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M
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M

1931
Suspense/Thriller
Crime
1h 39m
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Avg Percentile 77.86% from 4158 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(4158)
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Rated 11 Apr 2019
92
95th
Rightfully earning its status as a "classic", Fritz Lang's first "talkie" is a brilliant early sound film holding up surprisingly well almost a century later. In addition to the fantastic use of sound, the film's plot and themes make for an engaging and thought provoking police-procedural/crime/thriller, whose ideas of fear, paranoia, mob mentality, and justice are only deepened given the context of the time and place of the film's production.
Rated 20 Dec 2009
96
96th
One of the essentials. The direction is magnificent--the moment when the child's balloon is caught in the wires still makes my heart race--and Peter Lorre, with his hunted expression and haunted stare, is exactly right: loathsome and yet somehow pitiable.
Rated 16 Jan 2008
90
97th
Brilliant. My favorite movie of the '30s.
Rated 12 Jun 2011
95
98th
Even though it's rather slow paced, it's not boring at all. Probably because of those kind of awkwardly silent moments in-between the scenes with sound that kept me anticipating whatever would come next. In addition to that, I can't quite remember when I last saw a similar performance to that of Peter Lorre in 'M', so good you almost pity the monster. Definitely a must see.
Rated 27 Mar 2009
10
97th
Dark, quiet and piercing, the first (one of the best openings I've seen) and last 10 minutes are worth your time alone. A masterful work from Lang.
Rated 01 Oct 2008
94
95th
Fritz Lang does wonders with M. M is a really slow moving film of the start, it is very subtle and political for the first half, then towards the end, it becomes a classic manhunt. Peter Lorre is absolutely menacing as Breckert. But what really sticks out the most for me, is how...human everyone is presented in this film. Even Peter Lorre, who is pretty much a mindless robot, really shows some of the most human qualities I have ever seen. A Classic.
Rated 18 Feb 2007
4
70th
Really good; maintains the tension throughout, Lorre is excellent, the chase and the court scene at the end are fantastic. But I don't think it is all amazing, and age has weathered it a fair amount. Well worth seeing, still.
Rated 12 Jan 2008
80
91st
A far cry from the silent Metropolis, with its sci-fi romanticism and sparse dialog, this first of Lang's talkies is very talkative and completely earthy, and a film noir forerunner. Lang's directing is great as usual and the editing is exceptional giving this a good pace for its time. M is also a display of newfound maturity for Lang, esp. the final scenes. I must add that it was hard for me to watch this without constantly being reminded of the historical context in which it was made.
Rated 18 Feb 2009
95
96th
Ahead for its time in both terms of camerawork and narration. Brilliant use of shadows and lighting and even more importantly is the near silence the movie is in. The whistling of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is all the more haunting when it is both preceded and followed by absolute silence. Favorite section of the film for me was the duel planning of both the criminals and the police authorities, a great use of editing.
Rated 03 Feb 2007
5
93rd
M is a transitional film in two important contexts: as Lang moves away from grand and fantastic silent adventures, his first talkie is quiet, subtle, suspended with bated breath. A prototype of his subsequent occupation with the pathology of crime, and forerunner to the noir movement he would helm in Hollywood. Moreover, it is a troubling evocation of its time and place: a paranoid and persecutory state where municipal authority is indistinguishable from syndicated crime.
Rated 13 Dec 2013
93
98th
This might just be nitpicking but there's an extra in one of the scenes that has his hat on slightly crooked. Almost ruins the whole thing for me.
Rated 09 May 2009
92
91st
Would have been absolutely mindblowing if I could watch it with a blank mind, untarnished by the 78 years of movies that have come after this. But even without that innocence, M is still amazing.
Rated 25 Jan 2011
100
85th
3 Shaqtaculars
Rated 17 Aug 2007
98
99th
This film is at least a decade ahead of its time.
Rated 03 Sep 2008
85
89th
A fantastic portrayal of crime and punishment in pre-WWII Germany. Seeing as how the movie is almost 80 years old, it does have some moments that are dated, and the pace is not consistent throughout. But Peter Lorre gives a great performance as the tortured child murderer. And the courtroom scene at the end is one of the truly great moments in film. The impact was such that Hitler wanted Fritz Lang to direct propaganda pieces for the Nazi party, forcing Lang to flee Germany.
Rated 19 Jul 2012
91
96th
As a technical excercise 'M' is a masterpiece. The photography, editing and acting are all superb and the use of a leitmotif is groundbreaking in filmmaking. As a movie it's almost as good. The screenplay is tense and thrilling, apart from a slight lag in the middle. The opening and especially the ending are extremely memorable and raise some important questions regarding responsibility. It's hard to believe this was made over 80 years ago.
