Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: December 30, 2009
8.1
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Universal acclaim based on 108 Ratings
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Negative:
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10
ryancarroll88Aug 26, 2010
The movie is nothing more than a dark tale of metaphors and anti-humanism. Set in a small pre-World War I village in Germany, Haneke unravels schemes that he uses to signify the rise of fascism by the need for control - no characters are leftThe movie is nothing more than a dark tale of metaphors and anti-humanism. Set in a small pre-World War I village in Germany, Haneke unravels schemes that he uses to signify the rise of fascism by the need for control - no characters are left without faults, and the more that is revealed, the more we realize that the village will inevitably spiral into chaos. The plot itself is provoking, but the movie would be nothing without Haneke's methodical direction, weaving bleakness with uncertainty and paranoia in a way that is sure to gnaw at your soul. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
kk10Jun 10, 2011
an absolutely disturbing film and needs to be hailed as one of the best films of its decade. I've only watched two of Michael Haneke's films (the other being Cache) too realise that this man is a genius. it is a simple story, but to createan absolutely disturbing film and needs to be hailed as one of the best films of its decade. I've only watched two of Michael Haneke's films (the other being Cache) too realise that this man is a genius. it is a simple story, but to create that level of unease and uncertainty requires sheer craft. Great film. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
WhatsInnaNameJan 1, 2011
One of the best films you will ever see. One word? Chilling. I found myself to be a different person when I left the cinema. It tells a dark tale of the human life and I could not shake the feeling that what is depicted in the film is less aOne of the best films you will ever see. One word? Chilling. I found myself to be a different person when I left the cinema. It tells a dark tale of the human life and I could not shake the feeling that what is depicted in the film is less a fairy tale and more a picture of a reality that seems overcome, but is it really and truly? Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
BLAIRDJan 10, 2010
stunning, original movie. I am still thinking about it which is more than i can say about many of the big Holliwood movies I have seen lately.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
AndrewFeb 15, 2010
It's unfortunate that the director appears to intend this as some sort of explanation of the roots of National Socialism. That's too facile. Instead, it's a wonderful examination of human nature and tyranny. And it's a It's unfortunate that the director appears to intend this as some sort of explanation of the roots of National Socialism. That's too facile. Instead, it's a wonderful examination of human nature and tyranny. And it's a terrific reminder of how terrible living conditions were for Westerners less than a century ago. Don't ever let anyone tell you that rural life was idyllic back then. I enjoyed all 2-1/2 hours of it, though I needed to watch about four hours of "Wonderpets" videos afterward to lift my spirits. Grim, if gripping, stuff. Submit to it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
SmoothJacobsJan 29, 2010
Stunning film from relentless provocateur Michael Haneke. The premise is scintillating, and it's slow-burn method of denying the audience any explicit truth is remarkable. One of the best films I've seen in a while.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
TomDFeb 3, 2010
Amazing movie. Should be nominated for Best Picture. The movie is powerful and intense. The cinematography was perfect. Overall one of the best films of the year.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
UnicornManDec 31, 2009
Haneke has proven, once again, that he is one of the most challenging directors around. I have never seen anything remotely similar to the White Ribbon, it is a film that only skims the surface of the material presented to us. As it is up to Haneke has proven, once again, that he is one of the most challenging directors around. I have never seen anything remotely similar to the White Ribbon, it is a film that only skims the surface of the material presented to us. As it is up to the audience, for the most part, to figure out the on-goings in this not so humble village. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
benderrodriguezAug 18, 2010
Amazing movie. Real thinker. It's one of those movies that you'll hate after seeing it, but once you see the bigger picture, no pun intended, it will stun you.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
SindriFeb 20, 2011
Crystal clear film language - The inner tension is constrained and the expressions of opinion are pointed with quivering effect in Michael Haneke's tenth feature.

In the foregoings of the first world war unexplainable incidents occurs in
Crystal clear film language - The inner tension is constrained and the expressions of opinion are pointed with quivering effect in Michael Haneke's tenth feature.

In the foregoings of the first world war unexplainable incidents occurs in the north German village Eichwald, where most of the inhabitants work for the baron. The incidents who appear as some form of ritual punishment of random individuals disturbs the safety of the residents.

