7.5/10. Hugely interesting characters. Their exact back stories are unclear. Petzold often does that. He thinks much of the back information more standardly conveyed in scripts is unnecessary. I like that approach and the way it avoids clichés. Here, it also works to suspenseful effects. This is the most straightforwardly narrative Petzold film I know. A chamber play set by the Baltic Sea.
It is not for me to say how some reviewers may be missing some of the points of this film--but I myself was shocked at how, upon reflecting on the film after it was over, I realized I had been rooting for the dishonorable people all along. None of the characters are saints, but some have more integrity than others.
If only Ali had considered the economic implications of his employees' morale as carefully as he did the finer points of fuel economy, some of this would never have happened. Most of it still would have. A minor point. Jerichow is a handsome but redundant film. The changes it rings on Cain are insufficient to make the story compelling in a new, site-specific way, and its plot-driving passion is too pale a fire.