(I) (2012)

Critic Reviews

86

Metascore

Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
It's one terrific film, as smart, thoughtful and emotionally involving as just about anything that's out there.
100
Petzold raises questions of honor and builds the romance with an absolutely rigorous lack of sentiment, moving Barbara to a sweeping finish as emotionally satisfying as any this year.
90
It's a movie that works its magic slowly, and on multiple levels; it's a historical drama, a mystery and a love story. And Hoss' performance is simply one of the finest of the year.
90
The whole film is an exercise in trust and the lack thereof. In the end, it's a kind of horror film, really, a reminder that these sorts of things were endured by so many for so long, with hope an unlikely ally.
88
Petzold is a master at creating the kind of tension that can be felt on a subterranean level, a sort of acute uneasiness that can't be easily diagnosed, fixed, or even acknowledged by the characters. This is well-trod ground for Petzold, but never has it been so fully realized, so palpable, as in Barbara.
80
A slow-burning Cold War drama that will reward patient viewers with its ultimate emotional payoff.
75
Most compelling in Christian Petzold's latest is the way the filmmaker adeptly conducts his tides of Cold War paranoia.
75
In the vein of such recent classics as "The Lives of Others" and "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," Christian Petzold's Barbara re-visits the quiet, everyday tragedies of the Iron Curtain era, when paranoia ran deep and for very good reasons.
75
What Hoss is asked to play - and does play with great skill - is the fine line between self-protection and hauteur.
75
Barbara is intriguing because the script subtly plays off that expectation, not denying it so much as expanding it, showing us that the grey world can contain, and even embrace, contradictory colours.
75
The movie examines the possibility of maintaining one's humanity in a truly oppressive society.

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