“This film was an extremely costly production, the forerunner of contemporary superproductions. The action takes place in the 21st century in a large metropolis which is autocratically run by a ‘super-trustee' and his collaborators who live in the paradise (an enclosed garden) of Yoshiwara. The workers are totally enslaved by the machines designed to remain underground, and they live on yet a lower level of the city. A young woman, Maria, comforts the workers with a religious faith to give them the strength to withstand their oppressor. A mad scientist is ordered to design a robot in the shape of Maria in order to incite the workers to revolt so that they can be massacred. But the ruler's son falls in love with Maria and tries to save her followers. In the end he is reconciled with his father, and the workers narrowly escape complete extermination when the ruler orders the living quarters of the city to be flooded.
“Unlike Lang's other films, Metropolis, in spite of its futuristic theme and its grandiose sets, is much more a kind of expressionist gothic. The figure of the robot was inspired by a novel of Villiers de l'Isle-Adam.... Lang often expressed his dislike for this film, and in particular for the ending which he felt was totally false.”