Rated 16 Feb 2010
99
99th
This film is consistently the hardest film to pull up on most movie websites' search function. Either it won't let you enter a one-letter search or it retrieves thousands of movies with the letter 'M' in it. Also, this movie is totally fucking awesome.
Rated 05 Dec 2011
50
34th
It's a 1930s flick so it's not graphic, which plays to its advantage in my opinion. Unlike a modern movie, which would gratuitously emphasize the violence with bloody corpses and screaming children, this one focuses on the deleterious effects of a deranged murderer upon a society, the difficulty of catching such a criminal, and the lengths people will go to in order to finally bring him to justice.
Rated 31 Jan 2008
100
99th
Child serial killer loose in the pre-CSI era! This is a crime procedural that could have been made last year - it was so ahead of its time. The psychological view of the killer is fascinating and the investigative techniques of that era are well documented. Lang was one of the few to master both silent and sound films - with this particular one being sort of a hybrid.
Rated 06 Aug 2014
94
97th
The type of procedural storytelling people love to follow in products like True Detective and Zodiac began here, in this amazing follow-up to Metropolis moral study of a society in a profound state of fear and rage -- like that sci-fi, this is also centered by a battle between classes, here criminals-vs-authorities. As outlaw men (and hobos) are recruited to watch the streets for these murderer, Lang shoots scenes destined for eternity, like that entire final sequence. A true shocker.
Rated 17 Nov 2010
85
90th
I had a hard time ranking this one. It is slow and clunky, and my mind did wander on a few occasions... but there are several moments of brilliance and the final 30 minutes are absolutely breathtaking. Peter Lorre is truly phenomenal in this film; creepy and repulsive, but so pitiful and pathetic that you can't help but feel sympathy for him. The scene where he sees a little girl in the mirror and has to order a double cognac to calm himself down is incredible. Definitely worth the watch.
Rated 01 Aug 2009
79
82nd
Okay, I'm not on the "I love this movie" bandwagon. But it is very, very good.
Rated 24 Sep 2013
7
92nd
a very interesting film elevates itself to absolute genius in trial by beggars. should have ended with their hands up, fade to black, 'in the name of the law'. the final line about mothers watching their children was unnecessary. ah well, great film.
Rated 03 Feb 2007
80
61st
Good movie, to be sure, and it's chilling to realize that only two years later, Hitler would be appealing to the exact same sort of group mentality that's presented here. I don't like it nearly as much as Metropolis, however. The kangaroo court scene at the end is the only scene that stands out in my mind as truly amazing.
Rated 19 Mar 2017
81
79th
Lang brings out the paranoia and insanity with great direction and good pacing. From the city's mounting fears and suspicion to the manhunt for lorre its dark entertainment and the last 20 minutes are a one of a kind film experience...lorres unleashed performance is gripping and pulsepounding and the writing is perfect.
Rated 20 Oct 2019
93
88th
Iconic, classic manhunt/police procedural more or less invented both genres, and its startling how much its best moments seem fresh and new, even some 90 years on (especially its telling commentary on mob rule and hysteria) - there's even a coda which takes the notion of "victim blaming" to task! Outside of this, a gripping and horrifying journey into the ugly side of 30s Germany, marked by Lorre's indelible (though surprisingly brief) performance.
Rated 17 Nov 2018
82
74th
One of the rare oldies that holds up to modern standards, and clips along at a fair pace and with such technical quality that it's completely enjoyable some eight decades later. Something you probably can't say about most crime films released even a decade ago.
Rated 22 Dec 2013
100
98th
A landmark psychological thriller with arresting images, deep thoughts on modern society, and Peter Lorre in his finest performance.
Rated 18 Jul 2011
85
59th
A bit slow but once Peter Lorre becomes the focus, it becomes a tight thriller that almost feels as if it could be made today.
Rated 31 Aug 2007
90
73rd
This is so well done. it can feel really slow during the first two acts but the third is well worth anything. it's so intriguing and thought provoking. A Must See.
Rated 17 Nov 2009
79
65th
This is a very hard movie to rate. It's undeniably groundbreaking with a good message and a great lead role by Lorre but on the other hand it has aged horribly and feels quite boring.
Rated 16 Nov 2015
85
86th
I watched the restored 110-minute version and couldn't help thinking that the shorter cut may have actually been better. It's an overly slow film, and that's only because there are so many unimportant and repetitive scenes that have needlessly been included. When the film is at it's best though, it's amazing, and the trial at the end is a perfect scene in every aspect. When the historical context of the film is considered, it's condemnation of mob mentality becomes even more important.
