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A Tough Film I'm Glad I Saw
Danusha_Goska14 August 2016
My mother was born in Slovakia and I grew up on stories. How beautiful her village was, of course. But stories of overwhelming ugliness, too. Munich, like Yalta, was an obscene word in our household. In 1938, long after Hitler had revealed that he was a rabid dog needing to be put down, the West surrendered Czechoslovakia to Hitler without firing one bullet. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, the man with an umbrella, called the Munich agreement "peace for our time." One of the many reasons so few Eastern Europeans are Anglophiles.

My mother taught me about Lidice, a Czech village that, with its inhabitants, had been wiped off the face of the earth by the Nazis. The men shot, the women and children murdered more slowly, the houses razed to the ground. In fact the Nazis wiped out hundreds of villages in Poland and Czechoslovakia.

"Anthropoid" is a Hollywood movie that, at long last, tells some of the war from the point of view of desperate Czechs and Slovaks fighting the Nazis. Fanboys gripe, "How many World War II movies can you make?" One answer: chronicling of World War II will not be complete as long as major stories like Operation Anthropoid remain untold. Reinhard Heydrich was one of the worst human beings who ever lived. He chaired the Wannsee Conference that formalized the Final Solution, the Nazi plan to murder all Jews. He was also in charge of the Czech Republic. He brutalized the population and wiped out the resistance in short order.

Heydrich was the only top Nazi to be assassinated, although there were assassination plots against others, significantly Hitler himself. People need to know that non-Jews, as well as Jews, suffered under the Nazis. People need to know of the incredible courage and heroism of forgotten heroes who fought the Nazis. The questions of an operation like Anthropoid remain open. Is it ethical, and is it militarily strategic, to assassinate one of history's worst humans if you know that thousands of innocent people will be murdered in retaliation?

"Anthropoid" opens with two resistance fighers, Jan Kubis a Czech (Jamie Dornan) and Jozef Gabcik, a Slovak (Cillian Murphy), being parachuted into Czechoslovakia after their training in England. They must find the tiny remnants of the surviving underground and announce their assassination plan. Resistance members Ladislav Vanek (Marcin Dorocinski) and Uncle Hajsky (Toby Jones) are not immediately enthusiastic. They recognize the risks of retaliatory mass killings. They understand that this assassination may be more of a means of bringing respect to the Czechoslovak government in exile in London under Edvard Benes.

"Anthropoid" is a tense, gripping, film noir-ish film. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I cried at the end. For hours afterward I was haunted by the film.

It's not for nothing that Steven Spielberg chose to make a glamorous, powerful, heroic, high-living member of the Nazi party the subject of his "Schindler's List." It's hard for a storyteller to tell the audience a story that has no triumphant moments, lots of death, and an ending that most filmgoers will already know.

"Anthropoid" consists largely of very tight shots on the faces of its two assassins as they live in Nazi-occupied Prague, trying to figure out a way to fulfill their mission. Scenes are dimly lit. Everyone is tense. There is little laughter or smiling. There is zero swaggering. There is a very brief moment toward the end that offers a hint of redemption. If you see the film, you will know what I'm talking about. The scene involves water, light, and a beautiful woman reaching out her hand.

The film does not take in the grand sweep of history. There are no shots of London headquarters, no fetishizing of squeaky Nazi boots or Hugo Boss uniforms. Lidice is mentioned in such an understated manner that filmgoers unfamiliar with it won't know what has been said.

"Anthropoid" offers an almost documentary look at what it is to be an assassin in a totalitarian regime. It's not fun. I was at first dubious when I heard that Cillian Murphy would be playing Jozef Gabcik. I wished for a Slovak actor. Murphy's performance is the emotional and aesthetic heart of the film. Murphy rarely allows any emotion to register on his face. He has turned himself into a killing machine. When, at a certain moment, a tear falls from his eye, that tear carries great weight. The audience knows what a courageous professional this man is.

My mother told me about Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik. When I have gone through tough times in my own life, I have used men like them to inspire me. How can I complain, when they went through so much worse? How can I give up, when they never did, through a six-hour shootout with Nazis who massively outgunned and outmanned them? How can I fail to take risks to fight evil, when a Slovak just like me managed to send to hell a man who seems to have emerged from its most fetid depths? "Anthropoid" is not a fun movie, but I'm glad I saw it. It brings me closer to the heroes it honors.
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KALLISTUART9 August 2016
Mission - To assassinate a top ranking Nazi Officer, Reinhard Heydrich. Not many films leave me feeling this much emotion.. so much so, I felt the need to write my 2nd review in around 5 years! I thought the casting was an interesting choice and Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan didn't disappoint but I really loved Anna Geislerova. Although most of the action is towards the end of the film, the lead up to the events gave a good insight to the characters which I find some films lack as they are too busy concentrating on special effects, rather than getting to know the characters. . I found myself holding my breath on many occasions! A truly gripping finale and I will definitely be watching this again.
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The best cinematic account of this historic event
rogerdarlington11 September 2016
On 27 May 1942, at a tight street corner in Prague, two resistance parachutists - the Czech Jan Kubiš and the Slovak Jozef Gabčík stopped an open top car carrying the Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich with the intention of carrying out the most high profile assassination of the Second World War. The consequences - both personal and political - were enormous. Kubiš and Gabčík, together with five other parachutists, eventually found refuge in an orthodox church near the city centre, but they were betrayed by one of the other parachutists and all died in the shoot-out with the SS.

My strong interest in the assassination is because it took place at the height of the wartime exploits of my Czech night fighter pilot father-in-law, so that I included a couple of paragraphs about it in my biography of him, and the church in which the assassins Kubiš and Gabčík died is literally at the end of the street in which my closest Czech friends live, so that I have visited it several times.

