Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. 90
    Unique and unforgettable.
  2. Stunningly smart, genuinely disturbing film.
  3. Bean's commitment to serious theological examination is exciting, Gosling's performance is riveting, and this fiery and imperfect feature shines as a demonstration of independent filmmaking at its most uncompromising.
  4. What it's about is also what it requires for proper appreciation -- the ability of the human mind to hold, and even cherish, diametrically opposite thoughts.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    I confess I don't fully understand Danny's (or the movie's) zigs and zags, but I was glued to the thing anyway -- it has an inexplicable inner logic -- and I admire Bean for refusing to settle into any easy groove.
  6. Persuasive, intelligent, and provocative.
  7. 91
    A deep and extraordinary film that isn't afraid to look evil in the face -- or, for that matter, to acknowledge that evil can be more complicated and even attractive than we'd want to admit. It's very, very difficult to watch, but you shouldn't miss it.
  8. One of the year's most thought-provoking, hard-hitting films, gutsily opening up a subject rarely done with this kind of all-out chutzpah.
  9. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    90
    I thought I might have seen everything I needed to see about neo-Nazi skinheads in "Romper Stomper" and "American History X". Not only was I in for a surprise, but newcomer Ryan Gosling gives every bit as stunning a performance as did Russell Crowe and Ed Norton in those two films, and then some.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 26, 2011
    10
    i have to admit, i'm quite interested in these kind of films (American history x, this is england, romper stomper...). not because im ai have to admit, i'm quite interested in these kind of films (American history x, this is england, romper stomper...). not because im a neo-nazi or share any of their beliefs (just to make sure that you know) but because im interested in the thought process and reasoning of these people. The Believer does exactly that, Gosling plays the role perfectly. a self hating jew, who rises through the ranks of the local fascist/neo-nazi group. Gosling believes the nazi ideology but at the same time is conflicts by the fact that he is jewish, and he walks that fine line perfectly. the movie is great, and really stays with you. i would highly recommend it (especially if you're a Gosling fan) Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2011
    8
    A disturbingly provocative study of racism and nazism.This is a fascinating and powerful attempt at deconstructing the beliefs of theseA disturbingly provocative study of racism and nazism.This is a fascinating and powerful attempt at deconstructing the beliefs of these characters.Ryan Gosling is completely captivating and explosive in the lead role.It's one of the most unflinching and thought-provoking examinations of race issues in recent cinema. Full Review »
  3. Aug 28, 2014
    7
    In an early career role for Ryan Gosling, he marks himself as most-promising leading man on the map. He is able to terrifyingly embody aIn an early career role for Ryan Gosling, he marks himself as most-promising leading man on the map. He is able to terrifyingly embody a neo-Nazi and haunt you to no end. Full Review »