Rated 07 Jan 2010
70
86th
M gave the film world the ideas of a serial killer, a manhunt, and leitmotif, along with a tale that manages to evoke both disgust and pity for its villain. A true classic.
Rated 04 Mar 2017
85
97th
Lang's classic remains a compelling procedural thriller fashioned with astonishing technical precision. The emphasis is on method rather than twists and reveals; the killer's identity isn't a mystery, so the intrigue is centered around his capture involving divergent social groups, forming the basis of a trenchant social critique. Lorre is haunting as the killer, a disturbed man driven by dark impulses he can't understand or control. His trial in an abandoned distillery is truly unforgettable.
Rated 17 Feb 2013
68
30th
I expected more, Peter Lorre as a serial killer with Lang behind the camera sounded like pure gold. The ending was the only part that didn't bore me, but by that point I had zoned out so much of the plot that I didn't even know what was going on.
Rated 13 Dec 2013
89
96th
Noir before it was cool. Lang is really an underappreciated genius, M feels ridiculously modern and fresh even 82 years after it was released. When an 82 year old movie is beating half the movies released since then in terms of cinematography and characterization, you know it's special.
Rated 10 Jul 2019
91
88th
At one point I thought I was watching the wrong movie. Than I understood why this is a masterpiece. Everything aside, only the acting could be enough. This movie had my attention, now has my respect.
Rated 19 Mar 2007
89
83rd
M is one of those movies that is so old that it's really a tough watch. It's hard for a lot of people to admit that watching nearly silent films is not easy, but I'm gonna be straight with you. M, though it's a hard watch, is incredibly rewarding. It's a fantastic movie and is tense once you get wrapped up in the world its set in. Fritz Lang is a master of visual make up and this is one of his best works. M is a great movie.
Rated 30 May 2011
92
88th
Yes, it's as good as everyone says.
Rated 23 Aug 2013
85
69th
Hans Beckert is a absolutely phenomenal screen villain and steals the show.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
82
93rd
Many years since I saw this.
Rated 03 Aug 2012
90
97th
What a thrilling ride. The story is immensely engaging and it's one of the few classics I would recommend to people who generally refuse to watch anything made before 1980. In a technical sense, it's quite an achievement as well.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
3
51st
A real study in movie history right here! I think most modern Thillers can trace their techniques and roots back to this very film. No doubt Alfred Hitchcock was heavily inspired by this one. Modern American/English audiences may have trouble swallowing this due to the film being in German without voiceovers.
Rated 14 Mar 2007
85
71st
Peter Lorre is great as a serial killer of children. After Berlin's criminal underground takes his pursuit in hand, we actually feel pity for him, a lesson Alfred Hitchcock appreciated.
Rated 05 May 2015
95
97th
A mutually beneficial bond is constructed between the social commentary that explores the facets of mob morality or hysteria (which, considering the time and place in which it was made, carries additional significance) and its suspense of what will happen into what will be said.
Rated 21 Dec 2008
89
85th
Best kangaroo court scene in cinema history.
Rated 15 Mar 2010
87
79th
This is a movie classic. It's thrilling, it's exiting and ohh yes IT'S GERMAN!!! Everybody ought to to watch this movie if for nothing else then for Peter Lorre. Peter Lorre is pure genius as M and the camera work is great. Before "The Pledge" and "Es geschah am hellichten Tag" there was "M".
Rated 04 Jul 2008
88
89th
This is actually a pretty good movie. It drew me in right away and kept me interested throughout. It gets a little slow at times but the ending is so rewarding with the performance Peter Lorre delivers.
Rated 11 Oct 2007
9
93rd
Peter Lorre gives one of the best performances and the movie is really tense and well made. Holds up unbelievably well for something made nearly 80 years ago.
Rated 25 Aug 2008
95
94th
Yes, this is a brilliant film. Truthfully, it did have some dull moments--"stalls"--so no, it's not perfect, along with some shaky camera dollies (understandable, back then, but the lighting is fantastic). However, the acting is just terrific. The themes and allegories to real life are very moving and disturbing, as is the trial scene, which says volumes about society...a scene I will remember forever, one of the few great moments in cinema history.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
95th
Stunning film way way ahead of its time.
Rated 16 Feb 2013
95
96th
Lorre's disgusting/pitiable killer might be one of the greatest acting performances I've ever seen. This movie is incredibly gripping and suspenseful. The directing/writing choices really intrigue me - how we never actually find out what Beckert does to his victims (the imagination is far darker than a visual could ever be) and how 'In The Hall of the Mountain King' suddenly became so very sinister. My god, I wish I'd seen this years ago.
