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Most of the ground covered should be familiar to history buffs: Hitler's failed efforts to become a great artist, his frustration at watching his adopted country fall apart at the seams during World War I, his resolve to put Germany back on its feet by exploiting the nation's horrendous postwar economic woes and its ingrained anti-Semitism, his 1923 arrest, the publication of Hitler's virulent screed Mein Kampf, the growing popularity of National Socialism, and the fatal error made by senile German chancellor Von Hindbenburg (Peter O'Toole) to 'neutralize' Hitler by giving him a relatively unimportant political post in 1933. Also covered is Hitler's abortive romance with his half-niece Geli Raubal (Jena Malone) and his longer relationship with the estimable Eva Braun (Zoe Telford). Given the difficulties faced by actor Carlyle and the screenwriters to successfully convey pure, unadulterated evil, much of what we learn about Hitler is conveyed by the observations and reactions of other characters, notably crusading but ineffectual anti-Nazi journalist Fritz Gerlich (Matthew Modine), and especially German publisher Ernst Hanfstangl (Liev Schreiber) and his wife, Helene (Julianna Margulies).