Watch Luther

"Rebel. Genius. Liberator."
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 2 hr 4 min
  • 6.6  (15,948)
  • 47

Luther is a biographical drama film released in 2003 that tells the story of the German monk and theologian Martin Luther, played by Joseph Fiennes, who is credited with starting the protestant reformation of the 16th century. The film is directed by Eric Till and has a cast of talented actors, including Bruno Ganz as Johann Tetzel and Peter Ustinov as Prince Frederick the Wise.

The movie begins with Martin Luther's entry into the Augustinian monastery, where he becomes a monk and dedicates his life to God. However, he soon discovers the corruption within the Catholic Church and becomes disillusioned with its teachings. His deep-rooted belief in the righteousness of one's faith causes him to question the church's sale of indulgences. These are papers that can be bought to reduce the number of years a soul would spend in purgatory. Luther is outraged and speaks out against this in his pamphlets, which ultimately leads to his excommunication from the church.

Joseph Fiennes' portrayal of Luther is exceptional as we see him grow from a young, devout monk to a brave reformer who boldly speaks out against the church hierarchy. He is tense and tormented in his early years, self-deprecating about his inability to be enough for God, but eventually develops a sense of conviction about his beliefs.

The film's excellent cinematography captures the beauty of Germany in the 16th century, as well as the turmoil and upheaval that were taking place. The scenes of Luther walking through the streets of Wittenberg are powerful, especially when he nails his 95 theses to the door of the All Saints Church. The filmmaking captures the sense of despair and belief that Luther faced as a result of his actions.

One of the most memorable moments in the film is the excommunications of Luther by the Vatican. Here, we see the schism in the church where it's revealed that the Catholic Church doesn't allow one to go against the commands of the authority. The film paints a good picture of an era in which humans don't possess the power to question the authorities, and it's no better than being a heretic. This film, equipped with Fiennes' delicate delivery, helps bring these emotions to light.

One of the most significant aspects of the movie is showing the political situation in Europe during the reformation era. Peter Ustinov plays Prince Frederick the Wise, one of the most prominent backers of the reformation. His portrayal of the prince is somewhat gravely, but he gets the point across incredibly well. We see the various interests of the emerging German states as they form a coalition to support Luther's views.

Overall, Luther is a well-made film that tells an important story accurately. The script is well written, and the acting is excellent. The movie provides viewers with an understanding of Martin Luther's development from a loyal monk to a courageous rebel, along with the religious, political, and societal drama surrounding it. The film doesn't use artificial means to embellish Luther's factual biography, which makes it even more impressive. For those who love biographical films with a dash of historiography and political power play, Luther is a must-watch.

Luther is a 2003 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 47.

Where to Watch Luther
Luther is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Luther for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 4 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (15,948)
  • Metascore