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Amen.

7/10
Drama . History . Crime . War
 

The film "Amen." examines the links between the Vatican and Nazi Germany. The central character is Kurt Gerstein, a member of the Institute for Hygiene of the Waffen-SS who is horrified by what he sees in the death camps. Moreover, he is shocked to learn that the process he used to purify water for his troops, by using zyklon, served as a basis to kill people in gas chambers.

 
Actors: Hanns Zischler , Günther Maria Halmer , Antje Schmidt , Friedrich von Thun , Ion Caramitru , Marcel Iures , Michel Duchaussoy , Ulrich Mühe , Mathieu Kassovitz , Ulrich Tukur
Directors: Costa-Gavras
Country: FRANCE , GERMANY , ROMANIA
Release: 2002-02-27
More Info:
  • Desson Thomson

    It's not every day that movies present a Teutonic character in SS uniform as an unambiguously moral hero, so enjoy this rarity. And the film.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Subtle distinctions have not been Costa-Gavras' long suit, but urgency becomes him in this forceful and intelligent evocation.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Kevin Thomas

    A handsome period production of fluidity and subtlety, intimate and large-scale.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Marta Barber

    Although the unrelenting pursuit of making the Vatican listen becomes a bit tiresome, the portrayals of the two men by Tukur and Kassovitz are engaging.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    Costa-Gavras provides a post-war postscript to make clear that honesty is punished; cynicism survives.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Stratton

    Despite fine performances and the care lavished on the production, Amen. is never as emotionally powerful as it should be.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The movie is repetitious, crudely dramatized, and awkwardly acted -- in English, which seems to be the second or third language of everyone involved -- Yet the movie, heavy-handed as it is, serves as a powerful rejoinder to “Blind Spot.”

    Slate Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    An absorbing and compelling account of a historical episode that should be better known.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Patrick Z. McGavin

    Costa-Gavras' powerful, awkward Amen is a dramatically uneven historical thriller.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Tricked up with so many points that there's barely any flow to it.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Ken Fox

    About as subtle as a hammer blow to the skull and marred by a heedless mixture of fact and fiction.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    While Amen works as a history lesson, it's less effective as a thriller, since the outcome is sadly all too well-known.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    Amen is propelled by a most dubious assumption -- Gerstein's belief that if the German people knew of the Holocaust, they'd stop it.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    In the end Amen is neither as moving nor as illuminating as it should be. It suffers especially when compared -- as is inevitable, given the closeness of their release dates -- with "The Pianist," Roman Polanski's movie about a Polish Jew during the Nazi occupation.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Unfortunately, structural flaws and a built-in lack of suspense keep it from being nearly as moving as it was intended to be.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Amen should be a powderkeg of a movie, yet the urgency and force that defined Costa-Gavras' earlier work has been drained away, along with his invigorating newsreel craft.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    It's regrettable that director Costa-Gavras puts more of his storytelling energy into simplistic psychology and suspense-movie action than historical depth and philosophical insight. This prevents Amen. from becoming a Holocaust drama for the ages.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Stanley Kauffmann

    The picture as a whole lacks the energy and incisiveness --the sheer anger-- that have marked Costa-Gavras's best films. A pity, because it is a true Costa-Gavras subject.

    The New Republic Full Review
  • Marrit Ingman

    Too bloodless to satisfy except as a political exercise.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
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