Whether he is gracing the big screen or your television screen, Stipe Erceg can be difficult to miss. With his gaunt and chiseled features surrounding deep-set eyes, the actor is memorable before he has even spoken a word. You may already know Erceg for his roles in English language thrillers such as Unknown, starring Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger, or The Fourth State, starring Moritz Bleibtreu.
Stuttgart-born actress Nina Hoss could easily be filed under German actors you didn’t know you already know. Fans of the hit political television drama Homeland may recognize her as Astrid. Hoss has appeared in several episodes of the show as a German embassy worker and Peter Quinn’s former flame.
Or perhaps you may know her from the big screen in A Most Wanted Man where she worked alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, and fellow German Daniel Brühl. But her talents are not merely limited to acting. Hoss collaborated in 2014 with the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers on their track “Europa geht durch mich” off their album Futurology.
But this month we’re getting to know Nina Hoss for her remarkable acting. Hoss has starring roles in some films that are interesting, intruiging, and great for learning German. I’m highlighting three of Hoss’ films: A Girl Called Rosemarie (Das Mädchen Rosemarie), The Elementary Particles (Elementarteilchen), and Jerichow!
In the German-speaking world, Matthias Schweighöfer is a big deal. The still rather young actor has already appeared in over 70 films. He’s branched into writing, directing, and producing. And over the last few years, he’s been steadily working as a musician. Schweighöfer is well known for his comedic roles, often in romantic comedies that are a little bit over the top.
But part of what has made him so successful and so believable in his roles is his sheepish, boyish charm.
Romanian-German actress Alexandra Maria Lara is a familiar face both inside and outside of the German film industry. Born in Bucharest, Lara and her family fled Communist Romania in the early 1980s. The family eventually found refuge in West Germany. Today, she is a notable actress in the world of cinema. But not just in German films. You may have seen her in big Hollywood English-language films such as The Reader, the Ron Howard directed Rush, the Francis Ford Coppola directed Youth Without Youth, or the Anton Corbijn directed Control. Lara clearly is making her mark on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Lara has appeared in major German language films like Der Untergang and the recent Amazon original series You Are Wanted. Practice your German language skills with these three film and television recommendations featuring actress Alexandra Maria Lara.
To say that actor Moritz Bleibtreu is a busy man is an understatement. He has nearly 100 acting credits to his name during his almost 40-year career. That is pretty impressive. He has appeared in major English language films like Woman in Gold, The Fifth Estate, Speed Racer, and Steven Spielberg’s Munich. But his film credits in the German language are equally as impressive. His roles are wide-ranging, showing his abilities at his craft. So this month, let’s learn German with the films of Moritz Bleibtreu.
Austrian actor Tobias Moretti is truly a jack of all trades. He began his career as an actor on the stage but he has mastered performing on both the big and small screens (that is, cinema and television). He can portray “the bad guy” impressively, sending chills down your spine. But Moretti can also bring a smile to your face in a clever comedy. So this month, let’s learn German with the film and television roles of Tobias Moretti!
Whether you watch English language films or German language, longtime actor Jürgen Prochnow probably looks familiar. He has been a dictator in 1997’s Air Force One, the bad guy in 1987’s Beverly Hills Cop II, and as a duke in 1984’s Dune. But Prochnow is an accomplished and respected actor in his home country, too. He has had starring roles in important and memorable German language roles.
So this month let’s learn German with the films of actor Jürgen Prochnow (Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum, Das Boot, Der Bulle und das Mädchen)!
It is difficult to think of a German actor who has more of a toehold on Hollywood than Til Schweiger. His English-language credits include Inglorious Basterds, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Muppets Most Wanted, King Arthur, and SLC Punk!. Conquering Hollywood isn’t a battle that Schweiger needs to fight. Back home in the German-speaking world, Schweiger is a bonafide movie star who also writes, directs, and produces. He does it all.
Wikipedia names him as “one of Germany’s most successful filmmakers.” And Schweiger has even drafted his children into the family business, so to speak, by giving them roles in several of his movies. Til Schweiger has become so popular in Germany because his films are likable and crowd-pleasing. What better way to practice German? So this month, let’s get to know Til Schweiger and practice German with a few of his films!
Watching some of the best German movies is a great way to educate yourself and learn the German language or simply to enjoy some entertainment. These films will thrill you, make you laugh, make you cry, and leave you wanting more. Some are light and some are more serious. And with today’s easy access to streaming services, you can watch German movies on Netflix from your sofa with your partner or from bed in your pajamas with your dog. I have pulled together 25 of the best German movies on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video that you can watch right now. So what are you waiting for? Start the popcorn and clear your schedule. And don’t forget this is educational. Mostly!
For German language learners, it has never been easier to practice your listening skills. With any number of streaming video services, you can watch German TV shows. There are quite a few German series on Netflix that you can choose from and most are Original Series that you will not be able to find elsewhere. But whether you are looking to practice your German language skills or you just want to be entertained (or maybe a little of both!), I have pulled together twenty great German shows that you can stream right now.
Many of the German language films I feature here each month are from either starring a specific actor or the creation of a specific director or screenwriter. It is less common that an individual takes on more than one role. It seems like people pick a side and focus on honing their skills there. This month, however, I am highlighting one of those people with talent in a variety of fields. Jan-Ole Gerster’s career began with directing and while that remains his main focus, he is also a screenwriter and, occasionally, an actor. So this month, let us learn German with the films of filmmaker Jan-Ole Gerster!