7.6/10
83,745
98 user 92 critic

The Wave (2008)

Die Welle (original title)
A high school teacher's experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.

Director:

Writers:

(short story and original protocols) (as William Ron Jones), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,639 ( 192)

On Disc

at Amazon

8 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova
Run Lola Run (1998)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup
The Edukators (2004)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three activists cobble together a kidnapping plot after they encounter a businessman in his home.

Director: Hans Weingartner
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Julia Jentsch, Stipe Erceg
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A look at Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s.

Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek
Drama | Sport | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich ... See full summary »

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling, Devid Striesow
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A comedy that follows an ex-con who lands a position at a school that sits over the spot where money from one of his earlier robberies was stashed.

Director: Bora Dagtekin
Stars: Elyas M'Barek, Karoline Herfurth, Katja Riemann
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rainer Wenger
...
Tim Stoltefuss
...
Marco
...
Karo
...
Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz ...
Dennis
Cristina do Rego ...
Lisa
...
Sinan
Maximilian Vollmar ...
Bomber
...
Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ...
Ferdi
Tim Oliver Schultz ...
Jens
Amelie Kiefer ...
Mona
Fabian Preger ...
Kaschi
...
Maja
Edit

Storyline

High school teacher, Rainer Wegner, may be popular with the students, but he's also unorthodox. He's forced to teach autocracy for the school's project week. He's less than enthusiastic at first, but the response of the students is surprising to say the least. He forces the students to become more invested in the prospect of self rule, and soon the class project has its own power and eerily starts to resemble Germany's past. Can Wegner and his class realize what's happening before the horrors start repeating themselves? Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a true story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wave  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dennis Gansel: [Actor] Max Riemelt. See more »

Goofs

(at around 15 mins) The teacher is formally called Rainer Wenger, although informally he uses his first name is Rainer, among his students initially and later his surname during the project, Wenger. One might think the principal would use his first name when talking to him, but in Germany when adult colleagues speak to each other, they use their last name when talking to each other, i.e. Herr Wenger. See more »

Quotes

Rainer Wenger: So you don't think there could be another dictatorship in Germany?
Jens: No, we are too enlightened now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vorstadtkrokodile (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Tick Tick Boom
Written by Randy Fitzsimmons
Performed by The Hives
©Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A wonderful and moving film that had me gripped throughout. Absolutely brilliant.
19 September 2008 | by (Sheffield, England.) – See all my reviews

This is a wonderful film with a superb screenplay and direction and great acting from its mainly young cast. I felt myself being drawn into the film in the same way as Mr Wenger's students were being drawn into his 'experiment'. The drama unfolds relatively slowly at first, but with gathering momentum and consequences. There is also a very moving portrayal of some of the tensions produced within some of the romantic pairings as well as the extreme anguish caused in one student by his heightened susceptibility. I think the depth to which personal relationships and social groupings are explored make this into much more of a fascinating drama than an exercise in the condemning of fascism. Please don't be put off by the subtitles. I can't recommend this film too highly.


94 of 120 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was 'the wave' so bad? donquigleone
Closeup of Mr. Wenger's face at the movie's finale Friedrich von Glower
Improbability of the ending Stormhierta
12 december 1979 karl_lanc
Where is this showing in the UK? Hades88
What was the wave about? quendino
Discuss The Wave (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?