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      TRAILER 1:42

      The Lives of Others

      2006, History/Drama, 2h 17m

      163 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      Unlike more traditional spy films, The Lives of Others doesn't sacrifice character for cloak and dagger chases, and the performances (notably that by the late Ulrich Muhe) stay with you. Read critic reviews

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      The Lives of Others  Photos

      A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others." A scene from the film "The Lives of Others."

      Movie Info

      In 1983 East Berlin, dedicated Stasi officer Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), doubting that a famous playwright (Sebastian Koch) is loyal to the Communist Party, receives approval to spy on the man and his actress-lover Christa-Maria (Martina Gedeck). Wiesler becomes unexpectedly sympathetic to the couple, then faces conflicting loyalties when his superior takes a liking to Christa-Maria and orders Wiesler to get the playwright out of the way.

      • Rating: R (Some Sexuality/Nudity)

      • Genre: History, Drama, Mystery & thriller

      • Original Language: German

      • Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

      • Producer: Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann

      • Writer: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

      • Release Date (Theaters):  limited

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $11.3M

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

      • Production Co: Creado Film, Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion, Arte, Bayerischer Rundfunk

      Cast & Crew

      Martina Gedeck
      Ulrich Mühe
      Sebastian Koch
      Ulrich Tukur
      Thomas Thieme
      Herbert Knaup
      Volkmar Kleinert
      Gabriel Yared
      Stéphane Moucha
      Hagen Bogdanski
      Patricia Rommel
      Silke Buhr
      Frank Noack
      Gabriele Binder

      News & Interviews for The Lives of Others

      Critic Reviews for The Lives of Others

      Audience Reviews for The Lives of Others

      • Mar 12, 2017

        The intersection of art, politics, and surveillance here is profoundly interesting. Ultimately not a historical chronicle of East Germany, but a story about the inevitable failure of all totalitarian regimes which, despite much of the film's depressing plot, makes it quite hopeful.

        Super Reviewer
      • Mar 18, 2016

        The depth and poignancy of The Lives of Others makes it an unforgettable masterpiece, and this film is nothing less than one of the best I've ever seen. Kudos to the late Ulrich Muhe for his performance of a lifetime.

        Super Reviewer
      • May 23, 2013

        "The Lives of Others" is not the espionage action-thriller I had been led to believe it was. There is a great deal of tension to be found in some of its sequences, but for the most part, director/writer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck avoids the tired shootouts and car chases in favor of well-written characters and thought-provoking drama. I was sad to see the characters portrayed by Ulrich Mühe and Sebastian Koch (both of whom are incredible in their roles) go. Also, "The Lives of Others" contains one of the most inspiring endings I have ever seen.

        Super Reviewer
      • Oct 27, 2012

        Chilling and powerful. Yes -- it's in German. Get over it.

        Super Reviewer

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