The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)


The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

Critics Consensus

The White Ribbon effectively utilizes tension and a bleak atmosphere to deliver a thought-provoking examination of nascent fascism.



Total Count: 145


Audience Score

User Ratings: 89,989
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Movie Info

Set in a Northern German village before World War I during the decline of the Austro-Hungarian empire, depicts the emergence of national socialism.


Christian Friedel
as The Schoolteacher
Ulrich Tukur
as The Baron
Ursina Lardi
as Marie-Louise, the Baroness
Fion Mutert
as Sigmund
Michael Kranz
as The Tutor
Steffi Kühnert
as Anna, the Pastor's Wife
Johanna Busse
as Margarete
Yuma Amecke
as Annchen
Gabriela Maria Schmeide
as Emma, the Steward's Wife
Josef Bierbichler
as The Steward
Theo Trebs
as Ferdinand
Rainer Bock
as The Doctor
Susanne Lothar
as The Midwife
Ernst Jacobi
as The School Teacher, The Narrator
Detlev Buck
as Eva's father
Luzie Ahrens
as Schoolgirl
Gary Bestla
as Schoolboy
Leonard Boes
as Schoolboy
Sophie Czech
as Schoolgirl
Selina Ewald
as Schoolgirl
Nora Gruler
as Schoolgirl
Tim Guderjahn
as Schoolboy
Ole Joensson
as Schoolboy
Lena Pankow
as Schoolgirl
Sebastian Pauli
as Schoolboy
Franz Rewoldt
as Schoolboy
Alexander Sedl
as Schoolboy
Nino Seide
as Schoolboy
Marvin Ray Spey
as Schoolboy
Malin Steffen
as Schoolboy
Lilli Trebs
as Schoolgirl
Paul Wolf
as Schoolboy
Michael Schenk
as Criminal Police Officer
Hanus Polak Jr.
as Criminal Police Officer
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News & Interviews for The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

Critic Reviews for The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

All Critics (145) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (124) | Rotten (21)

  • Suffice it to say that I don't understand the rave reviews that this picture received, and I was not a happy camper when I left the theater.

    Jan 12, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • As for Haneke's handling of the material, his directing is immaculate. Every moment is the product of a penetrating mind and a steady talent.

    Sep 20, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Far from enjoyable escapism, The White Ribbon is nonetheless utterly compelling and quite beautiful in its unsettling presentation of this prosaic evil.

    May 6, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The White Ribbon is a stark, contemplative and hauntingly brilliant film.

    Feb 25, 2010 | Rating: 4/4
  • Writer-director Michael Haneke doesn't pull any punches, but then he doesn't throw any wild ones, either. His filmmaking shows precisely the sort of obsession with control that the movie itself is denouncing. Interesting, you've got to admit.

    Feb 19, 2010 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Haneke tells this tale a bit too patiently for my taste. But the metaphors are unmistakable, as is the power of the film's message.

    Feb 17, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

  • Oct 08, 2015
    The White Ribbon immediately draws comparison with films by Ingmar Bergman and Lars Von Trier. Unlike in Bergman's films, here the black-and-white often feels desaturated or washed out. Unlike in von Trier's films (which I sometimes like even while disliking them), the darkness is unpoetical. -- I must admit I turned off the film at about the 90 minute mark, not because the abuse featured was fantastically horrorific but rather continually degrading. There was not much of a plot and no sense of mystery as to what was going on. There was no compelling reason to continue watching.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2014
    Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon, is shot in stunning black and white, fittingly set in a small German village shortly prior to World War I. The story is narrated by the most humanist and sincere character the school teacher, even though the themes of the tales hardly match his. The sadistic and cruel acts depicted usually involve the more noble people of the town and/or the children. Then there's more mysterious and crueler events, mainly the harsh torture of children. A common theme in the film is punishment, chiefly unjust punishment, it seems that the source of these vile acts is from some sort of punisher. The film keeps the audience guessing, trying to remember every small detail- and there are many- to solve the puzzle. The film towards the end goes through intense interrogations and build-up but ultimately leaves an open end. Very similar to Haneke's earliereffortCache (although The White Ribbon this is way more of a drama, than a thriller). The mystery shows how the audience, similar to the characters, is always searching for a scapegoat. Which makes sense that this film is set right before the first world war, even though it feels much more like a prequel to the second world war. 3 stars
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2014
    Though its central narrative is compelling, The White Ribbon's runtime is severely over-extended by dull side-stories having little to do with the film's stronger components.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2013
    In a film worthy of Bergman, we have dark themes in a rural community explored by Haneke. The White Ribbon shows us what happens when zealots are allowed to impose standards on a family and a community.
    John B Super Reviewer

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