7.6/10
102,567
125 user 101 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
4,812 ( 391)
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

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 ... 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
Edit

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:

IT WILL THRILL YOU. IT WILL CARRY YOU AWAY. IT WILL CHANGE YOU. IT WILL BREAK YOU See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The students are repeating a play, in which only "The Wave" students have roles after Karo is fired. In this play, 'Der Besuch der alten Dame' by Friedrich Durenmatt, an old woman who was exiled from her village by her fellow inhabitants comes back after many years. Having lost her billionaire husband and inherited his wealth, she has her revenge by leading all the villagers to kill her former lover who didn't help her. One of the themes is the group action and how people lose their personalities in a group. This mirrors the teacher's experience, who lead people into acting and losing personalities. See more »

Goofs

The word "Montag" (Monday) is not reflected properly on the lake's surface, esp. as opposed to "Dienstag" (Tuesday), which has its proper reflection on the school's floor. See more »

Quotes

Dennis: What our generation lacks is a common goal that hold us together.
Hängengebliebener: That's what it is like today. Look around you. You know what the most goggled thing is? Paris fucking Hilton!
Dennis: [laughing] Oh, shit
Hängengebliebener: It is true!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill la Kill: Azami no gotoku toge areba (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock 'n' Roll High School
Written by Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone
Performed by EL*KE
Produced by Mirko Schaffer
©1980 WB Music Corp. and Taco Tunes
See more »

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.


48 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 125 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Constantin Film [Germany]

Country:

Germany | France

Language:

German

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wave See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

EUR5,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,350,637
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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed