The Counterfeiters

2007

The Counterfeiters

Critics Consensus

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

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 125
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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, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Counterfeiters

All Critics (125) | Top Critics (41)

  • It's details like that-too bizarre not to be true-that give "The Counterfeiters" its bitter wallop. It's an astonishing tale of cunning, compromise and survival.

    Feb 6, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The winner of this year's Oscar for best foreign-language film puts devils, as well as angels, on the head of the pin.

    Jun 8, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This Oscar-winning film ranks as the most unnerving, disturbing, true-life account yet of endurance under Nazi oppression.

    Jun 8, 2008 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • This dark, absorbing thriller is not just a moral exercise in the awful choices faced by those determined to survive history's worst genocide. It invites us to imagine ourselves in the shoes of a not-quite-lovable rogue.

    Apr 24, 2008 | Rating: 5/5
  • The Counterfeiters, written and directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, is a morally challenging twist on the long and honorable tradition of forgery movies.

    Apr 13, 2008 | Full Review…

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