Black Book (2006) - Drama, Thriller, War

Hohum Score



In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

IMDB: 7.7
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch
Length: 145 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 29 out of 243 found boring (11.93%)

One-line Reviews (216)

) he always maintains it as 'exciting entertainment' and that's the brilliant thing; this film could have easily been bogged down in political correctness and the pretentious fabeling of a romanticised war period.

Shout it from the roof-tops: after years spent churning out enjoyable action movies (Total Recall, Robocop), iconic "erotic thrillers" (Basic Instinct) and utter, utter tripe (Showgirls, Hollow Man, Starship Troopers), Paul Verhoeven has turned Serious.

This is a stunning story of betrayal and total sacrifice in the face of insurmountable odds and adversity, and a brilliant cast arranges themselves behind Carice von Houten, who delivers a spectacular performance as a woman forced to bury intense emotions even while she strips herself of her dignity for the benefit of her oafish enemies.

It is very entertaining with all the action required, a beautiful lead actress and a string of highly skilled supporting actors.

It's really a shame that a over-the-top commercial World War II film with such cliché story lines (the ever-going battle between good and evil, with almost every German soldier as the most bad-assed person the world ever recognized) as Blackbook is rated 8 stars out of 12000 votes.

This film about intense underground warfare, a complete myth, is nothing more than an attempt to firmly lock the closets, paper over the wall, and hide the skeletons of a not-so-glorious past.

Though it could use a bit of trimming, this motion picture is a constantly gripping and thrilling story, morally ironic, and though occasionally contrived, it is definitely not the product of the hack behind Showgirls and Basic InstinctBlack Book is based on a true story of a Jewish girl in Holland, in 1944.

It's a shame that such an implausible and cliché movie like Blackbood got 8 stars out of 12000 votes .

But at the same time, the movie feels disjointed.

An interesting way of coming up with a plot based on WW2 and that is what also makes it so fascinating.

I highly recommend it.

The film moves at lightning pace and is filled with unexpected twists and turns.

In fact, the shallow acting, pointless nudity and quite unrealistic story-line make this impossible.

This exciting, cerebral WWII picture is plenty of suspense, thrills, action and is pretty entertaining.

It's the exact same cliché-ridden formula of every stupid, violent, sexist action film that is churned out by the dozen every year.

It's a never ending struggle for Ellis de Vries, and I think this is one of the reasons that the plot is so engaging.

Gripping .

That was pointless.

The acting is universally superb, and as such I found myself being totally immersed in film which would have normally left me cold.

Van Houten is believable and stunning in her richly layered performance.

This movie is just as cheap, flat, vulgar and cliché as the Dutch movies from Paul Verhoeven before he left off to the United States.

Triggered by the unexpected visit of an old friend, she thinks back about what happened during the last months of the war in Europe.

Though there are some battle scenes the main focus isn't on them, it's totally on the story which also has enough depth in it to keep the viewer far away from bored.

The highlight of which is relatively brief, but exciting shootout.

Most important of all, it takes you on a journey of an exciting story which you do not have to relate to to understand.

Directing is also very enjoyable, directed by Paul Verhoeven, it definitely compliments the story by being accurate and precise, having this good tempo and a great way of describing or showing things.

The movie is definitely worth watching though it isn't phenomenal.

While billed as "based on true events", an assertion that is so vague that invites unabashed overuse, this movie comes with such a proliferation of twists that it epitomizes the cliché "truth is stranger than fiction".

This movie is certainly worth watching.

Unbelievable and engrossing WW II story, (heavy on the unbelievable) .

The visual design of the movie is enjoyable too with great sets, wardrobe.

Its structure is very simple and straightforward, but it weaves the themes of horror, bravery, and survival into a very exciting movie.

It's a somewhat subtle and ambiguous movie (in particular the mixed and confusing portrayals of both Nazi officers and resistance fighters.

Despite of that,it remains one entertaining melodrama.

This, quite well done and entertaining movie, doesn't have anything new to tell us.

neither of them even came close to falling asleep, and that is about the highest compliment I can give this movie.

Suspenseful and evocative musical score by Anne Dudley.