The year after the assassination which made massive world news, Hollywood rushed out two films - "Hangmen Also Die" and "Hitler's Madman" - which gave highly fictionalised accounts of the event and its aftermath. In 1964, there was a Czech film called "Atentát" (released under the English title "The Assassination"). "Operation: Daybreak" - released in 1975 - was a British portrayal of events which was shot on location (in what was then communist Czechoslovakia) and gave an essentially accurate narrative with some fictionalised embellishments.

So "Anthropoid" (2016) - the code name for the operation - is the fifth work to bring these events to the big screen and again this is a British-inspired work shot on location (in what is now the democratic Czech Republic).

Britain's Sean Ellis is director and cinematographer as well as co-writer and he has produced an accomplished work which is even more faithful to the facts and makes even more use of original locations than "Operation: Daybreak". Also dialogue and acting are both better than the previous film. Cillian Murphy is particularly good as Jozef Gabčík who is shown as the leading personality (in "Operation: Daybreak", Jan Kubiš - played this time by Jamie Dorman - was represented as leading the team). Another change is that the parachutists are shown as more human, given to bouts of doubt and fear.

The 1975 and 2016 films follow a very similar narrative arc, beginning with the jump by Kubiš and Gabčík and ending with their death, so that the actual assassination attempt is the hinge for the two very different segments tonally: the tense preparation and the ferocious aftermath. However, one difference is that the target of the assassination Reinhard Heydrich - who was a major character in "Operation"Daybreak" - in this latest film only appears in order to be attacked and has no dialogue at all. Also the new production opens and closes with some explanatory text that usefully underlines why this piece of history deserves to be remembered. Finally this is much more of Czech work with even greater use of Czech actors and technical talent.

Anna Geislerová - who plays Gabčík's girlfriend Lenka - is a major star in the Czech Republic. I could have done without the imaginary appearance of Lenka in the final moments but, that aside, the conclusion of "Anthropoid" packs a powerfully emotive punch. Indeed this is a film that lingers long in the memory and some of these memories are profoundly disturbing, but the viewer needs to be aware that even the torture scene of the young Ata Moravec actually happened.
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Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich May 1942
johnmcng13 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Around 1969 I read a book called "Seven Men At Daybreak" by Allen Burgess. It was book about Operation ANTHROPOID. This movie follows that book in nearly a mirror image. Being a World War II history buff, I felt it was an amazing film to watch. It follows a group of Czech soldiers who have returned home after escaping to England as their country was given away to Germany by the Munich Agreement. Jan Kubis and Josef Gabchik have been handed the task of assassinating Reinhard Heydrich, who is running the Czech occupation with an iron fist. The assassination plan is not popular with the underground because they are dreadfully afraid of retaliation by the Nazis. This proves to be a justifiable fear. After the deed is done there is a terrible backlash against the country. As the few remaining underground members try to develop a plan to smuggle the seven parachutists out of Praque, they are betrayed by an informer. The resulting shootout pitted the seven men, in two relays fighting an entire regiment of 750 crack SS troops. It lasted six hours. After the assassination, siege and reprisals, the final outcome was the voiding of the Munich Agreement by Winston Churchill. The bullet scars are still in evidence in the walls of the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prague. Hoping the movie is not overlooked at Oscar nomination time. It is beautifully photographed and historically accurate. The tension of the assassination and siege will have you on the edge of your seat.
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Very good WWII movie, good tribute to those that fell.
SpoilerAlertReviews13 September 2016
Not familiar with Sean Ellis' work but his catalogue looks very original like Cashback, Metro Manila and the Broken; all films I now want to see. His latest, written and directed by himself, is the true story during WWII in 1942, Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of SS General Reinhard Heydrich, Hilter's third in command and main architect of the Final Solution, better know as the Butcher of Prague, or the Blonde Beast and the Hangman.

We follow Slovak soldier, Jozef Gabčík played brilliantly by Cillian Murphy and his partner, Czech soldier Jan Kubiš also played superbly by Jamie Dorman as they infiltrate Prague and proceed in setting up an action plan. We see the emotional struggle between the two comrades and fellow resistance, as priorities and understanding of what is to come, changes.

Toby Jones, who happens to get into everything recently, plays supportive uncle Hajskŷ and I recognise Charlotte Le Bon from this year's Bastille Day. And I think the only native to act here is Czech model Anna Geislerová who looks a little like Joan Allen and Amber Valletta. Both the ladies playing the agent's counterparts to enforce their cover who eventually form an emotional bond.

The film starts off fairly slow in the months of preparation, a lot of political conflicts within the resistance due to knowing what the ramifications are likely to be, should they succeed. But the second part it's incredible, fierce and intense. The action sequences are captured excellently, giving a great sense of horrid realism and doesn't let up until the conclusion. The action reminded me of Saving Private Ryan, and the epic church scene was like the last stand at the Alamo. The resistance holding their position for over six gruelling hours as the hordes of Nazis attempt to breach the hideout.

The only foreign tongue we hear is German but it's nice and good effort hearing all the cast speak with an accent. Some of the movie is actually filmed at the locations in Prague adding to the realism of the film. It shows the brutality of Nazi Germany, the oppression people were under and what terrible fate was upon those who did not conform. The score, or lack of, was really good. Robin Foster managed to add suspense and silence was best suited for some of the more dramatic scenes.

A classic war movie that's tense, tough and gory both physically and emotionally. A superb tribute to the Czech resistance and those that died during this time. Interestingly, Cédric Jimenez is currently directing HHhH, based on the very same story that's due out next year. I wonder how that will compare.

