The Believer (2001) - Drama

Hohum Score



A young Jewish man develops a fiercely anti-Semitic philosophy. Based on the factual story of a K.K.K. member in the 1960s who was revealed to be Jewish by a New York Times reporter.

IMDB: 7.2
Director: Henry Bean
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Summer Phoenix
Length: 98 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 23 out of 157 found boring (14.64%)

One-line Reviews (88)

I thought about the movie "American History X" while watching this because of the similar themes in it and although this movie isn't as powerful as "American History X", it is still a pretty compelling movie.

The film is at its best when Gosling delivers the venomous yet articulate diatribes of Henry Bean's script, which offer compelling insights into the toxic mix of paranoia, envy and anger that fester in the anti-semitic mind.

Compelling storytelling .

What the character is dealing with, he is now and still caught in confusion.

Directly based on the true story of Daniel Burros, this psychological struggle mastered by the intense performance of Ryan Gosling will pin you to your seat.

This movie is Jewish propaganda and it's trash, I felt like hugging Jews after i saw this movie.

unrealistic, fantasy propaganda piece .

Just as it is impossible to have a pure and perfect love, it is also impossible to have a pure intense hate without love.

This is a riveting film.

This is an intriguing film.

The direction and technical aspects of the film are all well handled, and the movie is gripping from start to finish, though the plot becomes unnecessarily detailed and fussy towards the end.

Total waste of time.

Possibly flying over the heads of the status quo, The Believer is a stunning film that challenges audiences to examine their definitions of religious faith, racial prejudice, and the contempt of modern society for all forms of institutional ideologies of hate and intolerance.

His supposedly "eloquent" propaganda speeches back that up.

Nevertheless, this a powerful and compelling film, with a lead performance by Ryan Gosling that manages to rival Ed Norton's Oscar-nominated performance in "American History X.

there are a few scenes that cinematic ally are good, the opening scene is exciting and almost hard to watch, the fight at the retreat is good.

Fascinating portrait .

This movie, with it's many speeches and explorations of the Jewish religion, could have been awful; offensive, boring, and absurd.

It's entertaining, though it shouldn't.

The 2001 film "The Believer" is worth seeing for Ryan Gosling's riveting performance as Daniel Balint, a violent, mentally disturbed American, Jewish, neo-Nazi.

A total snoozer.

An incredible performance of Ryan Gosling as a tough lunatic man and, I have to be honest, I think I felt a little in love for his lover, played by Summer Phoenix, a woman who is intriguing and gorgeous and that along the movie twists his mind with a mix of religious thoughts from one hand and fornication on the other.

When he leads an invasion of an empty synagogue, he's shocked to realize that his skinhead buddies don't know what it means to desecrate the Torah.

"More than just a kind of multicultural-era prurient fantasy, "Believer" is an engaging and (potentially) informing portrait of apostasy in general.

Fascinating stuff.

It's overly self-indulgent and self-promotional and, quite frankly, a work that seeks to promote the very elements of ethnic elitism that, ironically, was the foundation of Nazi superiority that led to the group's intense suffering.

I could live with the assumption that for some reason this Jew's a Nazi, but, without any insight into the character, this business of his conflict, a seeming revelation of complexity, is just plain confusing.

Confusing at times .

There are some good parts about it, but I found it was mostly a waste of time.

Ryan Gosling gives a riveting and amazing performance as the lead character.

It's entertaining, though it shouldn't.

I am a massive fan of Ryan Gosling but this was one of his worst movies.

However, I believe that Bean is actually trying to convey an ideology that Judaism actually is flawed, and to represent the confusion experienced by those questioning their traditional faith, as shown by the flashbacks of a young Danny arguing the finer points of the Jewish faith with his class teacher and the repeated hallucinations encountered at the rear of the movie with Danny running up the stairs endlessly.

Although I know little about the man this film is based on (Jewish, major player in the American Nazi Party, obituary said he killed himself when he was discovered) I found the interpretation of his story here fascinating.

seriously, don't waste your money like i did on this one folks, it stinks of agenda.

Overall, great film, and very entertaining.

another dull and ridiculous stereotype.

I rarely watch movies at home in one sitting and I sat through this entire film, almost afraid to look away, Gosling was so intimidating and fascinating.

It made me feel so intense at how a "God" could just damn people who thought differently, especially the "if you don't believe this, this and this you will burn" thought process.

Riveting performance by Ryan Gosling playing a young man in despair.

By the end of the film it's clear that Daniel's rebelliousness only serves to deepen his Jewishness, a paradox that could work beautifully, but ends up being trite, in part because it's predictable.

By leaving such questions unanswered, the film ends up intriguing us all the more.

The script has almost no twists or turning points, and the dialogues are ultra verbose, which leads to an overall linearity and very slow paced rhythm.

