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The Counterfeiters Review Critics


Dave White Profile

One of the more interesting … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The Counterfeiters is inevitably serious, even austere, and full of chilling, ironic details.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    From an historical perspective, the story is interesting because it shows a different side of the war than what we're used to observing in motion pictures.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Swift and compelling, winner of this year’s Oscar for best foreign-language picture, The Counterfeiters may not be destined for the large international audience that embraced last year’s winner, “The Lives of Others.” But it’s the better, tougher film, with a more provocative moral dilemma at its center.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Without doing anything so divisive as taking sides, The Counterfeiters pays sympathetic attention to those who play their cards to win even when the rules are terrible, not least because the remarkable Markovics, an Austrian TV actor with a pugnacious anvil of a head, is so riveting as an unsaintly survivor.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Bleak, mature film about WWII concentration camp.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this subtitled drama, which is based on a true story, deals with mature themes and includes difficult images of cruelty and murder in a World War II concentration camp. Violence includes beating, fighting, and shooting, with visible blood, bruises, and other signs of brutality. Prisoners are starved, and guards are nasty. Two brief scenes show naked or almost naked women (from the backs). Language includes "f--k," "s--t," and derogatory uses of "Jew."

  • Families can talk about the impossible choices faced by prisoners in concentration camps -- particularly as portrayed in the movies. What kinds of compromises are they forced to make to stay alive? How does this affect them? How does the strong material in the film make you feel? Do you believe the atrocities depicted here can happen again? Why or why not? Families can also discuss how the movie compares different kinds of criminality. How do Solly's crimes compare to the Nazis'? What makes some crimes worse than others?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The hero is a criminal (a counterfeiter), who seems relatively moral compared to the Nazis, who are generally terrible: cheats, bullies, snobs, torturers, and killers.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Most of the film is set in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where violence is always threatened. Specific instances include beating, slapping, kicking, slamming heads against walls, whipping, throttling, shooting (bloody spatter, exploding head). Several scenes show a young prisoner suffering from tuberculosis (pale, deathly, coughing). A Nazi guard maliciously pees on a prisoner, who in turn smashes a sink in frustration. Almost all prisoners show effects of abuses, including bruises and bloody cuts.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Kissing leads to a passionate embrace on bed (nipples visible beneath woman's sheer bra); post-sex, she wears a slip and takes money he's left on the dresser (though she insists, "I'm not a..."). In another scene, kissing leads to sex (off-screen); post-sex scene shows woman naked on bed, her bottom and back visible; later, she drops a sheet to seduce her partner again, and you see her naked from the back, with breasts in outline, as well as a drawing of her naked. Some cleavage shots.

  • language false3

    Language: Several uses of "f--k," plus other profanity, like "s--t," "hell," "arsehole," and "bastard" (all in subtitles). Repeated use of "Jew" as a derogatory term.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Frequent cigarette smoking, especially by the hero. Drinking in a gambling lounge and in a flashback bar scene. When a prisoner makes a secret deal with a guard to get TB medication, bottles are visible.