Back in 1998, German actress Sandra Hüller began her wondrous acting career and never looked back. In what is considered one of her most prominent performances in her early career, Hüller starred as Michaela Klingler in Hans-Christian Schmid’s 2006 thriller documentary Requiem. For this project, Hüller won a handful of awards and went on to further establish herself in some stellar thrillers, dramas, and even comedies.
Hüller’s international reputation speaks for itself. Her acting credentials extend across American, French, British, and German film industries. Just last year, Hüller starred in three films, a couple of which we consider some of the best in her career. Come with us as we explore and rank the best films in Sandra Hüller’s filmography, from Toni Erdmann to Anatomy of a Fall.
10 Finsterworld (2013)
The 2013 comedic drama Finsterworld is up first. Playing Franziska Feldenhoven in the film, Hüller caught some well-deserved praise from critics for her performance and chemistry with the cast. The film is directed by Frauke Finsterwalder, and follows the lives of 12 main characters who all find themselves crossing paths one way or another. No matter what walks of life these characters come from — police, pedicurists, and even furries — this level of fateful connection spans generations, and as more and more secrets that were originally left in the dark slowly come into the light, things are bound to get a little unconventional.
A Film About Life Itself
Finsterworld is the kind of film that can teach a lot of people about life in general. There is a sense of open-mindedness needed to digest a film like this one. From what it takes to make human connections and nurture interpersonal relationships, there is also a growing responsibility for everyone to understand that everyone is living their own, unique life. This German film is one that will pleasantly surprise you. Rent on YouTube
9 Exile (2020)
One of the most refreshing things about Hüller’s filmography is the abundance of thrillers and horror films. In 2020, she starred in the horror-mystery, Exile. The film follows the life of a man named Xhafer (Mišel Matičević) residing as an immigrant in Germany. When he starts a new job, he slowly begins to see his life losing its structure after he discovers someone leaving dead rats at his house. In the film, Hüller plays Xhafer’s wife, Nora.
What Makes It Great
This Kosovan-German film is just the right amount of artsy to not only keep itself full of suspense, visually speaking, but to also drive the creepiness of its overarching plot. Atmosphere and storytelling are some of the most important parts of horror and thriller films. Hüller has proven time and time again that her restrained acting style fits seamlessly in this genre, and Exile is all but one example. Not Currently Available to Stream or Purchase
8 Requiem (2006)
Requiem is a 2006 German thriller drama in which Hüller plays Michaela Klingler, a woman who suffers from epilepsy. After she stops taking her medication, she begins to hear voices that appear to have less than great intentions. Against all odds, Michaela is set up to have an exorcism under the suspicion that she is possessed by demons. This film is based on the true story of a student named Annaliese Michel, who died from the physical effects of her exorcism.
An Underrated German Horror Film
As far as horror films go, there is something underrated about Hans-Christian Schmid’s German drama. This film is easily one of the best acting performances in Hüller’s entire career. Her depiction of a troubled young woman, plagued by not only her illness but the voices that haunt her, is jaw-dropping, effectively solidifying her status as one of the German acting greats of her generation. Requiem is chilling, dark, and the perfect film to add to your horror list. Stream on AMC+
7 Toni Erdmann (2016)
Hüller and Peter Simonischek star in the German comedy-drama Toni Erdmann. The film came out in 2016 and is directed by Maren Ade. It follows the reconnection between a woman and her estranged father. After he pops into her life unexpectedly, she is forced to navigate his heartwarming yet comedic attempts at making amends, including pretending to be a life coach.
A Culturally Specific Story with Universal Appeal
The father-daughter dynamic is a special one to portray on film. In Toni Erdmann, both Hüller and Simonischek deliver stunning portrayals of their characters that will captivate audiences all over the world. This film is the perfect balance between absurd comedy and the nature of familial relationships. Rent on Prime Video
6 In the Aisles (2018)
2018’s In the Aisles is the film to get you out of that movie slump. This is a romance thriller that follows two workers in a supermarket as they fall in love with each other. With Franz Rogowski playing Christian and Hüller playing Marion, this quiet and intimate love story is one like no other.