This ominous and fictitious tale about a pietistic rural community being bewildered by fear and doubt after a string of incomprehensible events, is told through an aging teacher's retrospective voice-over. Are the incidents random? Are they warnings? Are they acts of revenge? Or is it perhaps so that the inhabitants are being punished? With a shred of humor and warmth which is rarely seen from the expressive film artist Michael Haneke and which is the main contrast to this films gravitating tone, a precise and sharp minded portrayal of the boomerang effect that arose as a result of the one-dimensional upbringing of children that was practiced in Germany in the beginning of the 1900th century is sketched out. With verbal and physical ways of punishment the parents inculcated sin and shame in their children, which mislead the children into the primitive entanglements of fear and stagnated their development.

"The White Ribbon" opens with an accident that provokes a circulation of distressing events and leads towards the outburst of the first world war, the source of fascism, the second world war and Holocaust. The origins and the entity of violence has always been a favored motive in Hankes filmography, and with last years Palme'd Or winner the Austrian has concretisized his characteristic themes, nuanced his style and found a language that extends his expressions. Hanekes distinct though unforeseen filming and Monica Willis' abrupt editing transfers the characters suspiciousness to the viewer in this emotionally distant "Who-did-it"- crime drama, and with frequent use of the off-screen method and figurative descriptions, Haneke gives the viewer sensible impressions that underlines his aversion towards violence. This is Hanekes most aesthetic work, meticulously photographed by Christian Berger. The mood making black and white color is one of the films essential characters, the milieu depictions are credible reflection of the time period, the pace is discreet, the actors are rock solid and with this multi award winning co-production that was shoot in Germany, Michael Haneke and his collaborators has created an historical allegory that bears resemblance with Ingmar Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander" (1982).
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8
seancriswellMar 25, 2013
The story of a small village in Germany right before World War I. The White Ribbon is an emotional experience but not of the feel good sort. This film does not really have a central character, and only two characters that we can root for.The story of a small village in Germany right before World War I. The White Ribbon is an emotional experience but not of the feel good sort. This film does not really have a central character, and only two characters that we can root for. While most movies with bleak story lines try to move our emotions from dark to light, Haneke takes the opposite approach. While the mood is never light, it still manages to become harsher and darker as the story progresses.

Someone seems to be targeting the citizens of this small village. A handful of them are brutally injured at separate times and with no witnesses. As the search towards finding the culprit takes place we get to know many of the folks in the village. The teacher in the village is the one character that we can have a positive response to and he is also the narrator of the story. So we learn what is happening as he does. The women and children in this story are more seen than heard and that is the way that the men of the village want it. We see the harsh treatment of them throughout the film and it is hard not to have a visceral response to the abuse they are subjected to.

This film thrives under Haneke's hand. Everything that is great about it is owed to him. The pace is slow and steady, so the viewers response grows with the film. Each shot is beautifully framed, the black and white setting is brilliant for this story. The dialogue is sharp and ambiguous. This is the type of film that I will not be in a hurry to revisit. However I am glad I did once and it will stick with me for a long time.
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10
MattBrady99Mar 14, 2017
I'm dumbfounded.

Seriously, this took a long time to fully appreciate. Not like a day or so, but almost two weeks. I guess I got so wrapped up in it's mystery that I couldn't get a word out. A film that explores depression, cruelty, and
I'm dumbfounded.

Seriously, this took a long time to fully appreciate. Not like a day or so, but almost two weeks. I guess I got so wrapped up in it's mystery that I couldn't get a word out. A film that explores depression, cruelty, and life's biggest mysteries. What we see is a mixture of the truth, lies or rumors. It ends on a cold note with nothing ever answered, and these nothing quite like it.

"The White Ribbon" is another masterpiece from the brilliant Michael Haneke. The grim atmosphere and the re-creation of the time period is it's own achievement. Haneke is the best living film making of this decade. He's one of the few filmmakers right now that creates such compelling stories and questions with no answers, but questions that many will be thinking long after it's over.

The performances from the children was both fantastic and natural. The childlike behavior and the little innocence felt real. And for someone who's a sucker for amazing cinematography, this movie has it. Every singe shot is framed so perfectly that you could easily take any shot from the film and make it as the poster.

This is one of those movies that you can find something new with repeat viewings. With such a powerful narrative that excels all my expectations.
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10
JLuis_001Sep 6, 2017
One of the most striking conceptualizations of evil in film.
You do not see violence, nor its origin, but when you begin to understand the scope of what is happening that's when the movie turns into something else.

A masterpiece!!
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