5/10. Underwhelming, considering its glowing reception by German critics and its rank as Petzold's breakthrough film. For many "Berlin School" clichés, look no further: permanently gloomy faces, the looks of a 1980s TV film, and overlong takes. Most importantly in light of this tragedy's realistic pretensions, the law-enforcement material was BS. Never got the hype about Julia Hummer either—what a joke.
Ghosts are Petzold friends, as we may see in his best films like "Gespenster" or "Yella", but political issues is his most consistent subject. In this "Running on Empty" fiction, like in Lumet's film, there is enough drama to buid interest, but, helas, not enough formal vertigo. The vigilant cameras moments are very good, like inserts in the movie that makes"ghosts" appears, installing an idea of threat.
Well, if it ended 1 minute earlier I might have given 5 stars.. that kind of 'catharsis' was really not needed. Anyway, it's a very good film - powerful idea and skilfully implemented plus the acting has been really good. On the occasion of a problematic family of fugitives, Petzold pinpoints on intra-family relationship in all their complexities as well as in their social impact.