Sven Roth’s review published on Letterboxd:
Until the final sequence I was not sure what to say or if I would like to write a review about it at all.
Critically acclaimed -> yes
ahead of its time -> yes
masterfully directed -> yes
But I can not say that I enjoyed it until the last sequence came. It's one of those films that I respect a lot more than I like.
Because although I didn't enjoyed it as much as I would like to, I can see the quality around it.
Especially the pacing and the cinematography are way ahead of their time. You can find a lot of the camera shots in modern movies too. The story is for 1931 extremely provocative, but in particular the conclusion couldn't be made better in modern movies.
Then you have the acting, which swings from slightly humorous overacting to the absolute terrifying performance from Peter Lorre.
So far I could understand why it's so highly acclaimed, but I couldn't find myself enjoying it. A movie I'm happy to have seen, because now I can talk about it and see all the references.
But then the court scene came and I completely fell in love with it.
The moment the movie goes further and savagely puts everything in a bad light, what came after him.
Peter Lorre goes one step further and shows how to act, and the story becomes a lot more complex than I've had thought about at the beginning. Obviously a topic that is still relevant today.
And the last sentence makes this part to absolute perfection.