The Black Book 2006

Amazon Instant Video

(144) IMDb 7.8/10
Available on Prime

Set in WW2, Rachel's family is murdered by the Nazis. Suspecting they've been double crossed, she adopts a new identity and joins the Resistance to discover who betrayed them. Using her womanly wiles, she infiltrates the German officers but finds the real enemies are not the most obvious.

Starring:
Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch
Runtime:
2 hours 19 minutes

The Black Book

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Thriller, International, Historical
Director Paul Verhoeven
Starring Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch
Supporting actors Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn, Waldemar Kobus, Derek de Lint, Christian Berkel, Dolf De Vries
Studio PALISADES TARTAN
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Posh on 24 Mar 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Apart from being maticiously directed this film has a most significant value for me personally.
I am a holcaust survivor from Holland thanks to a dear Catholic family who kept me as one of their own children throughout 3 years during WW2.
Based upon true facts,this film managed to express,most vividly,the actual situation in Holland under the Nazi conquest during WW2.
I highly enjoyed to watch the HD copy I procured from Amazon (at a modeate price) on my new 42" LED screen!
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 May 2007
Format: DVD
A movie which is both highly entertaining and thought provoking, Black Book is about the most Hollywood-like movie to ever come out of Europe. Paul Verhoeven returned to Holland after 20 years to make this epic (in Dutch and German for the most part) about the Dutch resistance in WW II.

Carice van Houten is magnificent in a role which I expect she will always be remembered. She can switch from whimsy to intensity, and passion to despair, and still hold your attention through the whole journey. It's a long journey too, about 2 and a half hours. And yet, the action, plot twists, and crucially the characters, keep you engaged throughout. Scratch that - not just engaged - on the edge of your seat. If there is a downside, it is that as so often with Paul Verhoeven's US output, with all the bright colours, frequent nudity and non stop action, we are almost voyeurs of the occupation, rather than growing to despise it.

The lush saturated colours and technical perfection are holdovers from the highly produced style Verhoeven perfected in America with Basic Instinct and Total Recall amongst others. And yet, while all the style and technical elements scream Hollywood, there is a European sensibility here when it comes to the story and characters. The characters are never ciphers but enter into real shades of grey. Sebastian Koch's Gestapo Chief Muentze is a delight - a Gestapo Chief who collects stamps, has a conscience.. and is perhaps even someone with whom the heroine can fall in love with.

There are underlying ideas here being explored - what would you be prepared to do? When is killing another person right.. is it still murder when it is the right thing to do?
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Ian Roe on 22 May 2007
Format: DVD
This has to be one of the best Non-English WWII action/drama films I have seen. The acting, costumes and special affects not to mention the overall ambience were excellent. Even though mainly in Dutch, German Hebrew and English were mixed in and I found myself understanding the conversations without constantly being glued to the subtitles.

The heroine shows such gutsy determination to endure and not give in to despair when all around is collapsing - without giving too much away; I was particularly impressed with the script for her lover towards the end of the movie - a German not making a 'cut and run' at wars end? a nice twist.

With so many twists and turns this should keep any war film buff happy for a couple of hours. Although the heroine is saved from many near death incidents (one or two a bit implausible) overall having rented this first I have since added it to my owned collection.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. G. Reid on 6 Feb 2008
Format: DVD
My wifes comments about this movie might strike a chord with some of you reading this review.

"Oh no, not a foreign language war film" as the opening scene reveals subtitles.

"Brilliant - have a look through the special features " she comments as the credits roll at the end.

There seems to be a common misconception that a foreign film with subtitles will fail to be entertaining.

'Black Book' is an excellent story and shows that in war time the lines drawn between friend and foe can become blurred. Its impossible to hate people you should hate if you experience the humanity within and its equally impossible to love those close to you when they betray your trust.

Well acted and directed and a refreshing viewpoint.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Artsreadings on 7 Aug 2011
Format: DVD
The plot of this film focuses on the fate of the Netherlands during WWII as seen through the experience of a Dutch Jewish woman who enters the Dutch resistance in late 1944 and ends up in a kibbutz in newly-created Israel.

There are some particularly graphic scenes, both in violence and eroticism, so that the movie might not be ideal for a younger audience.

Very good soundtrack and direction. Dialogues are in their original language - Dutch, German, English - so that the entire movie is subtitled.

The movie is interesting in the way it focuses on the Netherlands instead of France, Germany or the UK to give a nuanced study of individual and collective behaviours during WWII, the tension between Jewish, non-Jewish, and Communists in the resistance, the double game of some, the full collaboration of others, and the greed of many, in particular with the foolishness and arbitrariness filling the days which followed the Liberation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stampy on 4 Nov 2009
Format: DVD
After witnessing an emotional massacre, Jewish lady Rachel Stein (Houten) joins the resistance to infiltrate the German headquarters but struggles with feelings for their leader

This controversial depiction of the Second World War brings together meanings of religion, sexism, and betrayal, all to which amount to a film flowing with issues that make a mouth watering prospect of a drama.

Whilst there have been numerous films portraying the events of the Second World War, the more popular ones being Schindler's list and Saving Private Ryan, this has an edge of feeling less glorified, more of a cult smash depicting the difficulties of the Jews in their fight against the overruling Germans. Including a love story may seem like Hollywood styling but this gives the film a gritty edge that has a wonderfully dramatic finale that goes to show mixing Hollywood with Indie can work.

Beginning in the future we see a reasonable good long shot of Rachel sat on a beach as she goes back in time, recalling her events in the war.

We are then taken back to war time as Rachel, living undercover finds herself being exposed and is soon lining up her options to make an attempt. Then after a warm reunion with her family there is a tragedy on a night boat and this is exceptionally dramatic and sets the tone for further drama to progress.

As Rachel reinvents herself with the Resistance the plot moves forward as she tries to help infiltrate the plans of the enemies but is left confused by her feelings towards their leader.

If we look at the time this was set and the way everything worked you can forgive the awkward eye lusting moments and focus on the degrading nature to which the men treated the women and how this ultimately affected the balance of this story.
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