Film, Thrillers
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
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Four local Berliners recruit a thrill-seeking Spanish woman (Laia Costa) to be their getaway driver for a bank robbery

This nerve-shredding German thriller begins in the pulsing white light of a nightclub strobe and spends the next two hours taking us on a tour of Berlin as day breaks over the city. We follow a young Spanish woman, Victoria (Laia Costa, excellent), as she falls in with a young German guy, Sonne (Frederick Lau), and his mates, who she meets outside a basement club.

It feels like one of those blissful, freewheeling, prime-of-their-lives nights: they mess around on the street, steal some beers, smoke on a rooftop. Is this a fledgling romance we’re witnessing? After 40 minutes, there’s a sparky, charged scene between Victoria and Sonne in the coffee shop where she works. It looks like they’re like falling for each other. But in a heartbeat the story takes another turn entirely when Sonne’s friend, not long out of jail, gets a phone call that means his mates – and Victoria – are in serious danger.

Did I mention that ‘Victoria’ was filmed in a single take? Director Sebastian Schipper shot the entire film three times in real time, and picked the best take. It’s an astonishing, brassy act of choreography, especially considering the film moves all over the city, with a sprawling cast of bit-players beyond the main characters.

Schipper’s cinematic stunt, assisted by a terrific score by Nils Frahm, gives the film an incredible sense of immediacy and momentum, even if it means that a few sections are slightly dragged out. Some key elements of the story feel born of the world of movies more than of the real world, but ‘Victoria’ is an extraordinary filmgoing experience, raw and exciting.

By: Dave Calhoun


Release details

Release date: Friday April 1 2016
Duration: 138 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sebastian Schipper
Screenwriter: Sebastian Schipper
Cast: Laia Costa
Frederick Lau
Franz Rogowski

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
3 people listening
Paul M
1 of 1 found helpful

I wondered how I would take a single shot over two hours long. While this was offset by much camera movement, and an interesting feeling of 'being there' seemingly due to the real-time take, the film was seriously let down by stretching a very thin plot and non-existent diaogue without any the improvisation taking off at all. It was an overstretched amateurish student film really with a one-shot gimmick. A disappointment, sorry to say.

David G
1 of 1 found helpful

Expectation was high.reality was very disappointing. This is a film for the teenage urban hipster,who would think this is one Koool film.For the rest of us the film is just plain dumb.The improvised dialogue does not have the Mike Leigh socio-economic pathos.Instead it is just pure drivel.The acting is akin to drama student quality.l felt embarrassed watching it.This genre has been done better with Christiana F or the French Vagabond,however l recommend you stick with Mike Leigh.You have been warned.....2 stars

Paul C
1 of 1 found helpful

The single tale puts you right in the middle of the story and there is no relief or pause as it builds the tension up to the final moments on the Berlin streets. Yes a great soundtrack that really adds to the tension, although I admit losing sympathy or goodwill towards the main characters. If you suspend your judgement and common sense, then the film will pick you up and won't let you back down until the final credits.

Tiago Almeida
1 of 1 found helpful

My experience with this movie will be different than most as I watched it as part of Secret Cinema X.

It's a great movie, surprisingly filmed in one single take.

The actors are amazing and the scene in the cafe is truly amazing (one of the best flirting scenes in the history of cinema).

It is an absolutely must see.


Utterly suspenseful and realistic. The realism comes not necessarily from the plot, but from the interactions between characters, particularly how they gradually reveal themselves. The fact that this was all shot in one take creates a kinetic tension that's compelling to watch and impressive to think about afterward.

Elisa R

My boyfriend and I rarely agree on films. He's more of Sci-Fi and destruction kind of guy and I'm more of a love and happinness kind of girl. Always tough to find a film we'll both enjoy at the cinema. And yet, there wasn't anything for us to argue over with Victoria. It was by far one of the best films I have ever seen. Simple: world-class acting, dialogues as realistic and genuine as it gets, fast paced, suspens well managed, clever plot, crazy twists and just enough madness. The two hour long shot went flying and the film kept playing in my mind days after the final image ended.