Set in Berlin, 1945, this powerful and provocative war drama retells the final days of the Second World War as recorded in the diaries of Adolf Hitler's private secretary, Traudl Junge, while barricaded with Hitler and his closest confidants in the Fuhrer's secret bunker. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel with an astonishing performance by Bruno Ganz as history's most notorious figure, this unprecedented and controversial insider's perspective is a gripping insight into the madness and desperation of Hitler in the final hours of the war as the Russian Army closes a ring around Berlin.
Brutally bleak and brilliantly acted.
- Downfall review by JD
This account of the last days of the third Reich from the Nazi bunkers is breathtakingly acted and strangely moving.
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
Powerful and enjoyable
- Downfall review by Pete W
Bruno Ganz's portrayal of Hitler should have won him an Oscar. A lengthy film but it doesn't drag (even though you know the ending!). The scene where Magda Goebbels slaughters her children is appalling - in the true sense of the word, as it should be. Don't be put off by the fact that the film is in German and subtitled - but it helps if you understand a bit of German. Special mention of the DTS soundtrack - the first Russian shell to fall on the bunker nearly blew my front room windows out.
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
A disturbing and gripping portrayal of the last days of WWII in Hitler's bunker
- Downfall review by BW
A contentious choice of subject matter finds Downfall heading into Hitler's bunker as Berlin falls at the close of WWII. Horrific, brutal and insane as you might expect but strangely gripping. The film is based on first-hand historical accounts and this intensely claustrophobic movie has quickly become something of a classic. There might be an argument that the film falls short in condemnation of the Third Reich but the somewhat dispassionate treatment only highlights the flagrant insanity of the Nazi leaders more. Bruno Ganz's portayal of Hitler is incredibly convincing. A powerful and traumatic work carefully composed for the screen.