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Parents' Guide to

Berlin, I Love You

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Limp anthology has brief nudity, language, adult themes.

Movie R 2019 120 minutes
Berlin, I Love You Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say: Not yet rated

This film's failure is proof that crafting a great short is an underrated skill, and all the star power in the world can't make up for the lack of it. Berlin, I Love You is all unconvincing romances, nonengaging exposition, and unearned sturm und drang. There's a pandering #MeToo-inspired episode in a fantasy laundromat that climaxes in an unappealing song-and-dance number featuring laboriously worked-in shouts of "Me too!" and "Time's up!" But the film's worst segment is truly objectionable, written by Neil La Bute, directed by Til Schweiger, and starring Rourke and Garrn. The dialogue sounds like someone took speeches from noir seduction scenes, put them in a blender, and gave them to the actors the second before the cameras started rolling. It's hard to tell whether its "shocking" ending is meant to be a twist, but, as it's not surprising in the least, the entire experience of viewing the segment is stomach-turning. Those who don't stop watching after that one won't find the rest of the film particularly redeeming.

The bright spots are few and far between, but there are a few. Kekilli charms as a tough-to-bring-down taxi-driving immigrant in a segment with another Game of Thrones alum, Rheon. Alas, it ends at the moment it becomes about something other than her charisma. A bit with Diego Luna as a drag queen is warm. How the filmmakers got Mirren is a mystery, but clumsy exposition threatens to smother her refugee-crisis piece with Knightley until the exercise is more or less redeemed by a single gesture. If you want to see some fascinating limited-length narratives, the annual crop of Oscar-nominated shorts are usually far more affecting or thought-provoking (and worthy of your support) than anything in Berlin, I Love You.

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