The Good German (2007)



Critic Consensus: Though Steven Soderbergh succeeds in emulating the glossy look of 1940s noirs, The Good German ultimately ends up as a self-conscious exercise in style that forgets to develop compelling characters.

Movie Info

"The Good German" takes place in the ruins of post-WWII Berlin, where U.S. Army war correspondent Jake Geismar becomes embroiled with Lena Brandt, a former lover who is trying to escape her past in the aftermath of the war. Intrigue mounts as Jake tries to uncover the secrets Lena may be hiding in her desperation to get out of Berlin. Tully, a soldier in the American army motor pool assigned to drive Jake around the city, has black market connections that may be Lena's way out--or lead them all … More

Rating: R (for language, violence and some sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Joseph Kanon, Paul Attanasio
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 22, 2007
Box Office: $0.9M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


as Jake Geismer

as Lena Brandt

as Col. Muller

as Congressman Breimer

as Bernie Teitel

as Hannelore

as Emile Brandt

as Gunther

as Lieutenant Schaeffer

as Gen. Sikorsky

as General

as Russian Soldier

as Russian Soldier

as Russian Soldier

as Russian Soldier

as Russian Soldier

as German Boy

as German Boy

as German Boy

as British Interviewer

as British Press Aide

as Franz Bettmann
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Good German

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for The Good German

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (49)

Why emphasise flaws in a film of such overall ambition and expertise?

Full Review… | March 8, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

An utterly gaseous film

Full Review… | August 28, 2009

A beautifully flawed experiment, "The Good German" is an entertaining if unbalanced war drama that places modern cinema mores on a classic style of American film when the Hayes code would never have allowed such overt sexual reality.

Full Review… | April 23, 2009

The Good German is the bad movie. Except for the ambience -- the look of the film -- it stumbles awkwardly on every level.

Full Review… | February 2, 2009
Fayetteville Free Weekly

No matter that it's based on a book, the movie is more about how the reality of the time was seen through the lens of a Michael Curtiz while he was filming "Casablanca".

Full Review… | May 2, 2008

The final verdict on this movie is that for all its attempts to replicate the great movies of the 1940s, it fails miserably.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Good German

Soderbergh's visuals are intriguing in this WWII drama, but the story is anything but. Clooney's charisma proves not enough to make the film interesting.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer


Director Steven Soderbergh's homage to 1940s film noir cinema stays true to the filming methods used back in the day: the camera work, lighting, music, everything. That's a little strange at first, but you gotta admire the tenacity with which this is pulled through from the beginning to the end. As for the plot, it starts out slowly and with what seems to be a rather unlikable character. 20 minutes in a rather unexpected death gets things moving and the film gets more interesting with every minute from then on. Overall, we go through three narrators as we switch perspectives throughout the plot. The acting is great, especially Cate Blanchett seems to have emerged right from that era of cinema. There's even the Casablanca homage in the end. An interesting, even if not overwhelming experience that's pretty entertaining and well done.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer


In the end, on an airstrip in the rain, it became clear what Soderbergh thought he was doing: making a new Casablanca. And while the "zigzag plot" praised in the film's promotional copy shares this with the classic, no other elements are even comparable. Tobey Maguire is completely miscast, and the film suffers, I think, from a point-of-view problem. Cate Blanchett's character, Lena, is by far the most interesting, and has the most to contribute to the story... so why does the film present itself as being "about" the journalist George Clooney plays?


The film would have been much more successful had we worked from Lena's point of view. Show us first that Brandt is still allive, then watch her mislead us and the journalist until the end. If she is truly the "good German," then make her the hero.

As it is, though, this film is a stinker. The new black-and-white footage was well-yoked to the old newsreel stuff, but that's the nicest thing I can say about it. A lot more than an old-timey score is needed to create tension; primarily, emplotment. This movie just didn't have it, and as a result, Soderbergh's experiment in noir is a colossal failure, and for lack of a better word, flat-out boring.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

The Good German Quotes

– Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Good German on our Movie forum!