The opening sequence in The Lives of Others “isn’t particularly graphic or even suspenseful: the camera movement is almost placid, as if it were faking disinterest. But [it] gives a firm sense of a country in which paranoia is a part of the air, like a toxin leeching oxygen from it.

“And with it, director and writer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck begins building the layers of emotional texture that ultimately make The Lives of Others — an Academy Award nominee for best foreign-language film — so moving, and so deeply satisfying.” — from Stephanie Zacharek‘s Salon review. The Sony Classics release has a 92% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.