20 Finest Examples Of German Cinema


Germany is a pioneer for the art of cinema. From the beginning of the 20th century til today, filmmakers from Germany have created top quality pictures for the audience. Here is our list for you to take a sneak peek into German cinema history.

Movies are listed according to their IMDb scores. Plot summaries are from imdb.com

20. Christiane F. (1981)

Christiane F.

This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story apartment building in Berlin. She's fascinated by 'The Sound', a new disco with the most modern equipment. Although legally she's too young, she asks a friend to take her. There, she meets Detlef, who's in a clique where everybody's on drugs. Step by step she gets drawn deeper into the scene.

IMDb: 7.6

19. Die Blechtrommel (1979)


Danzig in the 1920s/1930s. Oskar Matzerath, son of a local dealer, is a most unusual boy. Equipped with full intellect right from his birth he decides at his third birthday not to grow up as he sees the crazy world around him at the eve of World War II. So he refuses the society and his tin drum symbolizes his protest against the middle-class mentality of his family and neighborhood, which stand for all passive people in Nazi Germany at that time. However, (almost) nobody listens to him, so the catastrophe goes on...

IMDb: 7.6

18. Funny Games (1997)

Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

IMDb: 7.6

17. Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (2005)

A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.

IMDb: 7.7

16. Good Bye Lenin! (2003)


In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

IMDb: 7.7

15. Victoria (2015)


A young Spanish woman who has newly moved to Berlin finds her flirtation with a local guy turn potentially deadly as their night out with his friends reveals a dangerous secret.

IMDb: 7.7

14. Das Experiment (2006)

For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.

IMDb: 7.8

13. Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (2009)

A couple of years before the outbreak of the First World War, in a feudal German village, mysterious events happen. First, the local doctor has an accident when his horse stumbles upon a hidden wire. Then a woman falls in a hole below the rotten floor of a barn and dies. The young son of the local baron is found hung upside-down and tortured. The son of the midwife is found tied to a tree and brutally battered. In an environment of cruelty and abuses, the local teacher suspects that the repressed daughter and the son of the pastor are the responsible for the crimes.

IMDb: 7.8

12. Run Lola Run (1998)


Lola receives a phone call from her boyfriend Manni. He lost 100,000 DM in a subway train that belongs to a very bad guy. Lola has 20 min to raise this amount and meet Manni. Otherwise, he will rob a store to get the money. Three different alternatives may happen depending on some minor event along Lola's run.

IMDb: 7.8

11. Amour (2012)

Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

IMDb: 7.9

10. Im Lauf der Zeit (1976)

A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.

IMDb: 8.0

9. Stroszek (1977)

In Berlin, an alcoholic man, recently released from prison, joins his elderly friend and a prostitute in a determined dream to leave Germany and seek a better life in Wisconsin.

IMDb: 8.0

8. Gegen Die Wand (2004)

Cahit is a German Turk in his 40's. He has given up with his life after his beloved wife's death, and he's living a miserable life right in the core of cocaine and excessive drinking. One night, he semi-intentionally crashes into a wall. At the hospital he's taken to, he meets a girl, Sibel, another German Turk who's tried to commit suicide. She's sick and tired of her family's ultra-traditional issues, and asks Cahit to carry out a white marriage with her out of the blue, so that she can become a married woman and get rid of her family's revolting pressure. Cahit is turned off by the idea at first, but then he agrees to take part in this plan. As Sibel tells him straightaway that she's interested in absolute freedom involving other men and he agrees, they live as roommates with separate private lives for a while. Then things take a different turn, and they're no longer two indifferent roommates. But their love story won't be anywhere as simple as any other...

IMDb: 8.0

7. Angst essen Seele auf (1974)


An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.

IMDb: 8.1

6. Der Himmel über Berlin (1987)

Two angels, Damiel and Cassiel, observe life on Earth and the human condition. They've been doing this for a very long time and have seen both the best and the worse of mankind. Damiel wants nothing more that to be human - to feel, to touch, to smell, to have emotions. When his wish is granted he also learns that being human has its limitations that are in many ways no different than being immortal.

IMDb: 8.1

5. Der Untergang (2004)

As the Russians advance through Berlin in the spring of 1945, Adolf Hitler and his remaining military and secretarial staff shelter in his large bunker complex in the centre of the city. His mood swings between completely unjustified optimism that his forces will still break through, and rage against the incompetence and betrayal of his military commanders. Reality does finally start to break through and the Fuhrer and the others in the bunker start to make their final personal preparations for the inevitable.

IMDb: 8.3

4. Metropolis (1927)


In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

IMDb: 8.3

3. Das Boot (1981)

1941 and the Battle of the Atlantic - German U-boats versus freighters supplying Britain - is underway. We see this struggle from the side of a German U-boat crew, U-96. We see them relaxing and having fun in port, the boredom of patrol, the tension of stalking a convoy and the sheer terror when they become the hunted.

IMDb: 8.4

2. Das Leben der Anderen (2006)

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

IMDb: 8.5

1. Berlin Alexanderplatz (1989)


In late-1920s Berlin, Franz Biberkopf is released from prison and vows to go straight; however he soon finds himself embroiled in the city's criminal underworld.

IMDb: 8.8

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