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Michael (Michael Fuith), a seemingly meek insurance agent, has a secret: he's holding 10-year-old Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) captive in a locked room in his basement. Chronicling a five-month period, director Markus Schleinzer reveals a tense portrait of how seemingly mundane lives can hide the darkest secrets. MICHAEL is a masterfully executed study of a monster with rich cinematic detail and unnerving insight.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 36
- Fresh: 29
- Rotten: 7
- Average Rating: 6.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: This coldly compelling film doesn't try to explain Michael's behavior or analyze his disease. As if doing penance for Michael's sins, it eventually metes out unequivocal punishment, but it is small consolation.
Fresh: Illustrating the banality of evil in an impressively controlled and sometimes darkly humorous fashion, Michael takes a coolly nonjudgmental, non-psychological approach to a disturbing topic.
Rotten: A hermetically sealed creep-fest that seems to have no desire to be anything more than just that.
Fresh: Like its protagonist, Michael is deliberate and very discreet. It shocks by suggestion, not by display.
A deeply disturbing, yet fascinating, film.
This is one of the most disturbing films I've ever seen, even with very little use of physical violence. The film focuses on the relationship between a 10 year old boy and his kidnapper, focusing on the day to day life that they live. What this film lacks in storytelling (it's more of a character study than a typical movie with a beginning, middle, and end), it makes up for in it's atmosphere. It's rare that a movie will elicit a genuine nervousness in me, but I felt that at multiple times while watching "Michael". While it's not a movie that I would purchase with the intention of watching multiple times, it is one that I do recommend others see.
One step too short -- but very solid.
This film needs time -- you need time to start judging it. At first you may feel it had suffocated you after you watched it... Yes [mild spoiler alert], it feels like it lacks a redemption of some sort, a glimmer of light. And you feel that there might be some, but then the film just takes it away from you. But perhaps, we cannot demand such things from the filmmakers, they do what they do and we can either respect it or not.
Despite the fact that this could have been a quiet masterpiece (and I do feel uneasy describing such films as 'masterpieces') and it refused to be, this is a very masterful effort. The scenes, the evolution of drama, the acting - very solid.