Movies Like Black Book (Zwartboek)


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Black Book (Zwartboek) Reviews

Cliff Doerksen
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

November 16, 2011
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5/5

November 16, 2011
Ben Walters
Time Out
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November 16, 2011
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A hard-core war film with raw violence, intense action, graphic sexuality and a twisting plot that offers a series of surprises.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 1, 2007
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Verhoeven never loses sight of the larger message -- that in those evil times, ordinary people were forced to do extraordinary, and even awful, things just to live long enough to tell their tale.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

May 4, 2007
Jonathan F. Richards
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Paul Verhoeven's WWII drama stars the lovely Dutch actress Carice van Houten as a Jewish Resistance worker, and costars her breasts. All three deserve awards consideration.

Full Review

April 30, 2007

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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April 28, 2007
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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The happy ending demands that [Verhoeven's] return-journey film -- Black Book -- be a rousing artistic triumph. It isn't. Too many of his lazy Hollywood habits have followed him home.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

April 27, 2007
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Insanely entertaining -- and often just plain insane -- World War II melodrama. You may hate yourself in the morning, but you'll have to admit Verhoeven gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B+

April 27, 2007
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Black Book doesn't let the grim facts of the Holocaust get in the way of some ripping pulp.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

April 27, 2007
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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Despite the picture's subtitles and its imposing 145-minute running time, Black Book maintains a breakneck pace, pausing only long enough to raise some very interesting questions.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3/4

April 27, 2007
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Judged in dramatic terms, situational ethics drive the film, never slackening the pace nor making the nearly 2 1/2-hour running time seem overlong. Van Houten is rarely out of the frame, but she's no mere eye candy.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 27, 2007
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Black Book is a crackling good melodrama -- inspired, remarkably, by actual events -- with few clearly defined heroes and villains.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

April 23, 2007
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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A lurid, pulpy, slightly perverse potboiler, Black Book suffers mainly from its utter lack of seriousness.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

April 23, 2007
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Stout-hearted celebration of the Dutch Resistance or total smut? Try both.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

April 20, 2007
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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It's just another Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS disguised as an inspirational story of survival and courage.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

April 20, 2007
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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It's as interesting as anything Verhoeven's attempted in some time.

| Original Score: B

April 20, 2007
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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[Verhoeven] hasn't seemed like a serious filmmaker for some time.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2/4

April 20, 2007
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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Commercial moviemaking of the highest order, superbly mounted and paced.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

April 20, 2007
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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Pushes all sorts of envelopes -- political, historical and erotic -- against the sanctified background of the Nazi Holocaust, hitherto unthinkable as the linchpin of a lively melodrama like Black Book.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

April 18, 2007
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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All that keeps the movie from collapsing into soap opera is the exuberant drive of the filmmaking. And the central performance. Van Houten is pretty without being beautiful.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 13, 2007
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
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Some may find scenes excessive and take offense at the suggestion that there were good Nazis like Ludwig. But one thing that can be said for Black Book: It's never boring.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

April 13, 2007
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Its essential trashiness too often takes over. Rather than wondering about Rachel/Ellis' dilemma, you find yourself pondering Verhoeven's consistency in setting up bedroom shots so that there's always a nipple in the frame.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

April 13, 2007
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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The movie scrambles our responses and covers so much ground, with such zest, that its two and a half hours race past like a firestorm.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 12, 2007
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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... hugely enjoyable from start to finish.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

April 9, 2007
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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It's a marvelous movie-movie, with a new screen goddess. Van Houten has a soft, heart-shaped face on top of a body so naturally, ripely beautiful it has its own kind of truth.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

April 9, 2007
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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He's taken a generally holy subject -- Jewish resistance to the Nazis -- and returned to Holland to make what is undeniably, perversely, lovably a Verhoeven movie.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 5/6

April 7, 2007
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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A viscerally effective thriller ends up a repugnant exercise in moral relativism, delivered with the grandstanding swagger of the self-styled provocateur.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

April 5, 2007
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Psssst, want to see a dirty picture about good Nazis, bad Resistance fighters, and a fast-thinking, quick-stripping Jewish woman happy to dye her pubic hair blond and sleep with the enemy in the name of freedom? Have I got a lulu for you.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

April 5, 2007
Noel Murray
AV Club
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Working again with longtime screenwriting collaborator Gerard Soeteman, Verhoeven makes Black Book into a rollicking wartime movie-movie, replacing awards-bait clichés with a strong dose of two-fisted action, frank sexuality, and coal-black cynicism.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: A-

April 5, 2007
Andrew O'Hehir
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It's a messy, colorful big-screen entertainment that veers from sober period piece to outrageous melodrama, which is to say it's a Verhoeven movie.

Full Review Source:

April 4, 2007
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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In Black Book, every performance, every white-knuckle detail registers like a powerful drug, and when it ends, you know you've been to the movies. It's The Perils of Pauline with swastikas.

April 4, 2007
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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There is much double- and triple-crossing as Rachel pulls off a series of narrow escapes. But Verhoeven is not quite taking things seriously.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 4, 2007
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Rachel is played by Carice van Houten, a Dutch actress little known here who is quick to infuse her heroine with sexy style and chilly daring. It's a great role requiring a great range, often within single scenes, and she moves through them seamlessly.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

April 4, 2007
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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[Van Houten] is so good in it that it seems only a matter of time before she'll star in a real Hollywood movie -- as opposed to this pretender.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 4, 2007
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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Paul Verhoeven' Black Book encompasses the best and very worst of its director's signature pulp brutalism, which means it's pretty much a hoot.

| Original Score: 3.5/5

April 4, 2007
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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As subversive as it is traditional, both enamored of conventional notions of heroism and frankly contemptuous of them.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4.5/5

April 3, 2007
John Anderson
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It isn't pretty, but for all the melodramatic hoohah of Verhoeven's latest, it all feels pretty real.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 3, 2007
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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The movie whips along, unafraid of narrative excess or hairpin plot turns.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 3, 2007
James Berardinelli
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Black Book possesses a taut, exciting script that throws surprises at the viewer on a regular basis.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 2, 2007
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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Far from turning serious, the director of Basic Instinct has proved that, when it comes to grappling with good and evil, his instincts aren't basic enough.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

April 2, 2007
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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This has to be the crassest, most excessive, vulgar and gratuitous wartime spy story ever told, which is exactly why you should see it.

March 8, 2007
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Black Book, the first film Verhoeven has made in the Netherlands in two decades, is spoken in Dutch, German, Hebrew and English, and it lasts for 145 minutes. There's not a dull second in the bunch.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

March 7, 2007
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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Verhoeven stays dramatically and historically credible.

Full Review Source: Time Out

October 28, 2006
Derek Elley
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Hollywood-honed tech smarts and European character sensibilities mesh entertainingly in pacy WWII resistance thriller Black Book.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 16, 2006
Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
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An ambitious throwback to the days of rousing all-action wartime pictures in which an intrepid loner risks everything to fight a clearly defined enemy. It succeeds on almost all fronts.

September 13, 2006
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