The Believer (2002)



Critic Consensus: Gosling commands the screen with a raw, electrifying performance.

Movie Info

In this powerful and disturbing drama, Danny Balint (Ryan Gosling) is a member of a gang of racist skinheads who espouses a vile but well-articulated philosophy of anti-Semitism. Danny also has a secret -- he is a Jew, and was a top student in Hebrew school before he began to ask too many questions about the deeper implications of the teachings in the Torah and the Old Testament, leading to his expulsion. Angry and confused, Danny began to explore the philosophies of the neo-Nazi movement, which … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Henry Bean
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 22, 2003
Box Office: $0.2M
IDP Distribution - Official Site


as Danny Balint

as Carla Moebius

as Lina Moebius

as Curtis Zampf

as Carleton

as Ancient Jew

as Guy Danielson

as Danny's Father

as Old Coot

as Rav Singesser

as Young Danny

as Young Stuart

as Orthodox Student

as First Waiter

as Mrs. Frankel

as Hate Counselor

as Polish Man

as Cindy Pomerantz

as Rabbi Greenwalt

as Ilio Manzetti

as Roger Brand

as Rosh Hashana Attende...

as TV Reporter

as Guy's Photographer

as Man at Yom Kippur

as Woman at Yom Kippur
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Believer

Friend Ratings

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


Critic Reviews for The Believer

All Critics (91) | Top Critics (26)

An exploration of what it means to be Jewish and what it means to hate - two separate subjects that happen to overlap in this case.

Full Review… | October 15, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

No polemic, the movie puts our own religious sensibilities and prejudices to the test. The result is arresting, prickly, vaguely funny, even - 'difficult' in the best sense.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An important movie, a reminder of the power of film to move us and to make us examine our values.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
Toronto Star
Top Critic

[Gosling's] combination of explosive physical energy and convincing intelligence helps create a complex, unpredictable character.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Gosling's Danny is frighteningly believable, in his mad hatreds and when gradually confronting inner doubts.

Full Review… | January 1, 2013
Observer [UK]

The underlying premise of The Believer is simple and understandable to any one of us who have grown indifferent to many of the teachings we accepted with such naivetÚ, such open hopeful hearts throughout our early education.

Full Review… | September 27, 2006

Audience Reviews for The Believer


Three years previous to this, director Tony Kaye and star Edward Norton addressed white supremicist racism in "American History X". This shares similiar themes but focuses more on the hatred toward Jews. The real similarity between the films though are blisteringly powerful performances from both lead actors.
Daniel Balint (Ryan Gosling) is a yeshiva-educated young Jewish man in New York who rejects his heritage and chooses to become a neo-Nazi skinhead. His passion is frighteningly real which leads to looming dangers for himself and his community.
The comparisons are inevitable and although both powerful and controversial films in their own right, with "American History X" and "The Believer" it's the tour-de-force performances from Edward Norton and Ryan Gosling that really take centre stage. Gosling is no less effective than Norton's Oscar nominated turn and after seeing this, it's getting to the stage that it seems there's no limits to his acting range. He is this film. Don't get me wrong, writer/director Henry Bean crafts some strong and intelligent dialogue, but it's Gosling's delivery of anti-semitic vitriol that packs the real power. The problems it faces are having a less than par supporting cast and a made for television budget. The flaws show but it's still a savage examination of anti-semitism and one worthy of attention.
A brave film anchored by a bold and brave performance. It's easy to see why this put Ryan Gosling on the map, he delivers a ferocious piece of work.

Mark Walker

Super Reviewer


Ryan shines as an actor. Without the cliches like the tight jawed, no make up wearing woman with the pulled back hair trying to control an activist movement and the whore that is capable of love; this movie had more potential that was lost. This was one of Ryan Gosling's earliest standout roles and knowing he started on "The Mickey Mouse Club" and has not had formal acting training shows an actor that chooses jobs that challenge him verses makes him money (although I am sure he has plenty money also).

Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

The Believer is a tale of hypocrocy and confusion. Whilst Gosling plays his role well, the storyline (although worthy of telling) isn?t told in the best way possible.

As there are many neo/nazi style films that have been told quite powerfully and realistically this doesn?t quite measure up for me, but still makes an eye-opening watch.

Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

The Believer Quotes

– Submitted by Rick K (10 months ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Believer on our Movie forum!