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8.8
/10
11,552 Ratings

M

Directed by Fritz Lang
Germany, 1931
Crime, Drama

Synopsis

A madman (Peter Lorre) is stalking the streets of Berlin, abducting small children. As public hysteria mounts, both the police and the criminal underworld start to hunt him. Bit by bit, the net tightens…

M Directed by Fritz Lang
A classic tale of catechizing human virtue in pre-Nazi Germany, Lang’s first talkie keeps us terrorized with onscreen dialogue and asynchronous off-screen sounds. The adumbral opening is flawless Expressionism—menacing cuckoos, leering abandonment and the awakening of sheer terror within one silhouette.
July 08, 2015
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If there’s one thing that Fritz Lang’s 1931 film M still teaches us, it’s that beyond all else, filmmakers should strive to place images on the screen that he or she sincerely believes will have never been seen before. An astounding hybrid of Bible-black film noir and a lithe take on German expressionist dynamics in which the shadows are literally out to kill you, there’s nary a shot in this film which (still) doesn’t feel as fresh as a new-growth daisy.
September 04, 2014
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To M’s towering credit, the murderer stares back at us in the mirror: This is a movie that dares to sympathize with a sick person, that risks making the monster real and us (in an era when Germany’s cinema was still shellacked in canted angles and fanciful shadows). When Lorre is thrown to the floor, wailing in a moment of capture, we see him as human, painfully flesh and blood. Lang doesn’t excuse this soul, nor does he turn him into some rarefied supergenius.
March 12, 2013
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