The magic of In the Aisles lies in how ordinary it feels. There is something special about finding an epic love story in the most mundane of places, finding a light in such a dreary and simple setting. In the Aisles is subtle in its storytelling, but captivating all the same. If you are looking for a romance film and a change of pace, look no further than In the Aisles. Stream on Tubi
5 Munich – The Edge of War (2021)
The war thriller Munich – The Edge of War is a Netflix film that was released in 2021. The film takes place during the height of Adolf Hitler’s reign as he sets his sights on Czechoslovakia. With everyone dreading the inevitable conflict, those who are able to, go through the process of finding/negotiating peace. The film stars George MacKay, Jannis Niewöhner, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jeremy Irons, and Sandra Hüller, and is directed by Christian Schwochow.
What Makes It Great
Creating a drama surrounding some of the most prominent historical events of all time will always attract the attention of audiences. When it comes to war films on Netflix, there’s certainly no shortage, but Munich highlights an especially suspenseful time in European history. It ups the ante, too, by injecting equally complex and compelling characters, played by a star-studded cast. Stream on Netflix
4 Fack ju Göhte 3 (Suck Me Shakespeare 3) (2017)
Fack ju Göhte 3, or Suck Me Shakespeare 3, is a comedy film that came out in 2017. The film follows a former bank robber who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. When he becomes a teacher after his release from prison, his students end up being the reason he finds himself in some more trouble. In Suck Me Shakespeare 3, Hüller plays Biggi Enzberger alongside Elyas M’Barek as Zeki, Gizem Emre as Zenep, and Jella Haase as Chantal.
A Comedy to Brighten Your Day
Get ready for a ride of a lifetime. Fack ju Göhte 3 is the kind of lighthearted end energetic watch that will brighten up anybody’s day. Seeing Hüller in a comedic film like this is very refreshing, and this one is a great showcase of her versatility as an actress during a time when actors are expected to be able to do it all. Rent on Prime Video
3 I’m Your Man (2021)
2021’s I’m Your Man arrives like a genre shock to this list. However, the romance sci-fi film will win you over in no time. In the film, a scientist agrees to be a part of an interesting study to get some funding. She is to live with a robot that is wired and designed to be a compatible partner for three whole weeks. Of course, whenever artificial intelligence appears in movies, things are bound to go awry in more ways than one.
Artificial Intelligence Done Right
The focus on AI in film is something that can be done right and also be done very wrong (or at the very least clichéd). Luckily for I’m Your Man, this one works. This film explores the complexities of human relations and the parameters of consciousness. Coupled with a sort of romance, the emotional and thoughtful experience this film evokes in its audience is what makes it stand out. Stream on Hulu
2 The Zone of Interest (2024)
The Zone of Interest
- Release Date
- February 2, 2024
- Jonathan Glazer
- Sandra Hüller , Christian Friedel , Freya Kreutzkam , Max Beck
The Zone of Interest is a period film that takes place during World War II and highlights the atrocities of the Nazis during the time. The film itself focuses on Rudolf Höss, a commandant of Auschwitz, and his wife as they work towards their dream life of having a home next to an internment camp. Hüller plays Hedwig Höss alongside Christian Friedel, who plays her husband Rudolf.
A WWII Film Like No Other
The greatest thing about this film is the emotional impact it will have on you without fail. The history of Nazi Germany is still something that continues to shake the fabric of the world, and with a film like this, which offers a perspective on WWII we haven’t seen before, the horrors that occurred are presented in such a thought-provoking way. Along with the cast’s fantastic emotional delivery of these roles, The Zone of Interest is not a film to miss. Not Currently Available to Stream or Purchase
1 Anatomy of a Fall (2023)
Anatomy of a Fall
- Release Date
- August 23, 2023
- Justine Triet
- Sandra Hüller , Swann Arlaud , Antoine Reinartz , Jehnny Beth , Saadia Bentaieb
The 2023 film Anatomy of a Fall is easily Hüller best film to date. The crime thriller follows the trial of a woman who is accused of murdering her husband. However, like many crime films out there, there are layers that could unravel the entire investigation in a way nobody expects. The only witness to the murder is the couple’s blind son, who essentially now has the power to put his mother behind bars.
One of the Best Movies of 2023
Anatomy of a Fall is such a compelling and entertaining watch, you are bound to be on the edge of your seat with your eyes glued to the screen. This is the kind of film that works best when you go into it knowing as little as possible. However, you can definitely count on the performances being extremely compelling and believably emotional to a fault. Hüller is mesmerizing in this film, and it will be a highlight in her filmography for years to come. Rent on Apple TV