I mostly enjoyed it and recommend it for those with patience.

It definitely showed and his film was gripping from the opening scene.

She was able to provide an intriguing character that was a human being who has her own moral strengths and weaknesses that the viewer could empathize and relate to for she is far from being a heroine figure-types that are expected in these genres of films.

So, even though "Black Book" is entertaining enough for as long as it's running, its flaws already become apparent during the first viewing.

There is in the plot I believe, a taut story to be told of the different reactions of a population to military occupation, between collaborators and resistance but nothing gets in the way of the director's juggernaut vision of shoot-'em-up violence, gratuitous nudity and a plot with so many twists and turns it threatens to bore a hole in the floor.

This is a thoughtful, poignant and tremendously thrilling adventure.

Also the screenplay is well thought out and there is plenty of sex and violence, so it's all very entertaining and exiting.

It's a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat - right to the end.

Now I come to the content of this very intriguing and well made Nazi thriller.

Its worth watching.

It's impossible to take the movie very seriously (the movie claims to be based in true events, but this is almost certainly not true), but is extremely entertaining, and it shows Verhoeven at the top of his game.

I have always associated a certain style and a sense of the unexpected from Verhoeven.

I've seen a number of Paul Verhoeven's films and have found some of them quite entertaining, if a bit tacky and unrealistic.

The story is fascinating, intricate, and the characters realistic and well played.

Stunning, gripping WWII thriller that plays like a pulpier version of Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows.

I had absolutely no problem with "Black Book" as a trashy, but entertaining little spy movie that is set during WWII.

It is here where Black Book is at its most controversial and ironic, yet also at its most intense.

Verhoeven does a great job telling the story in the emotional, colorful, humorous and utterly thrilling way he is so good at.

This is DVD rental material, don't waste your time going to the cinema.

The story is really one of the most intriguing ones I've seen in a long time.

The plot is solid and intense, has several twists and turns, catchy action scenes and dramatic moments.

The acting is above par but definitely mixed all along, confusing this viewer and adding to the overall thought that the high cost film was spiraling and had to wrap up before these inconsistencies could grow further.

Exciting and thrilling are keywords.

a good candidate for the worst movie of the year .

But nevertheless,he manages to pull through as he was able to provide intriguing characters that are morally complex and ambiguous like Stein,who are ordinary people were forced to do extraordinary and even awful for the sake of good of the world and change in the course of history.

How a tragic, dramatically dense and tense theme (promising extraordinary things had a talented scriptwriter taken the job) ended up as a bland cartoon with linear characters and all disrespect for credibility is something truly unexplainable.

After you leave the theater, the impact of the story stays with you for days.

Though lengthy but "Black Book" gives thoughtful and gripping insight into Nazi era secret Jewish resistance.

She is really hot in this movie and her acting is what makes this picture so entertaining and believable.

The story however is predictable at times, but the awesome production quality (for dutch standards) and fast paced action really make up for it.

Paul Verhoeven has put all his Hollywood knowledge into great use to make ZWARTBOEK an engrossing picture.

Whilst gripping and intriguing in its idea, Black Book morphs into a tragedy; a romance; a dark tail evolving around a Macguffin that is the result of treachery – a war film to savour.

Well paced, excellent story and highly engaging, if you don't care much for the Panda, then please open the Black Book and give it a go.

Exciting story with good acting .

Unnoticeably long but so gripping to watch Black Book should make people see Verhoeven as a director to watch out for again because with this film he has proved himself and fended of the critics to come away with an engaging film that most would have thought not possible.

The film is fabulous due to the exciting plot twists.

The story unfolds in a fascinating and gripping way that viewers beg for more.

Compelling War-drama about the underground movement in Holland during Nazi downfall .

Black Book is deeply thrilling and emotional.

She manages the mission but something unexpected occurs.

Production is near perfect, characters are deep and intriguing, actors and actresses play very, very well and the history is very interesting.

In England ITV have programmes that are advertised as "a stunning new DRAMA".

Riveting, rousing cinema from a Dutch master .

Another flaw is that nothing happens to the heroine's girl friend after the war.

