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356 Ratings



Directed by Fritz Lang
Germany, 1928
Thriller, Silent


An international espionage ring led by a wheelchair-bound megalomaniac uses technology, threats, and murder to steal government secrets. A secret agent sets out to stop them, but in the process, he falls in love with a brash young spy.

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Spies Directed by Fritz Lang
A 2004 Murnau Stiftung restoration of the complete version was a revelation, not only for its more complete narrative but for its superb visual quality. It’s a feast of shots that only Lang could have composed (above and bottom).
December 28, 2018
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Lang’s bravura system of trapdoors is a fearsome advance even upon Metropolis, the world between wars is here a world where war never really ends and relationships are laid out in terms of conspiracy and infiltration… The malevolent artist’s line between puppet-master and clown is drawn in the brilliantly excoriating finale, skewering the sensation-hungry Weimar zeitgeist in an acrid coup de théâtre that leaves only a pierced cranium and thunderous applause.
March 28, 2016
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In Spies’s final stretch, the cat-and-mouse chase is flip-flopped, with Haghi retreating into various guises to circumvent his indictment. The last of these disguises, and the one that sends the film off on a richly uncanny note, is that of a clown. That Lang imagines the all-seeing artist as both an oppressor and a fool leaves Spies with a final, lingering complexity that can’t help but feel like the riddle through which to contemplate the filmmaker’s ensuing body of work.
March 07, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film Spies

    I DESPERATELY want to give this a higher score as it possesses some of best moments of any Lang film including a bold and striking opening and a great villain. But therein lies the issue. Just as a hero is only as good as his nemesis, the opposite is also true. Never in my life have I seen such a boring main character attached to such an obviously great film. He is surrounded by greatness, but he is a complete void.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Spies

    2004 restoration. Essential silent cinema. While not quite up to the standard set by Lang's previous couple of films Spies is an exciting and adventure filled romp which keeps the viewer both entertained and on the edge of their seat throughout. Lang's visual language even on a more moderate budget here is stupendous. An early fore runner for a genre to come.

  • João Eça's rating of the film Spies

    Masks, lies, disguises, spies, murder, blackmail, greed, manipulation, violence, money, corruption, circles, alcohol, depression, luck and bad luck, tunnels, walls, trains, secrets, sewers, illusions, shadows, evil, theatre, images, cinema. Haghi, the villain, as an anouncement of fascism and moral decay; as the absolute illusion, hidden within ourselves. "Let the curtain fall!" Is death the only way out?

  • Christopher R. Smith's rating of the film Spies

    Not quite on the level of Fritz Lang's other masterpieces, but an innovative and genre-defining work from a master filmmaker in his prime. Over the top at times, and cleverly subtle at others, it's a sharply crafted and action-packed, even if Thea Van Harbou's convoluted story can get tricky. A classic.

  • Zachary George Najarian-Najafi's rating of the film Spies

    A kinetic spy thriller, Fritz Lang's Spies takes us deep into an underworld of smoke-filled rooms, wheelchair bound villains, exotic orientalism and beautiful women. It's the grandaddy of all James Bond movies right down to the tongue in cheek. It's one of Lang's most visually brilliant films making strong use of geometrical yet gloriously expressionistic visuals. See it and love it.

  • FISCHER's rating of the film Spies

    Efficace et précis, ce film d'aventures mêle adroitement réalisme et fantastique. Tourné en studio, il réussit cependant à atteindre l'authenticité d'un documentaire...

  • Nelson Núñez's rating of the film Spies

    Impresionante película de Fritz Lang. Una entretenida mezcla de romance, aventura e intriga. Quizás abarca demasiadas lineas narrativas, pero en general es muy disfrutable. No se equivocaba Chabrol al comentar la fuerte influencia que este film tuvo en el cine de Alfred Hitchcock.

  • ArmandS's rating of the film Spies

    Not as compelling as Lang's Metropolis (what could be?), and the first half lags a bit, but still entertaining, even with a solid, yet abrupt, climax. Great to see the spies everywhere, doing their nefarious works, in various ways. In this world, your paranoia is real, and there IS someone always looking over your shoulder, or is ready to disrupt or sabotage your plans. Add a real twirling moustached villain, too!

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