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Faust

German director F.W. Murnau cast the inimitable Emil Jannings as Mephisto, to whom the aging Faust sells his soul for renewed youth, wealth and power. Channeling Goethe, Murnau creates a phantasmagoric vision of the struggle between good and evil. In one of the most famous sequences in film history, we see Mephisto born as a primordial creature from the heavens and sent to the netherworld. This was Murnau's last German film before moving to Hollywood.
Netflix Rating: 3.6
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 94%
Critics' score: 94   Audience score: 90   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

This extraordinary piece of artistry and craftsmanship integrates its dazzling special effects so seamlessly that they're indistinguishable from the film's narrative, poetry, and, above all, metaphysics. full review

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

As atmospheric and menacing a work as the expressionist movement ever produced. full review

Don Druker, Chicago Reader

Here is a picture which is as far removed from the ordinary movie as a Tintoretto painting. full review

New York Times, New York Times

I sometimes feel, in this age of expert CGI, that I am being shown too much -- that technique is pushing aside artistry and imagination. The world of Faust is never intended to define a physical universe, but is a landscape of nightmares. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Still a classic example of eye-popping excess at a time when German filmmakers were among the most innovative in the world.

John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
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