Even though I had enjoyed Lust, Caution, I would have to say that Black Book notches a rung above it, simply because of it more superior production values, and a storyline a tad more complex and intriguing, that makes the Ang Lee movie look like a walk in the park.

A Stunning, Compelling Film on Every Level .

Rating : Notable, better than average and well worth watching in spite of contains lots of violence and nudism.

Zwartbook, aka Black Book, contains some intriguing pointers.

Zwartboek really put over the blurred lines and confusion of resistance and collaborators and was full of detail and events.

Solid and gripping, Paul Verhoeven has grown his brains back .

Very intriguing Nazi Thriller .

Nearer the end it gets a bit confusing as to who the bad guys are.

It is a gripping war drama, wholly credible in both concept and execution.

I wish people could pay more attention to good film like this, instead of honoring pretentious and melodramatic craps like 'atonement' that sort.

He made fascinating films with an extraordinary energy and with excellent scripts.

In fact the movie, despite great special effects and a riveting music score by Jerry Goldsmith, didn't satisfied his director.

The difficult decisions and the questionable ethic of the characters make of Black Book a complex and fascinating film.

This is a modern 21st century production and it shows, which makes it all the more gripping.

The lead performance by Carice van Houten is compelling and charismatic.

The tension between Carice and Sebastian throughout the movie is intense and real.

I have sat through so many films for such disappointment and finally something worth watching comes along.

I just found it despairingly trite.

My laughter was a genuine, human response to a terrible event rendered banal by a bad artist.

Black Book is far from perfect but it's entertaining and worth watching.

Another commercial Zionist propaganda.

Gripping .

It's a movie I enjoyed: many twists and turns to keep you guessing, and the stunning female lead put in a memorable performance.

I frankly preferred her with her natural dark hair; with her blond hair, she bore a resemblance to Annie Potts, which I found disconcerting.

A brilliantly enjoyable effort all round.

The vast Nazi headquarters makes for an excellent setting; inducing dungeons for uneasy scenes of torture, offices for the nitty-gritty dialogue and espionage planting, bedrooms for the activities enforcing elements of trust that become too intense for the character's ideas of love and bathrooms: a space that is purgatory; a space within the space of the HQ that Ellis can visit away from the prying male Germans to either relieve herself from seeing the murderer of loved ones or to get her self out of trouble (best illustrated in the scene when she needs to wash her foot) – it is no coincidence Ellis admits certain things to another character within this room.

I would have loved the movie even more if it had had an open ending so we would never know who was good or wrong (The main theme of the film) , but it is still entertaining as hell and most people probably like it better if everything is clear for them.

Fast paced, dramatic, twisting and edgy, this is a marvellous revamp of the traditional "Resistance" genre, easily the best film I have seen in ages.

Photography is clumsy and uninteresting.

Instead Verhoeven delivers a fast paced war thriller that never runs out of steam in its two and half hour trip.

Extremely absorbing film that, despite its length, will keep you watching.

Thrilling, Danger & Intrigue though Graphic .

The film takes us places; not only to those places and sceneries that invade the screen but to places beyond, like the place I like to call 'forbidden love', or 'silent suffering' or even 'unexpected friendship'.

Unfortunately, for the male lead I'm afraid I'm pretty well bored with German actor Sebastian Koch.

It provides the movie with an unique and straight-forward as ever style with lots of spectacular and entertaining moments and some fine acting.

I wouldn't describe it as excellent, but it's definitely entertaining, and my interest never waned despite the nearly 2.5 hour length.

Black Book satisfies an audience's interest in a tumultuous past, its thirst for engaging intrigue, and its search for acting of the first order.

The movie is worth watching but the forced plot and Speilbergesque silly action parts and pandering get really tiresome (Speilberg was born in Holland so the comparison is not random).

But Rachel/Ellis is a creature of intense fortitude.

It is a very impressive and exciting and dramatic story of a Jewish girl that gets involved in the Resistance-movement in World War 2.

Traditionally this type of film as practised in the forties, fifties, and sixties was slow and laconic.

The style of camera work is cheap, outdated and boring.