Intriguing .

Self-deprecatory self-promotion is getting very tiresome and even more so in this character that acts as a bullhorn for the writers' shared prejudices.

but all in all, i would definetly recommend it, it´s worth checking out, the entire cast is great and there are some really intense scenes.

Nevertheless, I found the intellectual debate at the school fascinating.

The performances by Gosling and Summer Phoenix as his girlfriend are exciting and convincing; as are those of the young males playing Danny's thuggish skin-head comrades.

Still his argument, built upon some sophistry, as well as exploiting idiocy in scriptures strictures, is at times engaging.

If you enjoyed films such as American History X or Primal Fear then you will find this enjoyable and interesting.

Even more intriguing,the most celebrated names (Theresa Russel and Billy Zane) are only supporting actors.

The film is confusing in its narrative structure and it forces issues down the viewers' throats.

What "The Believer" accomplishes is to go inside the head of one such person and provide a compelling, believable explanation for how such a person could exist.

Dannys scene with the reporter from the New York Times is both honest and gripping in its language and its portrayal of a man trying to justify his racist views.

That's something I've been good with for the first 40 minutes, cause the movie is pretty entertaining, but when I discovered that it was going nowhere, I felt kind of tired of it.

I thought the acting was decent but I grew to hate the messages in this movie and the way it was trying to produce propaganda that Jews are better lovers and everything and this was the reason the Nazi's hated the Jews.

It's more of a study in confusion.

Pointless .

Thus, `The Believer' provides a unique movie watching experience that is sometimes enlightening, sometimes maddening, yet always strangely compelling.

I want that 99 minutes of my life back, this was the worst movie i have ever seen in my life.

Carla Moebius (Summer Phoenix) finds him fascinating.

who would have known that Ryan Gosling could play a role like that, this is one exciting movie that work on more than one level and shows the arguments for both sides....

Much of this film is focused propaganda about how Jews are actually superior to everyone else.

by believing its overlong dialogue and speech scenes are compelling enough to drive a story forward.

--Somewhat predictable ending.

Bean's fascinating film is unique in its treatment of the young, brilliant Jew-bashing Jew at its center: the condition of young Balint's soul is not drawn in black and white.

In the end, It just felt pointless and hollow, to be honest, like if the whole neo-nazi theme was just a hook to attract the audience, without a real good story to tell.

There is no dialog, no structure, no plot, no climax, NO NOTHING.

Danny's character is so fascinating and conflicted that he drives the entire film.

As an audience member I was left empty without being able to see an explanation for this man's contradictory behavior, leaving me to wonder why the movie has a need to be seen.

In fact, journalist William Bryk said of Burros that he "was an inept paratrooper: overweight, poorly coordinated and slow.

"The Believer" began slow and left me with the gnawing doubt that it would ultimately play out in a simple tale of right and wrong much like many other films that treat contemporary Nazis, such as "The Music Box" or "Apt Pupil" or "American History X.

And the ending was VERY predictable.

I believe this was a boring movie.

The Believer has an amazingly intelligent script, which gives the film its fascinating and disturbing feel.

It's a Jewish propaganda film, and not even a good one.

The movie is intense, riveting, and emotionally involving.

if you're considering seeing this movie for its political / cultural message, don't waste you're time.

1 reason to watch: The mesmerizing performance of Gosling on the intense paradox that is self-hatred in the Jewish community of contemporary New York City.

Acting: 8/10 Story: 9/10 Atmosphere: 7/10 Cinematography: 8/10 Character Development: 9/10 Special Effects/Make-up: 0/10 (Movie didn't require any) Nudity/Sexuality: 3/10 Violence/Gore: 6/10 (Not as much violence as is common in films of this type) Dialogue: 9/10 (Some brilliant conversations and ideas throughout) Music: 7/10 Direction: 8/10 Cheesiness: 1/10 Crappiness: 0/10 Overall: 9/10 Be prepared to stomach a lot of harsh words and racism, but this is an intense film with a lot going on.

His respect for the artifacts and tradition come across as lip service, but his overwhelming overtures and monologues against the Jews come from a deep place and the superficial submission he witnesses from his his fellow clansman are riveting.

Again, I don't think this movie was that great, however, if you happen to have a bunch of intelligent friends you can watch this movie with - I highly recommend it!

There are, conversely, bits that will make you yawn.

It seemed at times like Danny was suffering from split personality disorder rather than just going through a phase of confusion and self-hate.

The Believer is a dangerous, thoughtful and fascinating look inside the mind of a self-hating Jew.

Overly self-indulgent by the writers to promote clichés of ethnic superiority .

The premise is fascinating: Daniel, a gifted Jewish boy with a Talmudic sensibility of questioning everything, grows to become a Neo-Nazi skinhead.

Don't waste your time or money.