7.7/10
69,398
244 user 236 critic

Black Book (2006)

Zwartboek (original title)
R | | Drama, Thriller, War | 18 May 2007 (USA)
Trailer
1:54 | Trailer
In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

Director:

Paul Verhoeven
Reviews
Popularity
3,877 ( 78)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 13 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

During WWII, Dutch students join the resistance movement against the German occupation of the Netherlands.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Jeroen Krabbé, Susan Penhaligon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young love faces with old problems.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Monique van de Ven, Rutger Hauer, Tonny Huurdeman
Elle I (2016)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A successful businesswoman gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny
The 4th Man (1983)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man who has been having visions of an impending danger begins an affair with a woman who may lead him to his doom.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Jeroen Krabbé, Renée Soutendijk, Thom Hoffman
Katie Tippel (1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The young girl Keetje moves to Amsterdam in 1881 with her impoverished family, and is led into prostitution in order to survive. In the process she sees the corrupting influence of money.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Monique van de Ven, Rutger Hauer, Andrea Domburg
Spetters (1980)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Several Dutch teenagers realize cruel difference between dreams and reality.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Hans van Tongeren, Renée Soutendijk, Toon Agterberg
Oorlogswinter (2008)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, a teenage boy gets involved in the Dutch Resistance after coming to the aid of a wounded RAF pilot.

Director: Martin Koolhoven
Stars: Martijn Lakemeier, Jamie Campbell Bower, Yorick van Wageningen
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza
Flesh+Blood (1985)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In medieval Europe, a young girl from a noble family is obsessed with her captors--commoners.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson
Crime | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of the Operation Bernhard, the largest counterfeiting operation in history, carried out by Germany during WWII.

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Stars: Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow
The Assault (1986)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Dutch doctor, haunted by grueling childhood memories of World War II, struggles to find peace as he spends his life looking for answers about the tragic night that shaped him.

Director: Fons Rademakers
Stars: Derek de Lint, Marc van Uchelen, Monique van de Ven
Valkyrie (2008)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A dramatization of the July 20, 1944 assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Adolf Hitler during World War II.

Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carice van Houten ... Rachel Stein / Ellis de Vries
Sebastian Koch ... Ludwig Müntze
Thom Hoffman ... Hans Akkermans
Halina Reijn ... Ronnie
Waldemar Kobus ... Günther Franken
Derek de Lint ... Gerben Kuipers
Christian Berkel ... Gen. Käutner
Dolf de Vries Dolf de Vries ... Wim Smaal - Notary
Peter Blok ... Van Gein
Michiel Huisman ... Rob
Ronald Armbrust Ronald Armbrust ... Tim Kuipers
Frank Lammers ... Kees
Matthias Schoenaerts ... Joop
Johnny de Mol ... Theo
Xander Straat Xander Straat ... Maarten
Edit

Storyline

Israel 1956. Rachel, a Jew, rather unexpectedly meets an old friend at the kibbutz where she is working as a teacher. It brings back memories of her experiences in The Netherlands during the war, memories of betrayal. September 1944. Rachel is in trouble when her hiding place is bombed by allied troops. She gets in contact with a man from the resistance and joins a group of Jews who are to be smuggled across the Biesbosch by boat to the freed South Netherlands. Germans from a patrol boat murder them all however. Only Rachel is able to escape. She is rescued by a resistance group under the leadership of Gerben Kuipers. When Kuipers' son is captured after trying to smuggle weapons, he asks Rachel to seduce SS-hauptsturmführer Ludwig Müntze. Soon she will find out the attack in the Biesbosch wasn't a coincidence. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To fight the enemy, she must become one of them.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Netherlands | Germany | UK | Belgium

Language:

Dutch | German | English | Hebrew

Release Date:

18 May 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Book See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$112,521, 8 April 2007

Gross USA:

$4,398,532

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,768,563
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Crew members allegedly had to wait for over a year to get paid because the production company ran out of money before completion. See more »

Goofs

The stylized maple leaf symbol displayed below the windshield of Dr. Akkermans' jeep was designed in the 1960's for the national flag. Before then, maple leaf designs were more naturalistic. See more »

Quotes

Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: It is their intention, that for the queen and my fatherland, I have hook up with a powerful SD'er... Sleep with him...
Notary Smaal: Well you're on your own then. I can't help you with that.
See more »

