices. Strikes good balance between serious background and attracting broad audience

9/10
Author: JvH48 from Amersfoort, The Netherlands
25 February 2011

The story line was entertaining for the full 109 minutes, with several unexpected turns to keep us awake. The film initially shows a short scene of an airplane that was shot, leaving only a few survivors. It immediately jumps back to what happened before, and returns half way to pick up the story after the plane crash. Regardless, the story line remains clear and interesting throughout, maybe even thanks to this flashback and forward.

I saw this film at the 2011 Berlinale filmfestival on a Sunday morning as part of a large (over 1,500) audience. I can only assume that the majority was of German origin. I saw a cross section of nearly all ages present, maybe except people old enough to have actually lived during World War II. Nevertheless, a considerable part of the audience would have heard their fair share about this dark part of German history. Regardless of that being the main topic, all present were apparently enjoying what was shown on the screen.

The scenario scratches the surface of the well-known good versus bad choices one can make to advance a career, or conversely to keep principles upright and refusing to go along with the common trends. I consider it logical that this film does not take a vigorous stand, being intended for general viewing, but still presenting the dilemma's in a compelling way.

In conclusion I find that the film makers did a good job, by keeping the end product attractive for a broad public, and simultaneously not trying to evade the underlying problems of choices that everyone makes in a lifetime. After all, it is easy for us to judge those choices as bad. Upcoming Nazism before the World War II involved many such situations, and thus offers an infinite source of subjects for films like this one.

However, these dilemma's are an inherent part of a broader issue. This is confined to neither the 1930-1945 time frame nor to Germany. I saw at least 5 other films that revolved around similar situations, all of them released in the last 12 months, based on recent developments in very different countries and regimes.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Superb movie, Moritz is awesome, go for it!

9/10
Author: Ash_Heydrich from India
16 July 2012

Firstly I am Indian and I understand little German and I generally get to watch such German movies which are available to viewers in Asia. That is why almost 80% of Moritz Bleibtreu's movies are available.

Moritz gave another stellar performance here, the actor who was Rudi Smakel was hardly anything compared to him, trust MB to deliver with any given role. Generally casting was good.

The movie, even though not at the standards of Life is Beautiful but this was also touching, funny, thrilling and all of them were at the right proportion making this movie a treat to watch. I am a big fan of the WWII, holocaust related movies and I have seen over 40 of the best titles starting from the 1940's era. Since this topic is overdone it was definitely a huge challenge for not only the script writers but the directors and actors too, and being contemporary in nature, it was pretty neatly done with very little holes.

Story line was very believable, it could be a true story for all we know. The climax was very intelligent and will make even the most stern German like Till Lindemann smirk or give a wry smile.

Deutsche movie at it's best! Highly recommended if you are a fan of this genre and especially Mr. Bleibtreu.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good Drama, Not a Comedy

7/10
Author: William Eberle
28 February 2014

This is a good period drama that conveys well the craziness that pervaded the Nazi regime. However, I found nothing humorous in this film and can't imagine why anyone would classify it as even a "Dark Comedy". Tragic things occur in this film and they only begin to touch on the actual tragedies perpetrated during the war.

I thought that the actors did a great job of conveying the personalities and tribulations of the characters. It's difficult to have a film set in World War 2 that deals with the Nazi regime without seeing stereotypes but the characters here are nearly entirely believable as individuals. Even those that fit stereotypes are believable as individuals because they are neither common nor used as a bludgeon.

The settings and costumes are all very well done and help bring the viewer to that time and place. I especially found that the locations used were extremely well-chosen and helped to give a feeling of actually being in those places.

I definitely recommend "My Best Enemy" but set your expectations appropriately, it's a drama.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful story telling of a cleverly designed story

8/10
Author: deacon_blues-3 from United States
5 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The thing I loved most about this film was the delicate tension maintained during the period while Smekal and Kaufmann have switched IDs. There is so much richness in their traded experiences and the suspense factor of their switched situations.

It is perhaps a bit too far-fetched to think that a Jew would be so disregarded that his persistent claims to be an SS officer would be so succinctly ignored. But it still tends to work as the drama unfolds.

Of course, we can guess the ultimate poetic justice before it's actually revealed, but this never detracts from the entertaining suspense of the whole production.

A joyful story in the midst of extreme human tragedy. Highly recommended!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

good production and decoration, but story is not believable

6/10
Author: arzewski from Pittsburgh
6 January 2014

Excellent cinematography and rendition of interiors. Was particularly impressed with the sound of doors closing, the same clunky noise of wood doors. Also, the period clothing recreation is excellent. The motor vehicles, train, and airplane transport rendition are excellent. In this regard, the film is definitely worth watching.

But the story, colorful it is, is not believable. It has a nice happy ending, and somewhat predictable, but in reality, such a story would not have happened.

In the theme of impersonation during that period, the film "Europa, Europa" is more believable.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Highly entertaining and excellent film

10/10
Author: Philajeff from United States
16 April 2012

Wolfgand Murnberger is a creative Austrian director who has crafted a thoroughly enjoyable film in "Mein Bester Feind" or "My Best Enemy." He has assembled an all-star cast led by the always reliable Moritz Bleibtreu to act out this story. Just sit back and enjoy the ride as this film combines adventure, drama, pathos, comedy, and even mystery. The setting of World War II in Nazi-occupied Austria will perhaps be considered unlikely for such a multi-faceted piece of filmmaking ... but therein lies its brilliance. Austria certainly produces awesome films that are unfortunately fairly unknown to America audiences (with the exception of the serious film connoisseur.) Add "My Best Enemy" to that list!

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully crafted but still formulaic propaganda.

6/10
Author: Richard von Lust from Germany
5 August 2013

There can be no doubt that this film is wonderfully scripted, brilliantly acted and very skillfully directed. It is pacey, exciting and at times even amusing. On those grounds it should definitely be given a fair viewing.

A Jewish art dealer in Vienna has inherited a Michealangelo masterpiece that was stolen from the Vatican 400 years before. Mussolini wants it back and the Nazi government needs to appease him for Italian military support. The plot revolves around the complex struggle by the Germans to seize the painting and the Jewish family to keep it.

Of course the plot is absurd. So many really great masterpieces had been seized across Europe by 1942 that a single piece would hardly attract so much effort. Besides which Italian military support was probably not worth it anyway and the attention given by the High Command to this issue is utterly ridiculous.

Interesting also is that the justification of the dealer and his family to keep this stolen treasure is never questioned. We are led to feel total sympathy for their efforts to keep it.

But there is something much more sinister behind this production. As a elderly German who personally knew so many of the character types involved in the drama I was left deeply saddened that 70 years on we are still portraying all Germans as nasty maniacs and all Jews as beyond reproach. Not a single German in this film has any positive characteristics at all. They are all without exception portrayed as being either brutal, heartless, self seeking, incompetent or simply stupid. In fact many of them are given all of these faults. And to balance this not a single Jewish character is given any negative characteristics at all. They are all without exception portrayed as being honorable, clever, caring, compassionate and socially concerned. Indeed most of them are given all these attributes.

I realize that many readers who accept the factual absurdity of this approach will feel it either acceptable artistic license (on the grounds that Nazism was so bad that even lies are justified) or that it's just a bit of fun and it doesn't really matter.

Of course were this to be an isolated example of such distortion I wouldn't waste my time writing this review. But it isn't. This particular handling of the Nazi-Jewish conflict is sadly copied in literally dozens of major productions made each year to perpetuate sympathy towards the Jews and hatred of the Germans. Accordingly whole generations have grown up who seriously believe that ALL wartime Germans were bad and all supported Nazism. But this was simply not true. Hitler was never elected with overall majority support and effectively staged a clever Coup d'Etat to seize power over a nation that wasn't even his.

If only such dramas were balanced enough to show this.

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Not another generic Nazi film, but not a good one either

4/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
24 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Mein bester Feind" or "My Best Enemy", not to be mistaken for the Herzog-Kinski documentary with almost the same name, is an Austrian German-language film from 2011, so it has its 5th anniversary this year. The director and one of the writers is Wolfgang Murnberger, considered one of Austria's finest filmmakers at this point and same can be said about lead actor Georg Friedrich and supporting actress Ursula Strauss, in their respective fields of course. And last but not least, Moritz Bleibtreu is also extremely known, not only here in Germany. This film went for becoming a Nazi-themed comedy, which is always pretty difficult and I would not say they succeeded here during these slightly over 100 minutes. It is definitely not a failure and there are some good moments in here, but overall I just felt the script and plot were too absurd at times. Maybe I would have enjoyed this one more if I was not only interested in World War II films, but also in films about paintings and forgery as a big part of the plot deals with these issues. Bleibtreu was decent as expected, but not really that good, while Friedrich was the MVP and elevated the material by a lot through shining in some crucial scenes, such as the ending. All in all, despite the big names in the cast, also in smaller roles I haven't mentioned so far, I must say that I would not recommend the watch unless you are a huge Moritz Bleibtreu fan. The acting was good, but not good enough to make up for the bizarre story and screenplay. Thumbs down.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A happy find!

10/10
Author: AnimatronicBearLLC from USA
31 August 2013

A big thanks to Netflix for the opportunity to see titles which otherwise might not get a second glance without media hype (remember "Das Boot" a few decades back?). Even in an "actioner", some of the impact is generally lost multi-tasking between reading subtitles and enjoying the imagery. "My Best Enemy" was a delight despite my lack of understanding the German language. It moved at an exciting pace, not too fast that I could not read along and enjoy the scenery but not so slow as to loose my interest. I do not recognize the names of any of the actors in the film but they created some very believable characters. The director and writer(s) told a wonderful story set in at a time in the past many would probably rather forget. A two thumbs up for "Mein bester Feind". I will be looking for more from Wolfgang Murnberger and his talented cast and crew! Kudos!!

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

a great movie about one of the darkest eras in human history

8/10
Author: rightwingisevil from United States
29 March 2012

this movie faithfully and loyally portrayed how a rich Jewish family and a great friendship suddenly turned bad after the crazy Hitler came into power. the things that affected me deeply is that when lives hung dangerously unpredictable before and when the big catastrophe happened, rich and poor people still naively hold their earthly properties so dearly and would have tried every way to not let go. they didn't know when the disaster strikes, it's without prejudice and discrimination, nothing would be more important than your life. precious artworks such as great paintings, unless they could buy you a pathway to safety and freedom, they would be nothing but burdens that only blocked your passage to freedom.

i've seen those documentary films about Jewish people rounded up and forced unto the one way death trains to concentration camps, they were still burdened themselves with carry-on luggage, suitcases, handbags....they were still so naively believed that those things could ensure them a more comfortable trip, those stuff could make them feel more confident that they still owned something absolutely necessary in their lives. but they didn't know that their lives were cliffhanging on the upcoming elimination of the gas chambers.

a famous Greek painting was the focus of this dark movie, and i just felt so ridiculous to see how the Nazis tried to get the genuine one back to their hands.

suppose the world your live in suddenly comes to an end, owning a painting or a diamond, or a great mansion, or a huge saving and checking account and so on, would be totally meaningless. when world ends, only one big NADA would exist, nothing else.

and this movie could teach you a lot about the real value of property ownership.

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