Rated 25 Apr 2021
92
92nd
Incredibly influential and wonderfully made. Lorre is amazing, delivering a tense, nuanced performance until he can really let loose in the end. Some contemporary audiences may find it slow in parts, but that's a slight criticism. Viewing it through a modern lens can also add tension and anxiety thinking about the attitudes and politics brewing in Germany at the time.
Rated 02 Oct 2023
85
64th
Some classic discussions about the role of the juridical system, the danger of collective resentment and necessary constraint of the wish for revenge, and seemingly implying the terror of fascism.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
89th
A slow build, and what a fantastic performance from Peter Lorre.
Rated 08 Jun 2010
100
97th
I have a hard time putting to words how phenomenal this film is. There are some jarring moments, especially that last really short cutaway. But that's what they're supposed to do: shock you off of that pathos wave you're riding and make you think. It's a completely Brechtian tactic and it's magnificent.
Rated 10 Mar 2019
90
90th
A movie that intervenes with the shadows of social justice and lawful rights. At the surface it explores the voice of reason for criminal punishment. With such a distinct character to follow for the film's vocation, I can highly appreciate the dialogue and cinematic details that progress towards the end.
Rated 05 Mar 2011
99
99th
Magnificent film in so many ways, none more so than Lang's visual sensibility. He uses images and sound in tension quite often: we hear the cries of a mother as the camera shows us images of empty living spaces; we hear the oncoming criminals as we see Lorre hiding helplessly in the building. Lang uses these tensions to build sentiment for the citizenry and to build suspense for the final confrontation. That we ultimately see the frailty of the law only deepens the tragedy of humanity's failures
Rated 12 Dec 2012
100
99th
M = Masterpiece.
Rated 26 Apr 2015
91
98th
What fear and paranoia does to people. Germany, 1931.
Rated 11 Mar 2010
75
71st
A film hard to analyze. Clearly dated in many technical aspects, but it is a true classic. Inspired by German Expressionism, with a dark and enigmatic narrative, incredible suspense.
Rated 03 Nov 2008
8
85th
The whistling will never get out of your head.
Rated 18 May 2007
90
66th
Peter Lorre is really, really good. This is really what a film-noir should be.
Rated 13 Dec 2021
100
0th
So much ahead of its time, a quintessential masterpiece.
Rated 17 Apr 2007
95
96th
# 53
Rated 16 Jan 2012
80
90th
I didn't like this as much as Metropolis (1927), but it was still really good. The direction - the shots, the angles, the camera movement - was so impressive. It had a marriage of image and sound I've not seen from such an early film. I really liked how it dealt with issues of murder, the death penalty and insanity. It must be one of the first films to make the 'villain' sympathetic. Highly recommended.
Rated 07 Aug 2012
92
68th
Perhaps the first great serial-killer film. Over 80 years old, many of its themes still exist. A meditation on civil liberty, vigilante justice, paranoia, inept policing, insanity as a legal defense. Decades ahead of its time.
Rated 08 Jun 2011
75
59th
From the looks of this movie, it seems like Fritz Lang was operating on a whole different level than his contemporaries. The camera work is amazingly ambitious, and the mood is relentlessly dark and dreary. Despite its perpetually inspired imagery, it does tend to drag in some areas, and perhaps that comes from a general lack of characterization, although Peter Lorre's final monologue is segregated from that statement. You can see the influence on so many future works all the way up to today.
Rated 09 Feb 2019
80
81st
Pretty crazy how much influence on cinema you can see packed into this one film, and that's from my relatively untrained eye too. Peter Loore's performance is one for the ages.
Rated 15 Dec 2013
80
85th
'Influential' would be an understatement -"M" is the quintessential crime/murder story. And although Lang's masterfully shot and ingeniously conceived masterwork has lost some (or most) of its impact, it remains a quietly captivating picture. The final sequence (apart from being a showcase for some brilliant theatrical acting courtesy of Peter Lorre) also reveals a solid psychological/philosophical basis behind the expertly constructed and presented central mystery.
Rated 01 Jul 2009
77
70th
A great old film that does indeed stand the test of time.
Rated 03 Sep 2012
80
92nd
The film does sometimes feel a little bit silly and clumsy, but for its time it is brilliant. The story is constructed really well and the murderer is a fascinating character.