Connections

References Mata Hari (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
Composer: Milton Ager
Author: Jack Yellen
Performed by Theo Maassen, Tjebbo Gerritsma and Wimie Wilhelm
Publisher: Advanced Music Corp.
Netherlands: EMI Music Publishing (Holland) BV
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Sometimes, You Have to Hide in Plain Sight...
26 October 2006 | by tccandlerSee all my reviews

Who said that they don't make films like they used to? A couple of weeks ago, I declared that "The Departed" was the best film of 2006. Last week, I replaced the Scorsese epic with Sofia Coppola's luscious biopic of "Marie Antoinette". I never would have guessed that Paul Verhoeven (Yes, the Paul Verhoeven who directed "Total Recall", "Basic Instinct" & "Showgirls"!!!) would challenge them both with a gripping, edge-of-your-seat World War II yarn.

I use the old-fashioned term, yarn, because "Black Book" is very much a film that feels like it was made decades ago. The lush visuals, orchestral music, European styling, wartime romanticism and cliffhanging chapters all add a certain 1950's charm to the white-knuckle plot. One gets the feeling that the ghosts of Gregory Peck, Hedy Lamarr, Ava Gardner, Spencer Tracy & Jean Harlow are embodying the cast of this classic espionage drama.

The film begins in 1956 with Rachel Steinn, a school teacher at an Israeli kibbutz, being accidentally found by an old acquaintance, who is on vacation with her husband. The meeting brings back painful wartime memories and Rachel heads to a quiet place by the river to recollect our central story.

So back we travel, to occupied Holland, circa 1944, and we see a more youthful Rachel, diligently practicing a bible passage in order to earn a meal from the family who is hiding her from the Germans. She, like many Jews at that time, were surviving by any means necessary in order to outlast the Nazi tyranny. However, one day, while flirting with a young man sailing on the nearby lake, her safe zone is destroyed in one fell swoop by a low flying bomber. Rachel is immediately on the run, aided by her new sailor friend.

So much of this film relies on surprises and shocking twists that it would be unfair of me to detail too many plot threads. And my goodness, there are a tons of them. This is truly a definitive epic, in every cinematic sense of the word. Rachel is crossed and doubled-crossed and triple-crossed, eventually winding up as a member of the famed Resistance. Via cunning and fortunate circumstance, she manages to transform herself into Ellis de Vries, a blond bombshell who infiltrates the German command in the area. She uses a quick wit, a gorgeous voice, some feminine charms and a collection of Queen Wilhelmina stamps to crawl her way into the arms of Herr Müntze (Sebastian Koch).

From deep within the Nazi camp, she is able to strategically plant a microphone and to use tidbits of acquired knowledge in order to provide the Resistance with vital information and plans. While evolving into a brave spy, she must learn how to reconcile her own personal vendettas and her surprising romantic feelings for Müntze.

There are no more exciting themes for me in movies than tragic romance, espionage and escape. I have loved them all with a passion ever since I was a small child. Throw in a magnificent screenplay, marvelous cinematography, a plot that churns along with the efficiency of a Swiss watch, and the added bonus of a gorgeous actress -- the result is sure to be a huge winner for me. "Black Book" satisfies everything that I truly want from a film. It is the reason I go to the movies. I was utterly swept away by the intrigue, drama, romance and tragedy. This emotionally weighty film even manages to deliver a few wonderfully witty moments to break the supreme tension of it all.

The cast is immense. Every one of them exudes authenticity. It is one of the best ensembles of the year. However, I struggle to call it an ensemble because it would be ignoring one of the singular performances in recent memory. Carice Van Houten is not a household name to most. She is a Dutch beauty who, if this role is anything to go by, is on the verge of a magnificent career. Her grasp on the emotional turmoil of Rachel/Ellis is of profound proportions. It is a stunning turn that flatly demands award consideration. The range on display in this movie is astonishing. Rarely have I ever been as moved by a character's heroism and charm and guile and wits. She is able to create a sympathetic creature... one that we will root for until the end... one that we trust and believe in.

I cannot leave this review without admitting to my utter admiration for Paul Verhoeven, a director whose films I have often enjoyed and panned in equal measures. This is the work of his lifetime. It is the film he should list above all others on his résumé. This is a thoughtful, poignant and tremendously thrilling adventure. For attentive viewers, the final scenes of the film act as a provocative meditation on the relationships between war and justice, peace and insularity, the actions of the past and the promises of the future. "Black Book (Zwartboek)" is not only a riveting WWII adventure, but a superb contrast of morality -vs- reality.

TC Candler IndependentCritics.com


355 of 397 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 244 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed