The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

The Zookeeper’s Wife
Director: Niki Caro
Writer: Angela Workman
Based on: Diane Ackerman‘s non-fiction book
Cast: Jessica ChastainJohan HeldenberghDaniel BrühlTimothy RadfordEfrat DorIddo GoldbergShira HaasMichael McElhatton
Seen on: 18.4.2017

Plot:
Antonina Żabińska (Jessica Chastain) and her husband Jan (Johan Heldenbergh) run the Warsaw Zoo together and things have been going well. That is, until the Germans march into Poland in 1939 and turn their lives upside down. Antonina and Jan remain pretty privileged, although their Zoo is taken apart, the rarest animals shipped to the zoo in Berlin run by Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl) and the grounds are used for German soldiers. But once they realize how bad the situation for the Jews in Warsaw is, they start helping in any way they can.

The Zookeeper’s Wife tells a pretty amazing story about exceptional people and will leave no tearduct untouched. I enjoyed it, as much as you can enjoy a film about the holocaust.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America: Civil War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comic by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr.Sebastian Stan, Scarlett JohanssonAnthony Mackie, Don CheadleJeremy Renner, Chadwick BosemanPaul BettanyElizabeth OlsenPaul RuddEmily VanCampTom HollandDaniel BrühlFrank GrilloMartin FreemanWilliam Hurt, Marisa TomeiJohn KaniJohn SlatteryHope DavisAlfre WoodardStan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 1.5.2016

Plot:
After the recent events surrounding the Avengers, the UN feels it necessary to institute some kind of regulation for the action of superheroes. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who feels guilty about all the damage, destruction and death that happened on his watch and due to his decisions, thinks that’s a very good idea, while Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) fears that they will cease to be an effective task force, bogged down by bureaucracy, if they have to wait for approval by somebody else. And who’s to say that that somebody will make the right decisions and work for the right things? This disagreement causes a schism in the Avengers – a schism that only gets broader when Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is accused of planting a bomb in the UN meeting where the regulation is to be discussed and Steve wants to protect him at all cost.

I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So far, the films were always entertaining, even if varying in quality. With Avengers: Age of Ultron, [or with Guardians of the Galaxy although that isn’t that closely connected] they started to stumble, though and those smaller missteps are starting to get more notable the longer the series goes on. Civil War proves that: while it was far from awful and delivered on many counts, I felt more unsatisfied with it than with most of the earlier MCU films.

captainamericacivilwar

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Colonia (2015)

Colonia aka Colonia Dignidad
Director: Florian Gallenberger
Writer: Torsten Wenzel, Florian Gallenberger
Cast: Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, Michael Nyqvist, Richenda Carey, Vicky Krieps, Jeanne Werner, Julian Ovenden
Seen on: 22.2.2016

Plot:
Flight attendant Lena (Emma Watson) comes to Chile knowing that she has a couple of days until she has to fly back. She meets up with Daniel (Daniel Brühl), a photographer who is involved in the socialist movement in Santiago. But while the two enjoy their time together, a military coup happens and Pinochet rises to power. Suddenly Daniel’s political activism is a huge security risk for both of them. Daniel is promptly abducted. Lena manages to find out that he must have been brought to the Colonia Dignidad, a sect/military prison nobody gets away from, run by Paul Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist). Desperate and without receiving any help from the authorities, Lena decides to make her way there on her own to try and free Daniel.

Colonia got a lot of bad press and while it certainly won’t win any “film of the year” awards, it’s not quite as bad as that. Still, if you miss it, you won’t miss much.

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Burnt (2015)

Burnt
Director: John Wells
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Omar Sy, Sam Keeley, Henry Goodman, Matthew Rhys, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Lily James
Seen on: 16.12.2015

Plot:
Adam (Bradley Cooper) was the rising star in the cooking world before alcohol and drugs got the better of him. When his career was completely destroyed (plus the career of some of his friends for good measure), he set himself  the penance of shucking a million oysters. Three years later he is sober and as he reaches the final oyster, he is ready to give his career a new start. Activating all his old connections and bullying himself into a restaurant kitchen, he is ready to get that third Michelin star.

Burnt is a film about an asshole that for some reason is be believed the coolest person on the planet. The best that I can say about it is that it’s watchable and the cast is good. Other than that, though, I was mostly annoyed by it.

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Woman in Gold (2015)

Woman in Gold
Director: Simon Curtis
Writer: Alexi Kaye Campbell
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Antje Traue, Elizabeth McGovern, Frances Fisher, Moritz Bleibtreu, Tom Schilling, Justus von Dohnányi, Olivia Silhavy, Ludger Pistor
Seen on: 8.6.2015

Plot:
Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren/Tatiana Maslany) had to flee Austria during the Second World War because she’s Jewish, and has never returned there since she was exiled to the USA and lost most of her family to the Nazis. But after the death of her sister, Maria realizes that she has the responsibility to guard her family’s memories. And part of those memories is the painting of her aunt Adele (Antje Traue), painted by Gustav Klimt (Moritz Bleibtreu), that the Nazsi took from her home and that is now hanging in a federal Austrian museum. As the Austrian government just started hearing restitution claims, Maria asks lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) for help with recovering that painting. They even travel to Austria together, where they meet journalist Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Brühl) who warns them that the Austrian government won’t be cooperative. That proves to be right and Maria and Randy have to dig in for a long fight.

