13 Minutes Review

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In 1938 German watchmaker Georg Elser (Friedel) was only 13 mistimed minutes from saving 55 million lives when he attempted to blow up Hitler.

★★★★★

Hirschbiegel, stinging from the calamity of Diana, regroups in the comfy surroundings of Nazi Germany. This taut historical drama, depicting an attempt to bomb Hitler in a Munich assembly hall in 1938, could be an oblique prequel to Downfall.

With the bomb set in the opening scene, the idea is a diagnosis of what drove idly romantic clockmaker Georg Elser (Friedel) to such daring action — he was 13 mistimed minutes from saving 55 million lives. Despite moody flashbacks to the Nazi takeover, Hirschbiegel draws a blank. Elser remains an enigma, a great what-if whose German torturers cannot comprehend acted alone.

Could be an oblique prequel to Downfall.