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
Once or twice in the film adverts for Persil washing powder are seen, before Lena gets her "Persilschein". See more »
Colonel Muller says "a year ago I was up to my balls in mud at Anzio" The Anzio operation was over by May 12, 1944. The European part of the war ended May 8, 1945. It would have been a lot more then a year since he was fighting in Anzio. See more »
The veneer of neo-noir techniques and B&W cinematography can't conceal the numerous shortcomings of "The Good German". The film resembles a formulaic retread with none of its characters particularly sympathetic or likable - and worse yet, their intrigues make little sense. Tobey Maguire does a nice turn against type as a venal opportunist, but everybody else plows through the script like robot actors supplied by Central Casting.
The plot is full of deceits and betrayals which attempt to elevate the proceedings into the genre of dark thriller. A femme fatale and tainted romance are stirred into the conspiracies, until the story eventually culminates in the standard breathless pursuit of the movie's stock villain. Despite all the scheming and double-dealing, the characters and their narrative arcs seem stale and conventional, as if seen a thousand times previously. Soderbergh has the ability to produce challenging and original films, but he frequently turns out bland uninspiring concoctions - and this is one of his worst.
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