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With: Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto, Johannes Krisch, Ulrich Tukur, Samia Chancrin, Numan Acar, Rafael Santana
Written by: Fatih Akin, Hark Bohm
Directed by: Fatih Akin
MPAA Rating: R for some disturbing images, drug use, and language including sexual references
Language: German, with English subtitles
Running Time: 106
Date: 01/12/2018

In the Fade (2018)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Twist of Hate

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

German director Fatih Akin has made some very interesting movies over the past couple of decades, including fluid, lively titles like In July (2000), Head-On (2004), The Edge of Heaven (2007), and Soul Kitchen (2009). Now he's poised for his first real awards-season glory with In the Fade, which recently won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and is easily the most uninteresting of his films that I've seen. Whether it was simply blessed with good (or bad) timing, or whether it's trying to capitalize on the current (abominable) uprising of white supremacists, the movie tilts too far into heaviness and messages, and it goes on far too long.

Diane Kruger stars as Katja, who is happily married to a Kurdish man, a former drug dealer; they have a young son and live in Hamburg. Both her husband and son are killed in a terrorist attack, but Katja believes she saw someone suspicious at the scene. A young couple are arrested, and it turns out that they are, indeed, Neo-Nazis. The trial looks cut-and-dried, but a slick lawyer pokes holes in the case, and the couple goes free. This leaves the rest of the movie — a surprisingly long time — for Katja to plot her personal revenge. Essentially In the Fade is a revenge thriller without many thrills, and poses as a heavy-duty message movie that is really only a pulp thriller. Though it certainly picks up during the shocking, sometimes moving trial sequences, it's slow going and never quite sure of itself.

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