This Academy Award winner from Germany takes us back to the days of the Berlin Wall. In East Germany, a by-the-books secret police officer named Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe, the GDR's answer to Stanley Tucci) is ordered to spy on a seemingly loyal Communist Party playwright and his actress girlfriend. The good captain fills the couple's apartment with listening devices and starts prying into their private lives. As the investigation wears on, Wiesler becomes increasingly absorbed in the happy couple's daily drama--which only serves to highlight how empty the policeman's life really is. Ultimately, the quiet, observational film transcends its thriller-like setting and finds a universal message about the purely human need to connect with one another. 137 minutes R.