• R, 1 hr. 39 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Stefan Ruzowitzky
    In Theaters:
    Feb 10, 2007 Wide
    On DVD:
    Aug 5, 2008
  • Sony Pictures Classics

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The Counterfeiters Reviews

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July 1, 2008
Towards the end of World War II, the National Socialists forged millions of British pounds in order to weaken the enemy's economy. A counterfeiting plant was set up with prisoners in the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen.
April 27, 2014
Thought this was a pretty solid movie. Low and behold, it won the 2008 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film...as you know by now, my favorite category. Maybe that's how it ended up on my list but I'd forgotten and was pleasantly surprised. Watching it, I thought to be another low-profile but above average Holocaust movie...like Escape from Sobibor.

Pretty solid story though I think they tossed some of the drama with the opening scene. In a Holocaust movie, one should never really know if the protagonist makes it through. It's evident from the first scene that Markovics character does.

What that scene does not tell you is some other pretty neat stuff. All along, I'm wanting to scream at Burger for his goddamn principles. I, too, try to be a man of principle, sometimes to the point of fault. In the Holocaust, I thought he was unnecessarily endangering the lives of those around him - lives that would be ended if not for the project, and then all those offspring would never come to fruition, etc. By the end, however, Burger's heroism is apparent.

So you have some fine acting. Markovic in the lead role is great (ha, someone on imdb said it was Statham's greatest role). He gives no emotion and is just a man all about survival and using his skill to do it. The Burger character has a little more range since he wants to put it all on the line, but another fine choice in casting.

Finally, what kills me most is the fucking Nazis. I hate Nazis with a passion. Obviously, the evil aspect would do it for most, but how about the hypocrisy? When the Jew will do what it takes to survive, he is a coward or scum. When the table is turned, the Nazi always cowers like a baby. Goddamn Nazis.

So a good flick. There are good and bad Holocaust movies, high-profile and low. I thought this was low profile while watching and that almost made it better.
April 18, 2014
The Counterfeiters depicts a miraculously realistic tale of human drama to confront with one's own predicament with genuine emotional complexity.
mark d.
February 2, 2014
Accolades
Academy Awards 2007 (24 February 2008) Won Best Foreign Language Film; Austria[5]
Berlin International Film Festival, 2007 Nominated for Golden Bear award: Stefan Ruzowitzky
German Film Awards, 2007 Won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Devid Striesow Nominated for Best Cinematography: Benedict Neuenfels Nominated for Best Costume Design: Nicole Fischnaller Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Karl Markovics Nominated for Best Production Design: Isidor Wimmer
Nominated for Best Screenplay: Stefan Ruzowitzky Nominated for Outstanding Feature Film: Nina Bohlmann, Babette Schröder, Josef Aichholzer
February 2, 2014
Not sure about the Oscar but powerful, thought-provoking and complex.
January 2, 2014
Kerrankin erilainen sotaelokuva tai pikemminkin jännäri.
September 23, 2013
This was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Very moving, very feeling. This was also a part of WWII history I was unaware of, that the Germans attempted to flood the British and American markets with counterfeit currency, using Jewish labor to accomplish their means. I was impressed by this film on many levels.
September 17, 2013
Excellent, compelling film... Really enjoyed it. Highly recommend it. Deals with complex issues in a straightforward way.
August 17, 2013
Una buena historia con todos los elementos para hacerla memorable
October 15, 2009
One of the best films I have ever seen.
June 8, 2013
Amazing acting, Really good movie, 4 or 5 stars.
February 11, 2013
Karl Markovics's character has a splendid duality about him. A mix between complexity and simplicity, which -kind of- serves him well in an environment that no one should ever have to experience... Die Fälscher deserved its oscar.
May 7, 2013
A thought-provoking and thoroughly absorbing morality tale, bolstered by an intelligent and thought-provoking script, and the extremely talented cast, most notably Karl Markovics in the lead, and Devid Striesow and August Diehl in supporting roles.
Rodrigo y.
February 24, 2013
Excellent movie. Must see.
December 25, 2010
The great irony of this movie, which most critics either missed or were too afraid to articulate, is that the main character is in many ways a negative Jewish stereotype from a Nazi propaganda film (there's nothing more money-grubbing and unproductive than counterfeiting! and some other things...). However, he manages to be so cool. So defiant, and strangely dignified. I probably need to see this movie again, really brilliant.
February 9, 2013
Very interesting movie about the group of Jewish concentration camp prisoners who were forced to work as counterfeiters by the Nazi and tread the agonizingly close line between success and sabotage to keep the Nazis from destroying the Allies currency while trying to survive. Fine acting, screenplay and directing.
Robyn Nesbitt
January 6, 2013
Cooperating with the enemy has been explored in other holocaust films such as "Kapo" and "The Grey Zone", but the struggle between survival and conscience has rarely been more clearly drawn than in "The Counterfeiters"-- Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film (2008). Based on the memoir "The Devil's Workshop" by Adolf Burger, one of the survivors of the program, "The Counterfeiters" is the story of Operation Bernhard, a little known World War II program engineered by the Nazis to use Jewish prisoners to subvert the currencies of the U.S. and the U.K through forgery. One of the biggest scams of the war, the counterfeiting operation printed over 130 million pounds sterling in its attempt to destabilize the allied cause and help the sinking German economy.

"The Counterfeiters" tells the true story of a group of Jewish prisoners who were recruited from other camps for such a career--much against their wishes, if not for the threat of death. Being skilled craftsmen in their own right, they are all brought together, and realize that so long as they deliver the counterfeit bills to their captives, they'll be spared their lives. Boastful, talented Russian-Jewish counterfeiter Salomon Sorowitsch is sent to the Sachenhausen concentration camp to orchestrate the operation, and forced to deal with a psychopathic guard named Holst (Martin Brambach), who only wants results. At first Salomon has no issues helping the Nazi's for comfortable conditions for himself and staff, but over time it begins to take it's toll. He is torn between his determination to stay alive with the knowledge that producing the perfect American dollar will affect the lives of his fellow workers, as well as undermine the entire Allied cause.

"The Counterfeiters" differs from other films involving the Holocaust in that the emphasis is on the personal moral choices that are made--rather than the overall horror and despair. The two barracks of Jews working on the project are kept in what they call a "golden cage," in which they have enough to eat, beds with clean linen, and piped-in opera music to drown out the sounds of the murders committed on the other side of their thin plywood walls. The prisoners' dilemma over whether to assist the Germans and thereby ensure their continued survival is the heart of the movie, which keeps the focus on moral imperatives rather than the physical ravages of the camps. Ruzowitzky's film is so gripping because his is able to simulate the daily horror's of these men with remarkable subtlety; although the workers are sheltered from seeing the brutality and torture, the screams alone are terrifying. Karl Markovics gives a phenomenal, profound performance and his disturbing moral ambiguity is a the heart of this incredible true story. Stefan Ruzowitzy adapted the book by Adolf Burger, one of the protagonist's fellow prisoners (Diehl). Ruzowitzky's script is beautifully constructed, and to his credit, does not take a position on the internal debate, but gives the viewer enough leeway to question what they would have done in similar circumstances.
December 7, 2012
Historical interest sparked. Would like to watch...
December 6, 2012
Bravo! I came in on this Movie about 3/4 way through the Movie.
I want to see the rest of it, I can see why it earned Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
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