Running Time: 7 The Cast: 7 Performance: 9 Direction: 9 Story: 9 Script: 8 Creativity: 10 Soundtrack: 7 Job Description: 9 The ExtraBonus Points: 10 for being accurate to what stories have been told, paying a great tribute to those who were lost during this time.

85% 9/10
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The needle in the haystack!
raymondyu11 August 2016
Of late, I have been fortunate to watch quite a few screenings and new releases. Most have been disappointing and I would not recommend anyone pay money to see them. Some were so bad I would not recommend anyone waste their time if/when it comes out for free on cable. While I have not reviewed any of those (yet), I wanted to give a massive shout out to Anthropoid. It was absolutely fantastic. Very well done. A historical piece based on actual events. An eye opening account of what went on in Czechoslovakia during the period of Nazi rule. Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan were superb! Highly recommend seeing it in theatres.
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Antedote to overblown special effects films
bankofmarquis19 August 2016
After months of slogging through big-budget, special effects studio films that were just "fine" all summer, I've finally encountered a hidden gem that is well worth watching.

ANTHROPOID is a World War II film starring Cillian Murphy that tells the true tale of a group of Czech resistance fighters on a mission (Codenamed ANTHROPOID) to assassinate Nazi SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the "Butcher of Prague".

Director and writer Sean Ellis (The Proposal) really breaks through in this taught thriller that is part drama, part thriller and part action movie. Ellis creates a group of real people (the drama part of the film) with real relationships operating undercover in a very dangerous situation (the thriller part) in order to carry out orders to assassinate the #3 in command of the German hierarchy (the action part).

Some will find the first hour of the movie a bit slow as Ellis builds up his characters and their relationships. This turns out to be an important slow burn build-up and really pays off as the action starts heating up the screen and you are really invested in what happens to these people.

The acting is top-notch starting with Murphy, who I looked at in this movie and wondered why he isn't a bigger star. As Mission Leader Josef Gabcik, he is strongly focused on the mission only to find out the real human consequences of his actions along the way. He is ably assisted by Jamie Dornan (who proves there is a real actor underneath the 50 Shades of Gray) as his partner who needs to find the courage to go through with the mission and the always reliable Toby Jones as the head of the Czech underground. These 3 known (at least to me) stars are joined by strong European actors/actresses, most notably Marcin Dorocinski (as a reluctant Resistance fighter), Alena Mihulava (as the woman who hides the resistance fighters), and Harry Lloyd (the ranking Czech officer). Most impressive to me is the work of Czech actress Anna Geislerova (as another resistance fighter). I could not take my eyes off of her when she was on the screen, so had to look her up. She has over 100 credits, none of which is widely known to US audiences (mostly Czech films). I would love to see her do other things.

The acting is good, the script/drama is tight and the action (once it is started) is terrific, showing just enough that you know where everyone is in relation to the others, what they are doing and what peril they are in. Director Ellis avoids going "overboard" and the action is all the better for it. The big studios could learn a thing or two about "less is more" from this film.

I really enjoyed this one - it was a welcome break from the onslaught of special effects that has become the norm in the summer - and I STRONGLY recommend it to you.

A strong 8 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank (of Marquis)
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Awesome movie
yramirezz13 August 2016
This is an awesome movie and the actors are wonderful. I think that this movie was not promoted enough. I traveled to another city hours away just to watch Jamie Dornan and I ended up falling in love not only with Jamie again but all the actors. I cannot say enough about how great this movie was. If you haven't watched it you must see it. Thank you to all the actors for trying to show us how it was in that time and how the people suffered during world war II. I think that we need to know more about the hero's that tried to help others and the actors showed us that. I cried at the end it is truly an emotional and very moving movie. It was really intense at some points in the movie I jumped out of my seat, but in all the actors stayed true to what was going on at the time. I salute the actors for their hard work and professionalism in making this movie a truly great movie!
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Anthropoid is one of those rare thrillers that actually educates viewers.
TheMovieDiorama9 March 2018
The plot is based on the WWII operation to assassinate the Reich's third in command, Reinhard Heydrich. A group of Czechoslovakian soldiers chose to follow orders, a rather commendable action that the film throughly explores. Disregarding their own fates, they chose to do what they believed was the right decision made by government officials in London. They knew the power that Heydrich held in Czechoslovakia and was a valuable asset to the Nazi regime. The beauty of this film, is that I knew nothing about Operation Anthropoid. Having watched this I've taken several pieces of information away therefore proving to be a successful representation of the story. The cast were all pretty good, especially Jamie Dornan who conveyed that vulnerability really well. The legend though, and I use that word with great power, is Cillian Murphy. Possibly one of the most underrated actors working today, he was superb yet again. The more serious and level headed of the pair, he showed emotional conviction and a sense of authority. One thing I did notice was that the forced Czech accents were fading in certain scenes, I'm not the biggest fan of English actors putting on fake European accents. Sean Ellis was a solid director, the final act alone impressed me. Oh and the last five minutes...palpable. Some really beautiful cinematography and was able to capture the tension terrifically. The production design was also fitting, it felt like 1940's Prague and I couldn't tell if any green screen backdrops were used so it looked authentic to me. My biggest negative is the pacing. The first half is so slow and monotonous that I was convinced this was going to go no where. Second half? BOOM! Action, thrills, tension! Perfect for a big screen iteration. The third act is just relentless war...definitely captivating. I also wished the screenplay explored the consequences of the assassination attempt, there was just one scene. Overall though, a slow first half leads to a thrilling second half. Educational and exciting.
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the last stand
ferguson-612 August 2016
Greetings again from the darkness. It's been more than 70 years since the Second World War ended, and it's still producing fascinating stories, books, and movies. Director Sean Ellis co-wrote the script with Anthony Frewin after tireless research into a secret mission of the Czech resistance known as Operation Anthropoid. The purpose was to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, third in command of The Reich behind only Hitler and Himmler.

