6.1/10
22,970
176 user 186 critic

The Good German (2006)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

While in post-war Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference, an American military journalist is drawn into a murder investigation which involves his former mistress and his driver.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Paul Attanasio (screenplay), Joseph Kanon (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Bubble I (2005)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Set against the backdrop of a decaying Midwestern town, a murder becomes the focal point of three people who work in a doll factory.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Debbie Doebereiner, Omar Cowan, Dustin James Ashley
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young Scottish woman joins the French Resistance during World War II to rescue her Royal Air Force boyfriend who is lost in France.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Cate Blanchett, James Fleet, Abigail Cruttenden
Full Frontal (2002)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A day in the life of a group of men and women in Hollywood, in the hours leading up to a friend's birthday party.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Julia Roberts, David Hyde Pierce, David Duchovny
Solaris (2002)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone, Ulrich Tukur
Little Fish (2005)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Set in the Little Saigon district outside of Sydney, a woman (Blanchett) trying to escape her past becomes embroiled in a drug deal.

Director: Rowan Woods
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A recovering gambling addict attempts to reconcile with his family and friends but finds trouble and temptation when caught between feelings for his ex-wife and her dangerous hoodlum boyfriend.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Peter Gallagher, Elisabeth Shue, Alison Elliott
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A look at the art of Spalding Gray who drew from real life experience to create a compelling and deeply personal series of monologues.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Spalding Gray, Forrest Gray, Kathie Russo
The Limey (1999)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An extremely volatile and dangerous Englishman goes to Los Angeles to find the man he considers responsible for his daughter's death.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Lesley Ann Warren
Out of Sight (1998)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A career bank robber breaks out of jail, and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a U.S. Marshal he has kidnapped.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames
Heaven I (2002)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman takes the law into her own hands after police ignore her pleas to arrest the man responsible for her husband's death, and finds herself not only under arrest for murder but falling in love with an officer.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Remo Girone
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young boy struggles on his own in a run-down motel after his parents and younger brother are separated from him in 1930s Depression-era Midwest.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Jesse Bradford, Jeroen Krabbé, Lisa Eichhorn
Che: Part Two (2008)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1967, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara leads a small partisan army to fight an ill-fated revolutionary guerrilla war in Bolivia, South America.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Demián Bichir, Rodrigo Santoro, Benicio Del Toro
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Jake Geismer
Cate Blanchett ... Lena Brandt
Tobey Maguire ... Tully
Beau Bridges ... Colonel Muller
Tony Curran ... Danny
Leland Orser ... Bernie
Jack Thompson ... Congressman Breimer
Robin Weigert ... Hannelore
Ravil Isyanov ... General Sikorsky
Christian Oliver ... Emil Brandt
Dave Power ... Lieutenant Schaeffer
Don Pugsley ... Gunther
Dominic Comperatore ... Levi
John Roeder ... General
J. Paul Boehmer ... British Press Aide
Edit

Storyline

Berlin, July, 1945. Journalist Jake Geismer arrives to cover the Potsdam conference, issued a captain's uniform for easier passage. He also wants to find Lena, an old flame who's now a prostitute desperate to get out of Berlin. He discovers that the driver he's assigned, a cheerful down-home sadist named Corporal Tully, is Lena's keeper. When the body of a murdered man washes up in Potsdam (within the Russian sector), Jake may be the only person who wants to solve the crime: U.S. personnel are busy finding Nazis to bring to trial, the Russians and the Americans are looking for German rocket scientists, and Lena has her own secrets. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every heart has its secrets, some more dangerous than others. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El buen alemán See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,817, 17 December 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,308,696, 12 April 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,914,908, 12 April 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

So that the film could be in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio, which modern theaters are not equipped to handle, the prints are in 1.85:1, with black bars on the sides. See more »

Goofs

In two shots you see a double-deck bus. While these existed in Berlin at the time, this one is a London bus as the entry/exit platform is on the left rather than the right. See more »

Quotes

Bernie Teitel: They want me to decide who the ardent Nazis were. Truth is, it was the whole country. Nobody's hands are clean.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All the logos appear in black and white, while the Warner Brothers logo appears in the forties old style See more »


Soundtracks

You're Some Pretty Doll
Written by Clarence Williams
Performed by William Marsh, Chris Ross, Johnny Britt and Gary Stockdale
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Good German is an ironic comment on Good Americans
25 November 2006 | by d7eb2000See all my reviews

This movie is an homage not only to the vocabulary of film noir , but also to its social and political genesis. Film Noir developed after World War II and was an outgrowth of both the cynicism that was generated by WW II because it turned out to need another war to be the war to end all wars.... and because of the enormous evil that World War II revealed in contradistinction to the sunny idealism of the American Project.

Film Noir of the 40's and 50's was a reaction to WW II, but those films themselves were always crime stories about naive men dragged into terrible circumstances through the lure of seductive, dangerous women. But they were never about the war itself or anything to do with the war itself. WWII movies were patriotic paeans to heroism like 30 Seconds over Tokyo or the common man like A Walk in the Sun or home front heroism like Mrs. Mininver. Indeed only Casablanca itself, as exemplified early on by Rick's character was suffused with some of the cynicism that we see in film noir, but the reason Casablance is beloved is because the cynicism melts away in the the understanding that there is something greater than one's own preservation.

What is wonderful about the Good German is that it is a Film Noir film about the War itself and also about war in general...then and now. The film and its concerns are not dated or meaningless, but very much of the moment.

The film also pays visual homage to other movies of the era, from the warm hearted cynicism of Billy Wilder's A Foreign Affair with Jean Arthur as the parochial Congressperson (like in this film) and Marlene Dietrich as the dangerous vamp with a dark past. Roberto Rossellini's Germany:Year Zero, shot in postwar Berlin, shows how fear, deprivation and terror destroy the soul as ell as the body.

The Congressman is not just a boob but a participant in the propagation of evil and the Good American General of Beau Bridges is anything but good. Indeed, as we know now Americans protected Nazis who could help us in terms of confronting the next evil--Communism and Russia. And the story they tell about the V-2 rocket is true. The Germans and Werner van Braun used up the lives and caused the deaths of Jewish and other POW's slave labor to create and launch them and we, in terms of the American occupation and the incipient CIA aka the OSS, helped mass murderers to safety.

Even the lawyer Teitel, the man researching the Nuremberg Trials, whose sole purpose is to pursue Justice, can be compromised. Tobey Maguire was chosen to play the vicious, venal Tully because to most American audiences he, as Peter Parker, typifies the best of America. He is meant to be jarring to the audience. Lena, indeed is the vamp, but unlike old film noir like Out of the Past, she doesn't lead Jake on, Jake misleads himself about her. She is just a desperate woman struggling to survive.

Some would say this is a movie about moral ambiguities, but I think it's not that ambiguous. The filmmakers have cast judgment on some of our post war behavior and found it wanting.

The only romanticism in this movie is in the style, a valentine to the look of old movies; there is no romanticism in its view of America at war.


234 of 317 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 176 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed