The Good German - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Good German Reviews

March 8, 2007
Why emphasise flaws in a film of such overall ambition and expertise?
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
January 19, 2007
There's a line between homage and mimicry, and Soderbergh has crossed it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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
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
December 22, 2006
I have to admire an ostensibly nostalgic entertainment that so concertedly undermines the romanticism of wartime Hollywood.
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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+
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: C
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
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.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
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
December 22, 2006
A history-based, murder-mystery war-yarn that goes round and round in circles.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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.
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 21, 2006
A most peculiar and unsatisfying film.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 21, 2006
Soderbergh wants us to see post-War Berlin as, in its way, another Chinatown a la Roman Polanski.
Read More | Original Score: B-
December 18, 2006
A lot of style. Not so much with the plot.
December 17, 2006
The Good German is...equally infused with knowing sophistication and a surprising amount of depth.
Read More | Original Score: B+
December 15, 2006
The Good German is counterfeit coin in search of easy marks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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.
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 15, 2006
The movie's aesthetic is divorced from its sensibility.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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
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
December 14, 2006
Technically stunning but narratively and thematically hollow.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 14, 2006
Mr. Soderbergh seems to have done everything within his power to keep the audience at arm's length.
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.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/5
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+
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.
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
December 13, 2006
Where is Major Clark Gable now that we need him?
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
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.
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.
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.
December 11, 2006
The result is a movie that is never quite amusing but never quite mordantly thought provoking either.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 23, 2006
This is Soderbergh's show, and a haunting and hypnotic show it is.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4