Hitler invaded Poland the year after taking Czechoslovakia and put Heydrich in charge. In addition to being the main architect behind the Final Solution, Heydrich became known as "The Butcher of Prague" as thousands of citizens were slain under his reign of terror.

The story is split into two distinct parts … the buildup and the aftermath. It's late 1941 when we see Jan Kubis (Jamie Dornan) and Josef Gabcik (Cillian Murphy) parachute into the territory outside of Prague and make their way to the city only to discover their contact has been killed. Over the next few months, the two soldiers spend time planning, observing and blending in, while living with their host family – the Moravecs. They become attached to two local ladies (Charlotte Le Bon, Anna Geislorova), first as cover for the mission, and then in a more personal manner as tension builds and the mission gets closer.

Many of the original, historic and actual locations are used which adds an element of realism to a story that's already plenty real and emotional. The second half of the story is what happens after the assassination. Seven of the original parachutists go into hiding in the basement of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral. The manhunt is brutal and extensive, and once the hideout is discovered, a seemingly unending parade of German soldiers and ever-increasing weaponry are unleashed. It's a beautifully filmed, but gut-wrenching scene … think of the last stand at The Alamo.

An extended shootout (6 hours in real time) may not seem like a fun day at the movies, but this story goes to the bravery and desperation of those who refused to give in to the relentless savagery of the Germans. In addition to Ms. Le Bon and Ms. Geislorova, Czech screen vet Alena Mihulova is another standout here. The pacing of the story telling is a bit off at times, but director Ellis brings historical accuracy to a fascinating story in ways that movies such as Valkyrie and Inglourious Basterds didn't even attempt. As courageous as those in the resistance were, the aftermath and reprisals do beg the question … was it worth the price? Not an easy question to answer even in hindsight.
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Tale of Immense Bravery and Daring - Fabulous!
jjclaus12 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The Czech resistance operatives depicted in "Anthropoid" show what it takes to go all out to fight back against absolute tyranny. This film is a must for those interested in WWII in Nazi-occupied countries. A David and Goliath story where the Phillistines don't just walk away but mercilessly take retribution.

Cillian Murphy gives his usual lean and hungry performance as a man on a mission that has priority over everything else including his own life and those of others. There was no half-way resistance here, either you were in to the max or completely out. Even though Czechs were sold out at Munich in 1938 and completely under the Nazi thumb, they did kill the highest ranking Nazi during the War.

The sets are very real and take you there. "Anthropoid" is an inspirational and invigorating film!
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A really good solid piece of film making of a dark moment in history
azanti00299 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
For those who haven't seen the 1973 film Operation Daybreak, which covers the same story (As will the film Hhhh, also coming out soon) Anthropoid tells the story of the plot to assassinate Hitlers 3rd command, Reinhard Heydrich of the SS, whose job it was to hunt down and kill the remaining few resistance of Czechoslovakia in Prague. Heydrich was also the architect of the 'final solution' though how much of this was known to the Allies at the time of 1942 is not quite clear. However he had already arrested many people in Prague and executed 96 on his first day in office.

Two agents on orders from the exiled government in London parachute into the country on orders to kill him, if possible. Local resistance fighters are concerned what the repercussions of such an attack will mean for the civilian population. There is the morale dilemma for both the men and the audience. Is it better to go for a smaller, less high value target, where repercussions will be less severe or aim for someone at the top who has killed thousands already, may kill thousands more but whose death will almost certainly mean further devastation to the innocent?

Two men carrying out the operation, code named Anthropoid, are contrasting types, Jan (Jamie Dornan) hopes to be able to carry out the mission and survive the war, while Josef (Cillan Murphy)is already full committed to dying for his country if needs be and feels less inclined to become emotionally involved in those around him. This works extremely well, and though tricky with the accents, both actors pull off their roles extremely convincingly.

The film is very much one of two halves, the build up and planning of the operation and the relentless pursuit of the group involved, who betrayed by one of their own, fight to the last man in a six hour gun battle. The film, beautifully shot by Sean Ellis, who directs is well paced, well written (He also co wrote the script with Anthony Frewin) and suitably tense in all the right places. The final gun battle, I am certain will be regarded as a classic piece of cinema for decades to come. The colour pallet of the movie well suggests the tones of the 1940s and the Production Design here is first rate. The supporting cast, many of them largely unknown, also bring solid performances to the piece. Harry Lloyd does well to make his mark in his role that is written with minimal dialogue, while the two female leads, Charlotte Le Bon and Anna Geislerova both provide tangible motivation for the men to stay alive.

This film is not an easy watch but incredibly rewarding and does pose some extremely difficult question about sacrifice and repercussions. Who can say what other horrors Heydrich could have been capable of in his life had it not been ended in 1942? What is not in doubt is these men were willing to die for their country to be free of an occupying terror that was seeming to never end. An extremely well made, well intention film, which hits all the right marks for all the right reasons.
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Nice views of historical Prague
badamusova23 October 2016
I am from the Czech Republic and I actually live in the town they landed. Also I don't know how about elsewhere, but here it's a famous story every Czech should know.

I thought this was going to be a great movie, but it was a big disappointment. It was so full of historical inaccuracies I didn't know whether to cry or to laugh. Also the pronunciation of the Czech names from non-Czech actors was horrible. If they played Czechoslovakians, then at least they should have learned the names well.

