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Review: Berlin Syndrome

Title: Berlin Syndrome
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Cate Shortland
Starring: Teresa PalmerMax RiemeltMatthias Habich
Runtime: 1 hr 56 mins

What It Is: Clare (Palmer) is an Australian photographer visiting Berlin on holiday. One day she meets a charming English teacher named Andi (Riemelt). At first, he seems like a lovely man. Patient and kind, but soon Clare start to realize that Andi may not be who he has presented himself to be. When Clare begins to realize that she’s now locked in his house with no way out. No entrapped Clare now only has two choices live with these decisions or risk everything to escape.

What We Think: This is similar to the previously reviewed Hounds of Love in that it is a kidnap thriller. That’s kind of where those similarities end. Teresa Palmer gives a career best performance. The dialogue is good, but not great. When we look at everything as a whole this is a good movie with some great tension that kinda falls a bit flat on its face by the third act. Max Riemelt isn’t that believable as this slimy guy and his occupation as a teacher never unnerved me in the slightest. The bigger picture is that the are way too many easy plot devices.

Our Grade: B, A fairly compelling thriller is driven by a strong lead performance. I recommend this film slightly but caution that the sexual assault may prove triggering to some. So to might the subtitles. Not to worry though if you choose to check this one out you may cancel any future plans of visiting die hauptstadt anytime in the near future. There are similar films with similar preferences but rarely do they feel as visceral as this. That makes it a difficult watch for most so just heed my warning on that now.

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