7.6/10
92,751
104 user 95 critic

The Wave (2008)

Die Welle (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama , Thriller | 27 May 2011 (USA)
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:

Dennis Gansel

Writers:

Ron Jones (short story and original protocols) (as William Ron Jones), Johnny Dawkins (screenplay "The Wave") | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,763 ( 256)

On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jürgen Vogel ... Rainer Wenger
Frederick Lau ... Tim Stoltefuss
Max Riemelt ... Marco
Jennifer Ulrich ... Karo
Christiane Paul ... Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz Jacob Matschenz ... Dennis
Cristina do Rego ... Lisa
Elyas M'Barek ... Sinan
Maximilian Vollmar Maximilian Vollmar ... Bomber
Max Mauff ... Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ... Ferdi
Tim Oliver Schultz ... Jens
Amelie Kiefer Amelie Kiefer ... Mona
Fabian Preger Fabian Preger ... Kaschi
Odine Johne ... Maja
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Storyline

High school teacher, Rainer Wenger, 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a true story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Constantin Film [Germany]

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wave See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,151,023 (Germany), 16 March 2008, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the novel "The Wave" by Todd Strasser (under the pen name Morton Rhue), a fictionalized account of the "Third Wave" teaching experiment by Ron Jones that took place in a Cubberley High School history class in Palo Alto, California in April 1967. See more »

Goofs

Although set somewhere in western Germany, all policemen wear insignia of the state of Berlin. See more »

Quotes

Rainer Wenger: Come on, there must be one autocracy you all heard about?
Bomber: Third Reich...
Kevin: No, not again...
Rainer Wenger: I did not choose this either, but we have to get through this week. I will copy some papers...
Bomber: No, not this shit again!
Mona: It's an important subject!
Bomber: The Nazis sucked, we get it!
Kevin: Those fucking Nazis!
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Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wedding Coprophage (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Homezone
Written by Jens Moelle and Ismail Tüfekçi
Performed by Digitalism
©Edition Metrobass
Courtesy of Universal Music Publishing GmbH
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Spot on!! It explains a lot about world history.
24 July 2008 | by crappydooSee all my reviews

The Wave rides high (pun intended) on the new wave of film makers from Germany. The movie itself is shaped like a proverbial wave, starts gently and slowly gathers momentum and before you know it it turns into a powerhouse. The movie will amuse you, frighten you, disturb you and enthrall you completely.

The movie takes a lesson in human psychology and shows how it is possible for a person with oratory skills and confidence to start a movement that turns into a revolution with frightening possibilities. It explains a lot about world history and current affairs.

Theme apart, I don't usually like to discuss any movie's story but I suppose if you're here you would've read the other reviews and summaries and would know a fair bit already. Putting it mildly, the movie deals with a classroom experiment about autocracy which has interesting positive and negative consequences.

The direction is sharp and spot on. The director is able to delve deeply into the minds of the various characters and explain their behaviour and position in the society that is created. It is all done realistically. The acting by and large is very good; however a few of the actors displayed a scope for further improvement. However this does not take away much from the movie experience. There are certain similarities with another great German film, Das Experiment, but not many.

I am certainly going to suggest this film to people I know including people who live on a staple of Hollywood blockbusters and like to keep away from festival films. So if you get the opportunity to watch it, please do.


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