First of all, they did NOT drop to a forest, there's not even a forest near by and do you think they would let them jump from the airplane if they would see a forest from above? Also they spent a night in a garden shed they found, the owner of this shed helped them a lot. NO SHOOTING.

In the film, they took someone's truck and drove to Prague? It wasn't very common to have a car and the Nazis would definitely stop them. Also they didn't want to go to Prague straight ahead, they should have landed in Pilsen and they had a contact there. Thats where they went after they dropped. BY TRAIN.

In this movie they get in touch with a few people, but they live with the Moravec family all the time, also everybody knew what they were up to. NO. They changed flats about 10 times before the attack itself, they couldn't fully trust anyone and it was also safer for other people not to know everything, also they had orders from England NOT TO TELL ANYONE.

Lets get to the attack itself. In the scene when they're getting ready, they mention that Čurda was supposed to be there as well. HE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY WERE UP TO. He only knew where they were hiding. After the attack there's a lot of shooting, which it also wrong, they were trying to run away as fast as possible, so they separated. The driver was trying to shoot Gabčít, but he accidentally loosened the magazine. ALL THREE ATTACKERS HID AT DIFFERENT PLACES AND MET AGAIN IN THE CHURCH. Surprisingly they got the fighting scene pretty well done, there were only a few things that irritated me. How come the Nazis always managed to throw their grenades in the reach of the paratroopers, so they threw it back in time?

If you want to see a good movie about Antropoid watch Atentát(1964)

I gave it a 5/10 because there are some really beautiful Prague views.
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Based on facts about the operation carried out in Prague on 27 May 1942 against Reinhard Heydrich
ma-cortes3 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
During World War 2 , in 1942 Czechoslovakia , SS-General Reinhard Heydrich is appointed by Hitler to become the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia , he is known as "The Butcher of Prague". As a squad of Czech expatriates formed by self-exiled Czech and Slovak soldiers (played by Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan) are parachuted into Czechoslovakia in order to assassinate the German governor Reinhard Heydrich , the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler . The group is assigned a dangerous mission called Operation Anthropoid , to execute a top-secret assignment that would change the face of Europe forever . It was hatched by the Allies after having been prepared by the British Special Operations Executive to eliminate a high-ranking Nazi (it is believed that Admiral Canaris passed crucial information to Allies for organizing the attack) . In Prague , the group is helped by partisans (Charlotte Le Bon , Sean Mahon , Toby Jones) . On 27 May 1942 , Heydrich proceeded on his daily commute from his home to Prague Castle. Gabčík and Kubiš waited at the tram stop at a tight curve . The spot was chosen because the curve would force the car to slow down . As Heydrich's open-topped Mercedes-Benz reached the curve , Gabčík stepped in front of the vehicle, trying to open fire, but his Sten gun jammed . Heydrich ordered his driver , SS-Oberscharführer Klein , to stop the car. When Heydrich stood up to try to shoot Gabčík , Kubiš threw a modified anti-tank grenade at the vehicle , and its fragments ripped through the car's right-rear fender , embedding shrapnel and fibres from the upholstery into Heydrich's body , even though the grenade failed to enter the car . The assailants initially hid with two Prague families and later took refuge in an Orthodox church dedicated to Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prague . The Germans were unable to locate the attackers until Karel Čurda of the "Out Distance" sabotage group was arrested by the Gestapo and gave the names of the team's local contacts for a bounty . The assassination of Heydrich was one of the most significant moments in the history of the resistance in Czechoslovakia and is considered to be the strongest act of defiance throughout occupied Europe . The act had such an impact that it led to the immediate dissolution of the Munich Agreement as signed by Great Britain and France , as well as Germany's ally Italy . Britain and France agreed that after the Nazis were defeated the annexed territory (Sudetenland) would be restored to Czechoslovakia. As Heydrich was one of the most important Nazi leaders , two large funeral ceremonies were conducted. The first one was in Prague , where the way to Prague Castle was lined by thousands of SS men with torches . The second was in Berlin attended by all leading Nazi figures , including Hitler, who placed the German Order and Blood Order medals on the funeral pillow . The betrayer Karel Čurda, after attempting suicide, was hanged in 1947 for high treason .

Film based on the true story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague . It explores the preparations , execution , and aftermath of this operation and the bloody revenge on the Lidice village . Operation Anthropoid shows the operation leading up to Heydrich's death as well as the massive German reprisals that followed it . One of the best things about this interesting film results to be its excellent recreation , shot in Prague with authentic scenarios , we have the full details of the events , the arrival of the command , the plan of attack , the realization of it , the Nazis retaliated with physical elimination of Lidice , and as they surrounded the Church of St. Cyril by the treachery of one of the components of the command . It was played by an magnificent plethora of actors , such as : Jamie Dornan as Jan Kubis , Cillian Murphy as Josef Gabcík , and Charlotte Le Bon , Brian Caspe and Jirí Simek as traitor Karel Curda . Furthermore , a functional and atmospheric cinematography by Sean Ellis himself . And an emotive as well as thrilling Original Music Score by Robin Foster . The motion picture was professionally directed by Sean Ellis . He is a craftsman and expert on all kind of genres . Sean Ellis was born in 1970 in Brighton , Sussex , England . He is a writer and director , especially known for Cashback (2006) , Metro Manila (2013) and Operación Anthropoid (2016).

