The Good German - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Good German Reviews

Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
March 8, 2007
Why emphasise flaws in a film of such overall ambition and expertise?
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Time Out
March 8, 2007
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Arizona Republic
February 3, 2007
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
January 19, 2007
This cast almost makes The Good German watchable. It's just that their screenwriter and director don't do them any favors.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
January 19, 2007
There's a line between homage and mimicry, and Soderbergh has crossed it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
January 19, 2007
We get no heroes, not even flawed ones. Clooney, our marquee man, chases through numbing plot contortions only because of his lust for Lena. By the time The Good German ended, I had barely a clue if the good ones had lived or died.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 22, 2006
The Good German is a movie wonk's triumph and no one else's. Soderbergh gets the visuals right but not the clean storytelling line of classic cinema, nor the iconic characters or moral certainty of the oldies.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 22, 2006
I have to admire an ostensibly nostalgic entertainment that so concertedly undermines the romanticism of wartime Hollywood.
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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
December 22, 2006
The photography is so beautiful, and the actors make brave choices, and Soderbergh's homage to the films he so obviously loves is done with such grace and passion -- so there's just enough that works to outweigh the major plot concerns.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 22, 2006
It works, as homage to a particular time and place in film history, and as a knowing revision that brings Hollywood's subtext of '40s postwar corruption to the surface. The Good German isn't so much an imitation as a crafty modernization.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 22, 2006
There isn't a moment in this self-conscious, uninvolving movie when you aren't aware you are watching an experiment, which might make a good lesson for film school students on what not to do.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 22, 2006
The Good German doesn't look like a period movie, and it doesn't feel like one. The black-and-white images are thin and garish, with blinding whites that destroy whatever Soderbergh is trying to do with shadow and contrast.
| Original Score: C
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 22, 2006
The crucial key elements that every vintage Warners film had as a matter of course are lacking here. The story isn't gripping or even coherent. There is no real romance. There's mystery, but only in a plot sense -- i.e., what's going on?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
December 22, 2006
The trouble is the movie never really seems to go anywhere. Too many scenes have a feeling of irresolution; they just sort of go on for a while, then disappear.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 22, 2006
Interesting to watch, up to a point. The Good German gets lost amidst its references; it doesn't stand by itself but is held up by the films that inspired it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 22, 2006
A history-based, murder-mystery war-yarn that goes round and round in circles.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 22, 2006
Everything about The Good German seems a few degrees off, as if the new map of Europe has somehow altered the latitudes along with attitudes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 21, 2006
Of The Good German, it can be said that the operation was a brilliant success, even if the patient is not merely dead but most sincerely dead.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 21, 2006
The Good German cannibalizes the cool, cynical look of those great old movies, but it's too spiritually vacant to duplicate their soul.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 21, 2006
A most peculiar and unsatisfying film.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 21, 2006
Soderbergh wants us to see post-War Berlin as, in its way, another Chinatown a la Roman Polanski.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 18, 2006
A lot of style. Not so much with the plot.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 17, 2006
The Good German is...equally infused with knowing sophistication and a surprising amount of depth.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 15, 2006
The Good German is counterfeit coin in search of easy marks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 15, 2006
With The Good German, Soderbergh -- generally a terrific and creative filmmaker -- apes a style, and a way of seeing, that he clearly doesn't understand. It feels like a hit to the stomach.
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
December 15, 2006
The Good German is Steven Soderbergh's game attempt to reinvigorate the dense intrigue of classic wartime thrillers like The Third Man with a contemporary, neo-noir edge.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 15, 2006
The movie's aesthetic is divorced from its sensibility.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 15, 2006
The film plays like a pastiche of Casablanca, The Third Man and Billy Wilder's "A Foreign Affair," though it is far more explicit about violence and sex than was ever dreamed of in films of the era.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 15, 2006
If you feel anything other than admiration for its craftsmanship, let me know; The Good German is as emotionally cold and unconvincing as any movie I've seen this year.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
December 15, 2006
In a few quick strokes, Soderbergh and screenwriter Paul Attanasio (working from a novel by Joseph Kanon) sketch a convincing scenario in which it is technically not possible for the good guys to win a war because good guys don't fight them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 15, 2006
A classic noir film demands a classic noir story, and Paul Attanasio's screenplay (based on the Joseph Kanon novel) just isn't up to the dark mark.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 14, 2006
Technically stunning but narratively and thematically hollow.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 14, 2006
Mr. Soderbergh seems to have done everything within his power to keep the audience at arm's length.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 14, 2006
Steven Soderbergh attempts to resurrect the magic of classical Hollywood, principally by sucking out all the air, energy and pleasure from his own filmmaking.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 14, 2006
The Good German is a prime example of a movie made by highly skilled and intelligent filmmakers that nevertheless seems misguided from the get-go.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 14, 2006
A few of Soderbergh's movies have foundered on a similar ironic detachment. The singular exception, Out of Sight, floated along on sexual electricity and warm movie love, but The Good German feels passionless, throttled by technique.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 13, 2006
On the meta level, Soderbergh has re-created not only the kind of story told in the 1940s, but the kind of technical production Hollywood gloried in more than half a century ago, too.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 13, 2006
Where is Major Clark Gable now that we need him?
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 12, 2006
The Good German, Steven Soderbergh's film noir homage, is nearly perfect when it comes to style and tone, but it concentrates so single-mindedly on the mechanics of the narrative that it loses sight of its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 12, 2006
The Good German is seriously deficient in the stars' star power and narrative excitement. The movie is lovingly framed, carefully lit, and fatally insipid.
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David Germain
Associated Press
December 11, 2006
Soderbergh, screenwriter Paul Attanasio and their colleagues get much of the mood and atmosphere down, but they fail -- or chose not to try -- to emulate the sense of wily playfulness that made old film-noir characters so rich and engaging.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
December 11, 2006
Soderbergh's skill, intelligence and love for the genre are never in doubt. But, as it turns out, you can't play it again, Sam.
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
December 11, 2006
The result is a movie that is never quite amusing but never quite mordantly thought provoking either.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 11, 2006
Steven Soderbergh is usually an inspired chameleon, perfectly suiting his style to his content. But The Good German is an ambitious miss.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 11, 2006
[Soderbergh] has such a gusto for movie history that he all but forgets that the films to which he pays homage were not themselves exercises in pure style.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 4, 2006
It also allows Soderbergh and writer Paul Attanasio, in a smart, well-paced adaptation, to explore a moral complexity that never found its way into movies of that era.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
December 1, 2006
The Good German has little of the luster, sheen and pictorial nuance of a top-flight Hollywood picture of the old school.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 23, 2006
This is Soderbergh's show, and a haunting and hypnotic show it is.
| Original Score: 3.5/4