Rated 26 Sep 2021
80
89th
For a film to really work as a procedural drama then the filmmaker must be brave enough and disciplined enough to primarily utilise human characters as a surface on which to project 'big' issues/questions to do with justice, morals, ethics etc. as well as the minutiae of the law and order process. Lang is clearly that filmmaker - as he resists the temptation to give characters depth, which is reserved for material artefacts - and 'M' is clearly that film; a film that is all about process.
Rated 04 May 2008
5
81st
Lang does the switch from silent ----> sound without missing a beat.
Rated 07 Oct 2010
91
96th
Brilliant in so many ways, this remains prescient today as a portrayal of mass hysteria and natural against social justice. Could do with settling on certain characters slightly earlier to provide an easier focus for the viewer, but amazing given it was made in 1931.
Rated 08 Nov 2012
93
93rd
92.500
Rated 12 Aug 2014
87
82nd
A portrait of a society in turmoil, where the police have become criminals, and the criminals, in turn, have become the police. Your children are in mortal danger no matter where they go.
Rated 25 Nov 2018
85
93rd
Stunning, not only when considering that it was made almost a hundred years ago. Some parts may seem too obvious from today's perspective, but a surprisingly large number feels fresh to this day.
Rated 15 May 2008
97
85th
Still suspenseful to this day. Impressive in every area: acting, directing cinematography, and writing.
Rated 27 Dec 2022
80
85th
This is a very powerful movie, not in the way of it having beautiful scenery, because it looks more like a stage play, but building up tension and tempting at the different kinds of understanding of justice and law. Peter Lorre's performance is so haunting here, especially with his eyes, just very creepy! I also felt like most people watching this would have sided with the criminals, so in the end you're left with the question of if the ending was 'right' or 'wrong'.
Rated 07 Sep 2010
70
38th
Should've been a silent film since the quiet moments were creepily effective, but the dialogue was heavy-hammered and badly delivered.
Rated 09 Jun 2009
40
17th
Very good acting for a pre-war movie. Heck, Peter Lorre was probably the best pre-50s actor. Still, I didn't feel it enough that I'd watch it again.
Rated 12 Dec 2006
97
99th
A superb film about the mob mentality where Lorre shines and Lang's direction mesmerizes.
Rated 21 Nov 2011
96
98th
Near-perfect, classic, and holds up shockingly well today.
Rated 12 Mar 2024
100
94th
So many good things here. Lohmann's crotch shot, court proceedings in the criminal world, the sound and the silence, the smoking, the data systems and those eyes!
Rated 19 Dec 2013
80
88th
Expertly directed, "M" is an effortlessly engaging affair, a true milestone in the history of cinema.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
97
95th
# 51
Rated 27 Apr 2015
80
77th
In many ways it's a timeless film, the message of the film still stands today. The kangaroo court scene was particularly enthralling. However, some scenes were too long or repeated. The scenes that were completely silent were distracting.
Rated 17 Nov 2014
81
88th
I found the story handled rather tritely, a complaint that may simply reflect how the film was one of the first to handle such material. Everything else about this film is a marvel. The photography and editing are superb, and the acting and characterisation excellent.
Rated 17 Sep 2008
70
95th
De gode gamle dage - en superfilm
Rated 26 Feb 2009
30
5th
Nice atmosphere, but the message here is revolting.
Rated 05 Sep 2008
95
54th
Very good for an early film in in film history.
Rated 12 Nov 2014
90
97th
The ultimate serial-killer manhunt film, the grandfather of them all.
Rated 22 Aug 2008
75
60th
a great film of a great german director : Fritz Lang.
Rated 01 Apr 2013
90
90th
Astoundingly modern feeling crime film. Fritz Lang and Fritz Argo Wagner put together a technical masterpiece that feels like it was made decades after it was released. M is a ridiculously watchable, moving piece of work with great performances from Peter Lorre and Gustaf Gründgens.
Rated 16 Jul 2011
95
70th
Fantastic.
Rated 23 May 2021
63
33rd
Couldn't like it as I wished.
Rated 26 Oct 2010
83
91st
Made in 1931, but still remarkable! Clever use of sound&silence, good cinematography, thrilling story and the mass hysteria+ nazi-mentality were nicely 'portrayed'.
Rated 28 Oct 2022
85
75th
While there are definitely some pacing issues and dated elements this is nonetheless a stupendous thing to watch over 90 years later and see how it almost single-handedly created two of the most popular film genres. The sound work is amazing, Lorre is excellent, and the social thematic side remains as valid as ever.
Rated 24 Jul 2014
71
75th
In the way only a foreign language could empty the one which does not speaks it from birth - this film empties the viewer. This has nothing to do with the fact I had to deal with two foreign languages which I speak during the view. Was it spoken in Hebrew - the lack would remain.

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