It is based on on a true story that also was adapted by Fritz Lang , in 1943 ¨Hangmen Also Die¨ , ¨Hitler's Madman¨ (1943) and ¨Atentat¨ (1964) and in 2016 and 2017, two versions of the Heydrich assassination were released , ¨Operación Anthropoid¨ (2016) and ¨The man with the iron heart¨ (2017) by Cedric Jiménez with Rosamund Pike , Mia Wasikowska, Jack O'Connell, Jack Reynor , and Jason Clarke as Reinhard Heydrich and Stephen Graham as Himmler .
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My personal favorite WW2 Film
r-080611 January 2017
I have seen a lot of WW2 films from all sides. I've seen many Yugoslav films from my own country, American films showing either theaters (Pacific or Europe), a few from different countries like France, Poland, etc. quite a few Holocaust ones, ones with their own internal conflict (Finland's war with Russia) etc. I've seen many, many Russian ones (most recently Panfilov's 28) and American ones (Saving Private Ryan, but recently Hacksaw Ridge). I've seen expensive ones and cheap ones (Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers, budget is supposedly $0, it's all volunteer work), serious ones about the Holocaust and comic ones like Tarantino's. I've seen short ones (The German, 2008) and I've seen Band of Brothers.

I've seen a lot, more than most people.

Having said that, this one is my favorite. It's the only one where I felt I was there, I was not just an observer, but I felt like I was part of the crew.

This is the only film, war or not, in which I felt that I was there. I've never had such a strong connection to a film before.

There may be inaccuracies, the personalities were a bit filmified/movie-ized, but this movie gets 10/10 on the acting and delivery of emotion.

Wow. Just wow.
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One of the best resistance stories in film history.
jdesando22 August 2016
"Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once." Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

If you delight in the fantasy violence of summer blockbusters, you will lose any romantic notions about it when you see the real deal in Anthropoid, a based-on-actual-events biography about seven WWII resistance fighters who parachute into Nazi-held Czechoslovakia. Their job: assassinate the third highest ranking officer of the Reich, Reinhard Heydrich (Detlef Bothe), the Butcher of Prague.

As in all dictatorships, never a safe moment exists, and writer-director Sean Ellis, along with writer Anthony Frewin, emphasizes both the bravery of the fighters and the brutality of the Nazis in a quagmire of deceit and fear. No sympathy for any of occupiers but much to admire in the freedom fighters, the best examples of the "valiant" Caesar mentions in the above quote.

The two lead fighters, Jan (Jamie Dornan) and Josef (Cillian Murphy), crystallize the film's impressive depiction of understated bravery and humanity: Both take life-threatening chances -- Jan has realistic moments of cowardice and bravery while Josef is steadfast. Both fall in love in mature circumstances that brook little romance.

If there are any faults in Anthropoid, one would be the overly-long fight scene in the church hideout. After a few minutes, one can get the idea of the mayhem that lasted in reality about 6 hours. However, this scene certainly shows the valor of the fighters against the relentless Nazi machine.

In the end, Anthropoid is the story of heroism crucified by almost unstoppable, and certainly unfathomable, evil. Although we are buoyed up by any resistance victory, that joy is seriously tempered by the triumph of the enemy's will.

As the title suggests, subhuman Nazi anthropoids rule the landscape: in one instance, they bring in the severed head of a resistance sympathizer to torture her son. Yet, real loving, hurting humans try to survive the horror. Anthropoid makes Planet of the Apes look like The Sound of Music.

After Army of Shadows, Anthropoid ranks as one of the best resistance stories in film history.

"Satan understands the power of men and women united in righteousness." Sheri L. Dew
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This film is huge mis-step, let me explain why
rabbitmoon26 November 2017
I feel that this film doesn't do justice to the story of Anthropoid. If you're going to tackle something like this with a reasonable budget, you surely have a responsibility to do it well. My fear is that the generation of people being introduced to the story via this film (which they will do as its stars '50 Shades' Dornan, and Nolan- regular Cillian Murphy) won't understand any of the true depth or complexities of what happened. Great that they get to know about it at all, but it'll often be a case of "hmm, what next, Stranger Things?" rather than looking further or realising how much more there was to it.

It completely fails to set the context of what was going on in Prague at the time, the atmosphere of oppression with Heydrich's initiatives and the regular executions. Unforgivably, it fails to give any detail or context whatsoever to Heydrich, who this person was, why the Czechs feared him, or how he was instrumental in vast atrocities including the 'final solution'. Having had more context would have framed the story better in terms of how terrifying and important this mission really was. The actors weren't well directed at all - carrying the implication of foreboding via constant frowns and moodiness, whereas in reality the two (Gabcik especially) were more light-hearted and energetic. The director again fakes (unnecessary) tension by making Kubis trembling and panic-stricken - he didn't and wasn't. It doesn't mention how they landed far away from the intended landing point - and how they had to back track all the way to Pilsen to meet their contacts before getting into Prague (a huge inconvenience being that they landed quite near Prague). The HUGE story of what happened to Lidice and other reprisals is glossed over with a few lines of dialogue. Hitler's reaction to Heydrich's assassination, the strict curfew, mass arrests, executions, hundreds of thousands of house searches - so many moments of pure terror and fear that are just missed entirely. Cinematically the story is rich with such moments for raw emotional impact, so its a travesty that the first half of the film is pretty dull, choosing to focus instead on the romance element - in cheesy crowd-pandering fashion.

It also looks like a TV movie at best. The ending is appalling - rather than let the situation speak for itself, the director chooses to ram it down your throat with a muted soundtrack, cheesy piano score, and suggesting that Gabcik was fantasising about his dead girlfriend (she didn't die before Gabcik at all).

