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The Statement (2003)

Tale of a former Nazi executioner who becomes a target of hit men and Police investigators.



(screenplay), (novel)

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4 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Commissaire Vionnet
William Hutt ...
David Manenbaum
Michael Levy
Inspector Cholet
Cardinal of Lyon
Father Patrice
David de Keyser ...
Dom André (as David De Keyser)


Tale of a former Nazi executioner who becomes a target of hit men and Police investigators.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At the end of World War II, many of those involved in war crimes were prosecuted. Some got away. Until now.


Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

27 February 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Confissão  »

Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,220 (USA) (14 December 2003)


$763,044 (USA) (28 March 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

a truly bland thriller
18 July 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In Norman Jewison's tepid thriller, `The Statement,' English-accented Michael Caine plays Pierre Brossard, an aging French war criminal whose past has begun to catch up with him. In 1944, Brossard, a member of the infamous Vichy regime, not only collaborated with the Nazis, but was personally responsible for the cold-blooded execution of 14 unarmed Jewish Frenchmen as well. Immediately after the war, Brossard was tried and convicted for these offenses, but somehow managed to escape before he could face his deserved punishment. In the years since, Brossard has lived his life underground, finding protection and sanctuary from a branch of the Roman Catholic Church sympathetic to his cause. And although the French authorities have been unsuccessful in their attempts to locate him, Brossard has recently found himself the target of a mysterious group of assassins, possibly members of a secret Jewish organization seeking justice for his yet unavenged crimes against humanity.

The idea of a Nazi war criminal still living in hiding all these years after the end of World War II has the makings of an interesting movie, no doubt, but `The Statement' is not that movie. To the filmmakers' credit, they do at least attempt to present Brossard as a three-dimensional character, a man who, decades after his horrendous crimes, is still seeking redemption through his pious devotion to the Church. Caine, in a deftly balanced performance, manages to make Brossard almost sympathetic while still allowing us to see the `monster' hidden beneath the ravaged soul. Unfortunately, the actor is let down by a screenplay that seems more concerned with tired cloak-and-dagger espionage routines than with a serious study of a fascinating and conflicted character. Even more annoying is the attempt on the part of the film to paint the entire Catholic Church hierarchy as a bunch of diabolical, self-serving individuals who are busy either protecting one of their own at any or all costs or acting out of political expediency rather than true moral conviction. Fans of `The Da Vinci Code' may swallow this anti-Catholic paranoia without question, but the rest of us can merely wonder why the Church hasn't been able to cop a break from the movies since Father Damien kicked the be-Jesus out of the devil in `The Exorcist,' thirty long years ago. I'm certainly no apologist for the Catholic Church (see my review of `The Magdalene Sisters'), but even we non-believers can wonder when we will be seeing a little more evenhandedness and balance in the movies' portrayal of the Church. Certainly there must be SOME well-meaning priest, nun or bishop out there that some filmmaker might consider as worthwhile movie material.

There are other problems with the film as well. Tilda Swinton, as an impassioned judge searching for Brossard, and Jeremy Northam, as a more pragmatic policeman who reluctantly joins her in her pursuit, make an annoying, constantly bickering couple who look, for all the world, like a minor-league Mulder and Scully, minus the attraction and charm. Alan Bates and Charlotte Rampling (reunited from `Georgy Girl,' though the two actors never appear in the same scene together) are wasted in minor roles. And Jewison, who was once so fine a young director, fails to bring any of the scenes in this film to life. One also questions the propriety of taking a serious subject like Nazi atrocities and using it as little more than cheap window dressing for an undistinguished, run-of-the-mill thriller.

`The Statement,' despite another fine performance from the ever-reliable Michael Caine, is a tired, lackluster and cynical exercise, strangely devoid of meaning, conviction and purpose.

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