Never Look Away (2018)


Critic Consensus: Never Look Away fills its protracted running time with the absorbing story of an incredible life -- and its impact on the singular artist who lived it.


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Movie Info

A sweeping romantic historical drama, NEVER LOOK AWAY follows thirty years in the life of a great artist - loosely based on Gerhard Richter, one of the 20th century's most admired visual artists - played by Tom Schilling (Woman in Gold, Generation War). The film goes from a childhood witnessing Nazi Germany, to post-war East Berlin, where he falls in love with a young woman (Paula Beer, Frantz, The Dark Valley, Transit) whose father is an ex-Nazi murderer in hiding (Sebastian Koch, The Lives of Others, Homeland, Blackbook), to escaping to the West at the time of the Berlin Wall, and ultimately being part of the exciting new movement in contemporary art.


Tom Schilling
as Kurt Barnert
Sebastian Koch
as Professor Carl Seeband
Paula Beer
as Ellie Seeband
Saskia Rosendahl
as Elisabeth May
Oliver Masucci
as Professor Antonius van Verten
Ina Weisse
as Martha Seeband
Hanno Koffler
as Günther Preusser
Jörg Schüttauf
as Johann Barnert
Jeannette Hain
as Waltraut Barnert
Lars Eidinger
as Exhibition Guide Heiner Kersten
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Critic Reviews for Never Look Away

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6)

[It's] eager to make grand statements rather than to find poignancy and authenticity in one story. And yet, Donnersmarck touches on something elemental about how biography, inspiration, and history can combine to create something of lasting value.

Dec 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Never Look Away is philosophically vexing. But it's a good story well-told, and never grows tiresome despite its three-hour running time.

Nov 29, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

"Never Look Away" is nothing if not classical in its approach: It is stately and composed, clear-eyed and engrossing.

Nov 29, 2018 | Full Review…

The link between the two plots relies on a melodramatic coincidence that he sets up and then oddly declines to exploit.

Sep 11, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Admirably restrained, this is nonetheless a historical drama on an expansive canvas that, even though it runs over three hours, is always engaging.

Sep 4, 2018 | Full Review…

One of the subtler strengths of "Never Look Away" is the canny evocation of a war-weary, defeated population who did not experience communism as a revolution but a substitution.

Sep 4, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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