With HHhH (The Man With The Iron Heart) also completely messing this story up, its a shame that there are probably no opportunities left now without it seeming like overkill. The original Czech film Atentat is still the best and most atmospheric version.
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Bravo Mr. Ellis
brunswick_of_bohemia7 February 2019
Having seen all three other post-war film versions covering this remarkable true story (Atentat, Operation Daybreak and Man With the Iron Heart), Anthropoid is without any doubt the best of them. Its pace reminded me another great WWII movie, The Great Escape. The first half may seem to be slow, but once the operation starts, it is a thrilling non-stop action. The final shootout unleashed by the Czech agents in the church is pure hell, and in my opinion, it is one of the best shootout scenes made in the entire film history. The movie very credibly expresses the atmosphere in Prague under the nazi occupation, which is underlined by the brilliant soundtrack. Jamie Dornan, Toby Jones and especially Cillian Murphy are acting pretty solid, and all credits to the Czech actors too, namely Alena Mihulova, Ana Geislerova and Pavel Reznicek. Being a Czech, I have also appreciated the accuracy of the movie. All major events of that time are covered in the film as they have really happened.

PS As someone wrote before me, if you have seen Anthropoid, you can skip Man With the Iron Heart.
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One of the best II world war stories shown
Luigi Di Pilla2 April 2018
It was amazing how this true story has been told in each detail. This is a great work and respect to all the staff. All the actors delivered solid performance and I want to see them again all in other films. It was never boring and i know now better what really happened at this very important assault to a high Nazi leader. The setting and atmosphere were perfectly created. God bless all the opponents who lost their lives. Don't miss it if you like war history. 8/10
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A Contained and Quieter War Movie Until the Finale, Anthropoid is a Smaller Story About a Group of Brave Men
CANpatbuck366425 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I had never heard of Operation Anthropoid but then again I really hadn't heard a lot about this movie. Which is too bad, we've been getting a lot of WW2 movies lately but this movie definitely tells a story that's worth telling. I thought it covered some unique angles that you don't really get in other movies. With the movie being set in an overlooked war-torn place (Czechoslovakia), it brings some light to a terrible time where the Czechoslovakians were doing all they could to get the help from the Allied forces.

*Minor Spoilers Ahead* It's December 1941, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia and the government has been forced into exile. Despite being invaded, Czechoslovakia hasn't gotten any help. The government in exile decides to execute Operation Anthropoid, an assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich to hopefully gain the favour of the Allied Nations.

Agents Jozef Gabcik (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubis (Jamie Dornan) parachute into a remote area of Czechoslovakia. They land safely but Jozef gets a large cut on his foot from colliding with a tree. They hobble to safety. The next morning they are discovered by 2 resistance fighters who offer to let them stay in their home. The peace only lasts briefly however as Jozef deduces the two men are trying to sell them out to the Nazis. Jozef kills one of them but Jan slips up and the other one gets away. Jozef and Jan decide the situation is no longer safe, steal a truck and begin to make their way to Prague.

After reading a little bit on Wikipedia after watching the movie, I guess Heydrich was the highest ranking member of the Nazi party to be assassinated. One of the things that I liked about this movie is that it was largely a spy thriller as opposed to an action movie until the final act. The movie dug into the pounding the pavement work that the agents of the resistance had to do to get things ready and how it was difficult to secure the co-operation of everyone involved in Operation Anthropoid. This kind of thing has been done before but rarely so well in a war movie (at least I haven't seen another one that has).

The biggest thing that this movie covered that most war movies gloss over is when the mission is done, there are severe consequences for what these people planned to do. We know that the Nazis were brutal but Anthropoid explains in detail the swift and bloody retribution that was carried out when high level officials were threatened or killed. People were tortured, there were mass executions when these were people who had nothing to do with those dramatic events. They really dive into the gravity of what they are doing and that it was a risk, only if the Allies would help them would it be worth it. They also do a good job showing the doubt and the fear that you can experience when you actually have to undertake something like this. There's a great scene where Jozef has to physically restrain a hysterical Jan who can't cope with the pressure and he doesn't want to do this having just gotten married.

Looking at the cast of the movie, Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan looked like odd choices for the leads. Cillian is more of a character actor and Jamie was just in the debacle that was 50 Shades of Grey. They both acquit themselves very well. Their accents are a little iffy but they sell the story and the movie really relies on them. Cillian's always been a great actor but I was impressed with Jamie Dornan. Cillian was the stronger of the two but Jamie proved to me that he wasn't the hack everyone said he was. Toby Jones was weirdly cast, he's another great character actor but this was a pretty small role, I wonder what made him sign on to this. I also liked Anna Geislerová and Harry Lloyd in their supporting parts.

What people will probably remember from Anthropoid is the big action scene at the end. I wouldn't stack it up against Saving Private Ryan or Hacksaw Ridge but it's as well shot and exciting as any other climactic war set piece I've seen lately. It really underscores the drama as it's the agent's last stand and they do a good job showing the battle from all angles.

