The Counterfeiters (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Counterfeiters (2007)



Critic Consensus: The Counterfeiters is a gripping account of one prisoner's moral dilemma, superbly portrayed by Karl Markovics.

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Movie Info

Writer/director Stefan Ruzowitzky explores the moral corrosion of Nazi complicity with this tightly wound adaptation of Adolf Burger's fact-based book The Devil's Workshop. Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics) may be a talented artist at heart, but his desire for wealth has driven him to use his creativity for more nefarious means. Arrested by the police inspector Herzog (Devid Striesow) at the onset of World War II, Sorowitsch is sent to the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp. It's not long before Salomon's thinly veiled opportunism earns him a relatively comfortable position as the camp's resident sketch artist, and five years later he is mysteriously swept away to Sachsenhausen. Upon arriving at the camp, Sorowitsch discovers that Herzog, now a commandant, is attempting to destabilize the economies of the Allies while simultaneously funding the Nazi war machine by assembling a special team of counterfeit artists to create millions in fraudulent pounds and dollars. As the operation gets under way, Sorowitsch finds the efforts of the team continually undermined by unyieldingly idealistic collotype specialist Adolf Burger (August Diehl). In the months that follow, the team wrestles with their consciences as Axis forces are gradually overwhelmed by Allied might. The Counterfeiters won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: R (for some strong violence, brief sexuality/nudity and language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Stefan Ruzowitzky
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 5, 2008
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site

News & Interviews for The Counterfeiters

Critic Reviews for The Counterfeiters

All Critics (123) | Top Critics (34)

As writer-director Stefan Ruzowitzky shows, powerfully, affectingly, in The Counterfeiters, the privileges experienced by this small team of Jews and criminals came at a price.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Although there is nothing ground-breaking about The Counterfeiters, it tells a moving and engrossing story with depth and intelligence, and is well worth seeing.

Full Review… | March 22, 2016
Jerusalem Post

Sally Sorowitsch is the little gangster who outsmarts the big gangsters. What could be more gratifying than that?

Full Review… | April 28, 2011
East Bay Express

2008's Oscar-winning foreign film is unquestionably good, a wholly absorbing and taut drama that is as engaging as it is powerful. But Oscar-worthy? There's room for debate.

Full Review… | September 4, 2009

It's a true story of the human condition, the Holocaust and history.

Full Review… | April 18, 2009
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

What would you do if your only chance of survival involved aiding the Nazi regime?

Full Review… | August 12, 2008
Let's Not Listen

Audience Reviews for The Counterfeiters

This dark film based on a true story works as an absorbing moral exercise on the terrible choices that some were forced to make in order to survive the horrors of the Holocaust, and it deserves even more credit for making us sympathize with a not-very-likable anti-hero.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

The Counterfeiters is a fictionalized do-or-die tale of survival by a group of talented counterfeiters set World War II Nazi concentration camp. Bold, brave, and provocative new perspective on Operation Bernhard and its role in the Holocaust. Credible cast and performances. A deserving 2007 Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film winner.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer


It may be hard to some to dare say negative things about a movie with such a delicate storyline, but The Counterfeiters has really nothing extraordinary to it and I now seem to be the only one to say it is a terribly overrated movie. The direction, which gives a TV look to the film (it was a great thing for The Pianist; here, it is only making it look cheap), is unfortunately very unsensitive while strong emotions should be what you'd find in a movie that is supposed to be inspiring. While it failed to inspire anything in me, it did manage to protray the horror of the Holocaust but never came close to other great films of the genre. Its qualities are never enough considerable to overcome its tactless and cold portrayal of a journey that was supposed to feel inspiring.

Emile Tremblay

Super Reviewer

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