The Believer (2001)

R  |   |  Drama  |  23 August 2001 (Russia)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 29,075 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 156 user | 84 critic | 28 from

A young Jewish man develops a fiercely anti-Semitic philosophy. Based on the factual story of a K.K.K. member in the 1960s who was revealed to be Jewish by a New York Times reporter.



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6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Meadows ...
O.L. (as Joel Garland)
Lina Moebius
Jack Drummond ...
Old Coot
Sig Libowitz ...
Rav Zingesser
James McCaffrey ...
Young Avi (as James G. McCaffrey)
Jacob Green ...
Frank Winters ...
Young Stuart
Danny's Father


"The Believer" explores a Jewish student's private journey to understand the meaning of Judaism in his life. Set in New York City, the Plot follows a morally confused young adult struggling with the conflict between his beliefs and his heritage. "The Believer" examines themes of religion, family, and self-loathing. It is a psychological examination into the forces of intolerance, both on the individual and society as a whole. Written by Joe Bloggs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

23 August 2001 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Danny Balint  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,236 (USA) (17 May 2002)


$406,035 (USA) (27 September 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Critically acclaimed, grand-jury prize winner at Sundance Festival in January 2001, then appeared on Showtime pay-cable in March 2002, before finally being released theatrically in NYC, May 2002. See more »


In the DVD version, the words "a decade" are silent in the phrase "The Thousand-Year Reich barely lasted a decade..." even though Zampf is still mouthing it. See more »


Guy Danielson: People hate Jews, do you agree?
Daniel Balint: The very word makes their skin crawl. They undermine traditional life, and they deracinate society. Just take a look at the greatest Jewish minds ever. Marx, Freud, Einstein. What have they given us? Communism, infantile sexuality, and the atom bomb.
Guy Danielson: Danny, this is great. But how can you believe all of this... when you're a Jew yourself?
See more »


Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Ryan Gosling -- Superstar!
23 April 2003 | by (Baltimore, Maryland) – See all my reviews

I think I first saw Mr. Gosling in Murder by Numbers, in which he played half of a modern-day Leopold and Loeb murder team. In that good-but-not-great thriller, he did a fine job with an easy role: the smarmy manipulator who's convinced his Intellect is so superior to everyone else's that he has the right -- no, the obligation -- to kill those inferior to himself.

In The Believer, Gosling plays the young fascist who really seems to believe the antisemitic vitrol he spews. His skinhead punk is just as scary, believable and *common* as Edward Norton's in American History X -- with the added layer of being from an Orthodox background. He has apparently convinced those around him that his fascination with all things Judaic is only an effort to "know his enemy thoroughly" -- nothing more.

Gosling is nothing short of astounding in this role. He richly deserves all the honors bestowed upon him. If he continues to only get roles like Murder by Numbers, it will be a waste of a wonderful natural resource, kind of like strip mining in Yellowstone.

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