After I read the first reviews, I didn’t expect Woman in Gold to be any good. But I was pleasantly surprised: it’s an engaging and well-made film that is only marred by the German used in the film.

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The Face of an Angel (2014)

The Face of an Angel
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writer: Paul Viragh
Based on: Barbie Latza Nadeau’s book Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox
Cast: Daniel Brühl, Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne, Genevieve Gaunt, Lucy Cohu, Ava Acres, Rosie Fellner, Sai Bennett
Seen on: 3.6.2015

Plot:
Thomas (Daniel Brühl) is looking to make a documentary about the murder of a young American exchange student in Italy and the ensuing process against her roommate and fellow exchange student and her boyfriend. Once in Italy he meets with journalist Simone (Kate Beckinsale), who has been covering the entire affair and wrote one of many books about the case. Thomas is looking for an angle to cover the story, which is particularly difficult since there are more opinions about the case, the quality of the police work and the guilt of the accused than can be counted. As he is working on that, he meets the exchange student Melanie (Cara Delevingne) who introduces him to her world.

I am unsure whether The Face of an Angel has the worst script ever, or just an extremely bad script. Either way, I hated it and the entire film with it.

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A Most Wanted Man (2014)

A Most Wanted Man
Director: Anton Corbijn
Writer: Andrew Bovell
Based on: John le Carré’s novel
Cast: Philip Seymour HoffmanGrigoriy DobryginRachel McAdams, Nina Hoss, Daniel Brühl, Kostja Ullmann, Rainer Bock, Herbert Grönemeyer, Robin Wright, Willem Dafoe, Homayoun Ershadi

Plot:
Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) works for German intelligence. His current obsession is proving that charitable muslim Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi) is not quite as good as people think he is. He sees his chance when a young Russian/Chechnyan fugitive arrives in Hamburg. Issa (Grigoriy Dobrygin) has experienced awful things but he also brings with him a huge inheritance from his politically less than sound father. But first Bachmann has to gain access to the money and connect it to Abdullah, all while the American intelligence and most of the German intelligence has different plans than him.

I knew that I couldn’t resist watching something with that cast, but honestly Corbijn and me, we’ll probably never hit it off. That is also the case in this film which was boring, confusing and generally frustrating.

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The Fifth Estate (2013)

The Fifth Estate
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Josh Singer
Based on: Daniel Domscheit-Berg‘s book and David Leigh and Luke Harding‘s book
Cast: Daniel Brühl, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Capaldi, David Thewlis, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander, Michael Culkin, Moritz Bleibtreu, Carice van Houten, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, Stanley Tucci, Alexander Siddig

Plot:
When Daniel (Daniel Brühl) meets Julian (Benedict Cumberbatch) he is more than excited: Daniel has been keeping track of Julian’s hacking work and the WikiLeaks site he instated: a perfectly anonymous option for whistleblowers. Daniel wants to work with Julian and Julian lets him in, reluctantly at first. But soon their project gets bigger than they ever expected.

The Fifth Estate was an entertaining movie with a few lenghts and a disturbing subtitle-phobia. The cast was absolutely awesome, though.

FifthEstate

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Rush (2013)

Rush
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Peter Morgan
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, David Calder, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay

Plot:
James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) is a cocky race car driver who dreams of finally making it into Formula One. When his path crosses with Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), their personalities immediately clash, giving rise to a giant rivalry. When Niki buys his way into Formula One, James follows suit. But their rivalry becomes increasingly risky, which finally leads to a horrific accident.

We’ve been bombarded with trailers for this movie for quite a while – so much so that I almost didn’t want to see it anymore when it finally come out. But I went anyway and was generally rather pleasantly surprised by it.

rush

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The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

The Bourne Ultimatum
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns, George Nolfi
Based on: Robert Ludlum‘s novel
Sequel to: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy
Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Paddy Considine, Édgar Ramírez, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, Daniel Brühl

Plot:
Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is still running, hiding and not remembering. But then he stumbles upon an article by Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) about himself, the Treadstone Project and Operation Blackbriar. So Jason goes to meet Simon to find out his source and get more info about his past. But in the meantime Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) is on Jason’s tail – and he wants nothing more than to make Jason go away for good.

The Bourne Ultimatumg is a rather satisfying conclusion to the trilogy and to Bourne’s story, though I didn’t get into it as much as I would have liked.

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