Alright, to answer the question.
In a general sense the history in Luther is pretty much accurate - the liberties taken with history were few, but there were a number of errors which include:
The use of a couple of terms and concepts that were not fully developed/in use in Luther’s times or not accepted by Luther. Frederick the Great used the word inertia, which, iirc, was an invention of Newtons (or Galileos). Luther also mentioned “fixed stars” which do not exist in the geocentric universe that he accepted.
Johann Tetzel never made it to Wittenberg, much less Saxony, as Frederick the Great banned him from his territories. But Tetzel, not to be outsmarted, went to towns close to the border thereby still drawing Saxony coin, which drew the ire of both Luther and Frederick.
Ulrich von Hutton is a lot calmer in the movie than the accounts I’ve read of him. IIRC, he was banned even before Luther was in Worms.
A number of things were also understated or completely omitted:
Luther’s influence in creating a German identity was understated (except for the translation plot.)
It is never revealed that the main reason the German princes supported Luther was because they were tired of their gold going to Rome.
Luther’s anti-semitism and the reasons for it? Not touched on at all.
Luther had rather psychotic and abusive parents who constantly beat him and treated him in ways that would get them arrested today. His treatment at their hands had profound effects on his psyche, effects that were completely ignored.
Odds and ends that they included but didn’t have to:
Luther’s scatalogical obsessions.
His spells where he saw and spoke to the Devil. He even claims to have beaten back the Devil with Luther’s own fecal matter.
Now about the movie…
While Joseph Fiennes did a good job expressing how deeply Luther believed in his God, overall he did a pretty poor job of portraying Martin Luther. Luther was not a timid man - he was forged of anger and rage, passion and fire. Except for a period immediately following the publishing of the Theses he wasn’t a person given to self doubt and quiet talk. Luther hated, and hated well.
Luther was also more worldly than the script gave him credit for. He knew what he was doing when he crouched his arguments in the terms of German nationalism and the Volk. One of the biggest weaknesses of the movie was the complete lack of Latin and German - in the real world, when Luther was at Worms the entire trial had been conducted in Latin, until the very last pronouncement by Luther, which he made in German. That would’ve helped driven home the point that Luther succeeded not because of theology and faith, but because of politics and economics. And the “real” Luther knew this.
Fiennes (or the script) didn’t portray any of this at all - Fiennes’ Luther was the sort of man who’d get his ass kicked up and down the Elbe and would’ve been of even lesser import than Jan Hus. Fiennes’ Luther just kinda floated along in the world, largely propped up by the machinations of others…
until, in one bizarre scene before the Augsburg meeting, Luther is sitting at the head of the table issuing the Princes their marching orders for when they meet the Emperor. :rolleyes:
But what the hell - I’ve been waiting for a big-screen biopic of Luther’s life and am pleased that I actually got one. I’ll give it an 8.5 on a scale of 10, but I will say that you probably won’t miss much if you wait until it comes out on DVD.