This movie wasn't the next great war movie but it was the definition of solid. It succeeded as it's own thing (the closest comparison I could make is to Valkyrie, I liked them both about the same amount but they're different movies) and it told an interesting story. I wish it had gotten more publicity and recognition, they do a good job making things look authentic as they're working with a smaller budget. Check this out if you get the chance.
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What a pity.....
aleator13 September 2016
The true story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich was made as 'Operation Daybreak' back in 1976 and it's hard to see why it was felt necessary to remake it as this version adds nothing new. The cast all speak English with mid-European accents; none of the Nazi soldiers look or sound remotely German and ...oh dear...did they have to wheel out Toby Jones again - he must be the world's most overworked actor these days. This is yet another film seriously spoiled by the use of hand-held camera and rapid editing. Why do film-makers persist in employing this technique which is well past its sell-by date. It adds nothing to the film and induces a mild state of nausea in the viewer.
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A well-crafted historical action thriller that brings forward a tragically prominent story with high emotional resonance.
eshwarmail3 January 2017
It is a testimony to a collective failure of humanity in the modern world especially considering the volume of massacre and the reach of Nazi Germany. At the same time, it is also a phenomenal display of hope and extraordinary courage through actions of certain individuals while staring down at an impending ruthless torture and certain death. Though the oppressions of Nazi rule against Jews is well documented (even though it is never enough), their brutality against Czhechs is never highlighted as it could have been. This movie intends to change that with a crash course on history engulfed around a thrilling main plot to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the architect behind the Final Solution.

Jan Kubis (Jamie Dornan) and Josef Gabcík (Cillian Murphy) are sent by the Czech government-in-exile to assassinate Nazi Germany 3rd-in- command SS Officer Reinhard Heydrich, which is code named Operation Anthropoid. They take refuge in Moravec's residence, a family of Czech resistance sympathizers from where they do the recce of Heydrich's movements. While the local resistance group led by Uncle Hajský (Toby Jones) and Ladislav Vanék (Marcin Dorocinski) does support them despite their internal varying opinions about the impact and consequence, the day to execute the operation gets preponed due to an intel about recall of Heydrich back to Berlin. Are they ready to go through with the operation?

A retelling of such a historically prominent story requires the right perspective, right tone and also should capture the emotions right to strike a chord with the audience. Anthropoid starts in the right direction with utmost sincerity but seems to have faltered somewhere in between that I can't quite place. Though featuring a large ensemble cast with only a few relatively known faces does help with its narrative to let the audience just see the characters. The production values and art direction are solid which brings the period to life with attention to detail and setting up most scenes in the interiors does help too. Instead of being a deviation, the romantic subplots acts as a window to the assassin's emotional state of mind. There are some moments which are not for everyone, especially the torture sequence of Ata, the 17 year old son of Mrs. Moravec which is gritty and impactful.

While it is a solidly made historical action thriller, a critical view does bring forth some aspects which could have been better. The climax showdown shows the highly trained fully equipped German soldiers going down like ninepins when confronted by the Czech resistance with just their pistols and submachine guns. The entire narrative when looking at it in retrospect does pan out sentence by sentence from Wikipedia, a little non-linear approach in terms of script could have elevated it a bit. A standard Hollywood gimmick to establish hope before curtailing it comes to the fore when the escape route from the church to the sewers was discovered, or when Ladislav finalizes the coffins under which he plans to smuggle the refuges out of the church. These events possibly might not have happened and does stuck out like a sore thumb. But you never know, sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction.

A well-crafted historical action thriller that brings forward a tragically prominent story with high emotional resonance.
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William_Henry_Pratt12 February 2017
Anthropoid suffers from a lifeless, unfocused script, claustrophobic framing, and desultory direction . What could have been a fascinating account of the assassination of SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich and the reprisals on the citizens of Czechoslovakia turns into a weak melodrama that does not deliver the elements needed for a satisfying motion picture. Almost nothing was really developed or it was thrust upon the audience without any care or preparation. The material is so rich yet most of it was skimmed over. I don't see why anyone would consider this script good enough to be a major motion picture. I was very disappointed.
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An Intelligent and Disturbing Take on a WWII Resistance Operation
nicholasruddick21 August 2016
Its title makes this film sound like a monster thriller, and so it is, but not in the expected way. This is a violent, harrowing film about a real incident in WWII, and by the end you'll feel weak-legged and drained. But it's also a very fine film that gives real insight into the horrors of the Nazi occupation of central Europe and the difficulties of resisting it. Though there are plenty of bad guys here, there are no purely good ones. We are reminded that Czechoslovakia was handed over by the allies to Hitler to appease him, entirely in vain. Under the Nazi jackboot not even close family can be trusted to keep secrets. We see acts of extraordinary bravery while continually questioning whether the price for those acts was too high.

Two expatriates have been parachuted secretly into their homeland tasked by their government-in-exile to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler's third-in-command and the monster overseeing the brutal repression of Czechoslovakia. Meeting what is left of the local resistance in Prague, they expect a hero's welcome. Instead they find themselves caught up in violent arguments about whether their mission, Operation Anthropoid, won't lead to worse atrocities.

The narrative includes many hand-held shots with facial close-ups, giving it an immediate, documentary intensity. The colour footage has a washed- out quality that gives a 1940s feel, and the Prague location shots are totally convincing. Even the obligatory romances are fully and plausibly incorporated into the main narrative. The acting is universally excellent: if you didn't know these actors, you'd swear they were all Czechoslovaks. Warning: the dialogue is all in heavily accented English, so it can be sometimes be difficult to hear. But it's never difficult to figure out the intended meaning. This is a film in which actions speak louder than words.
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Operation: Daybreak (1975) Far Better Movie
dilsonbelper30 August 2016
I my opinion Operation: Daybreak (1975) is a far better movie than this remake, with a much better atmosphere of the struggle and tense time the people of Prague were experiencing Q... the quality of acting? once again the question arises CAN MR DORNAN ACT ??? The direction has a modern feel but keeps a steady pace and the script is good but as is most the case in modern day movies ....The Acting is really poor Murphy and Dornan are truly unconvincing with dreadful accents, what a shame it really it could have been a great remake of a very good attempt back in the 70's,

I would suggest to go and see this and make your own mind up, but also watch the 1970's movie Operation: Daybreak (1975) too.
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