Born in Anklam, Western Pomerania, Schweighöfer attended Berlin's renowned acting school Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts, but dropped out after one year. Nevertheless, the son of actors had already worked with established directors such as Peter Greenaway.
His first role in a feature film was Raus aus der Haut (1997), directed by Andreas Dresen. In the following years, he appeared in critically acclaimed projects such as Soloalbum (2003), Off Beat (2004), Das wilde Leben (2007) and Rabbit Without Ears. Schweighöfer portrayed Lieutenant-Colonel Franz Herber in Valkyrie, a 2008 film dramatizing the failed 20 July assassination and political coup plot to kill Adolf Hitler. The international release of Valkyrie and the all-star cast (including Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Terence Stamp and Bill Nighy) not only allowed Schweighöfer to be recognized abroad, it provided an opportunity for him to be cast in other English speaking roles.
In 2010, he made his debut as film director with the romantic comedy What a Man, followed in 2013 by his second movie Schlussmacher. In 2017, he directed, produced and played the lead role in You Are Wanted, Amazon Studios' first non-English-language TV series.
Between 2004 and 2012, Schweighöfer dated Ani Schromm, and they got together again in the summer of 2013. They have a daughter, Greta (born in 2009) and a son, Valentin (born in 2014). Schweighöfer currently lives in Berlin.
- 2000: German Television Prize – Promotional Award for the performance in Verbotenes Verlangen
- 2002: Günter Strack TV Award – Best Young Actor for the performance in Tatort - Gewaltfieber
- 2003: Golden Camera – "Curt Jürgens Memorial Camera" for best newcomer and performances in Die Freunde der Freunde & Soloalbum
- 2003: Adolf Grimme Award – For the performance in Die Freunde der Freunde
- 2003: New Faces Award – Best Actor
- 2004: Bavarian Film Award – Best Young Actor
- 2004: Baden-Baden TV and Film Festival – Special award for the outstanding performances in Baal and Kalter Frühling
- 2005: Undine Award – Best Young Actor (TV) for the performance in Schiller
- 2006: DIVA-Award – Best Actor for the performances in Kammerflimmern, Schiller and Polly Blue Eyes
- 2007: Undine Award – Best Young Actor (feature film) for the performance in Das wilde Leben
- 2007: Bambi Award – Film – National – Male
- 2009: Golden Camera – Best German Actor for the performance in Mein Leben – Marcel Reich-Ranicki
- 2010: Jupiter Award – Best Male Actor (TV) for his performance in Mein Leben – Marcel Reich-Ranicki
- 2011: GQ Man of the Year – Film National
- 1999: Dr. Stefan Frank, season 4, episode 10, als Ingo
- 2000: Trust Me (Freunde), as Speedy
- 2001: Heart Over Head (Herz im Kopf), as Dirk
- 2002: Die Freunde der Freunde (TV film), as Gregor
- 2002: FeardotCom, as Dieter Schrader
- 2003: Soloalbum (Soloalbum), as Ben
- 2003: Die Klasse von '99, as Felix
- 2004: Baal (TV film), as Baal
- 2004: Cold Spring (Kalter Frühling, TV film), as Ben
- 2004: Off Beat (Kammerflimmern), as Crash
- 2004: Gold – The Tulse Luper Suitcases
- 2005: Schiller (TV film), as Friedrich Schiller
- 2005: Polly Blue Eyes, as Ronny Helske
- 2006: Lulu (TV film), as Jack the Ripper
- 2007: Eight Miles High (Das wilde Leben), as Rainer Langhans
- 2007: Ein spätes Mädchen (TV film), as Felix
- 2007: Fata Morgana, as Daniel
- 2007: Rabbit Without Ears, as Moritz
- 2008: The Red Baron (Der rote Baron), as Manfred von Richthofen
- 2008: Valkyrie, as Lieutenant Herber
- 2009: Mein Leben – Marcel Reich-Ranicki (TV film), as Marcel Reich-Ranicki
- 2009: Night Train, as Frankie
- 2009: 12 Paces Without a Head, as Gottfried Michaelsen
- 2009: Rabbit Without Ears 2, as Moritz
- 2010: Friendship!, as Tom
- 2011: What a Man, as Alex Nowak
- 2011: Rubbeldiekatz, as Alexander Honk
- 2012: Russian Disco, as Wladimir
- 2013: Schlussmacher, as Paul Voigt
- 2013: Frau Ella, as Sascha
- 2013: Kokowääh 2, as himself
- 2014: Joy of Fatherhood, as Felix
- 2015: The Little Prince, as the Fox (German version)
- 2015: The Manny, as Clemens
- 2016: The Most Beautiful Day, as Andi
- 2016: Vier gegen die Bank, as Max
- 2017: The Price, as Jonas
- 2017: You Are Wanted (TV series), as Lukas Franke
- 2018: Hot Dog, as Theo
- 2018: Vielmachglas, as Erik Ruge
- 2018: 100 Dinge, as Toni Katz
- 2018: Kursk
- 2019: Playmobil: The Movie, as Rex Dasher (German version)
- 2020: Resistance, as Klaus Barbie
- 2021: Army of the Dead, as Ludwig Dieter
- TBA: Army of Thieves, as Ludwig Dieter
- 2004: One, Two, Three – Otto Ludwig Pfiffl, Hebbel Theatre, Berlin
- 2007: North, directed by Frank Castorf, Volksbühne, Berlin
- 2008: Slam by Nick Hornby, ISBN 978-3867178600
- 2008: Die Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler, ISBN 978-3829122092
- Matthias Schweighöfer at IMDb
- Jochen Kürten (26 August 2007). "Matthias Schweighöfer — mehr als nur gutes Aussehen" [Matthias Schweighöfer — more than just a pretty face]. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "About Us". German Garment. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "First Germany-made Amazon TV series to star Matthias Schweighöfer". Deutsche Welle. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- Jochen Kürten (16 March 2017). "Neue Amazon-Serie mit Schweighöfer: You Are Wanted" [New Amazon series with Schweighöfer: You Are Wanted]. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "Und sie lieben sich doch! Eine filmreife Love-Story" [And they love each other! A love story fit for film]. Bild. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2017.