The attention to detail is phenomenal with great sets, costumes and a fine cast delivering a captivating script in native tongue to the tune of a riveting screenplay.

The last act has a few too many unnecessary twists, but it's nevertheless compelling and exciting.

Riveting .

From ideological, propaganda rubbish to some of the best masterpieces ever made.

The visuals are stunning.

It has uneven parts but at close to two hours and 20 minutes, it has a few good suspenseful parts also and it mostly keeps your attention through it thou it would have been a better picture if it had been edited at under two hours.

) would challenge them both with a gripping, edge-of-your-seat World War II yarn.

Highly Entertaining!.

We watched it with old friends who have a reputation for falling asleep during the second half of movies.

Excellent camera work and evocative cinematography by Karl Walter Leindenlaub.

Blackbook is one film that is hard-core with raw violence, intense action, graphic sexuality and a twisting plot that offers a series of surprises.

Exciting to watch , beautifully written and phenomenal acting .

Exciting, compelling and very different.

The coffin contains the "baddie" who's still alive - he's jumped-in in order to escape from liberated Holland - (Cliché 254b) As he's trying to bribe her by stuffing bank notes, gems etc through the gaps in the lid - money stolen from the Jews he's helped to murder - Boo Hiss!

Visually stunning, hanging on Carice van Houten's beauty .

Verhoeven co-wrote and directed a very compelling film about a woman named Rachel (Carice van Houten) who survives the Nazis during World War II in Holland by her connections, personality, and, most of all, her sexuality.

Good production values and a smashing central performance, but this film otherwise has very little indeed going for it, with its convoluted, (but also entirely predictable), plot, gratuitous violence and scenes of nudity and by over-staying its welcome by at least forty minutes.

Did anyones else feel the propaganda?

Van Houten has a screen presence far more gripping than Sharon Stone, who became an overnight star as the heroine of Verhoeven's "Basic Instinct" circa 1991 and is a far better actress.

It's just amazing and thrilling to see what was done to get the Nazis out of those occupied countries.

Zwartboek is compelling.

The introductory legend of the movie would have us believe this is all based on a true story but what we get instead is a cliché-ridden action-packed screen-fest which to my eyes and ears seriously fails its serious subject matter.

But shallow characters a predictable plot and cliché typed dialogue makes this movie a big disappointment.

But in the end, BLACK BOOK transcends all of its parts to become a thoroughly engaging and excellent war epic.

The final explanation is pretty confusing, even after a second viewing.

Like The Lives of Others, the absorbing European war thriller Black Book again certifies that massive FX need not be the major ingredient of a popular film—Hollywood take notice.

Van Houten is a stunning as a blonde!

Having said that however, the plot did seem a bit predictable and obvious to me, a sort of paint-by-numbers approach to script writing.

It's an action packed, thrilling ride where the plot twists and turns where you don't expect it.

One of them is that he can always tell a dramatic and powerful story in a heavy impressive but yet also always entertaining way.

Paul Verhoeven's first Euro flick in decades is riveting, rousing cinema.

Black Book is a great film:it's enormously fun,it has excellent ideas,it does not have the solemnity this kind of movies have,it's complex,fascinating and,the best thing of all,it leaves the spectator thinking.

The story was gripping, the characters where real: the "bad guys" had human traits, and the "good guys" where no heroes, they where just human, trying to survive as best they could.

Very entertaining film from Verhoeven .

It's tense, though-provoking, and enjoyable.

Absolutely stunning war flick from Paul Verhoeven.

You wont be bored for the next 2,5 hours.

Her sensual, multi-lingual ease and the fact she actually did her own singing makes the film all the more incredible (her vocals are, hands down, better than many of today's bland, blonde, lip-syncing pop stars).

Full of Suspense and Thrilling .

I saw this film last night at the Toronto International Film Festival and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Not that this is the worst thing a director like Verhoven can do, and Black Book is loaded with the kind of entertaining goodies that other directors would shy away from.

Verhoeven's movie seems to lie somewhere in between, and the results are intriguing to say the least.

This makes for a great story, with plenty of twists and turns and a lot of suspense, even though the end is a bit formulaic, and the pace is sometimes so high that it can be hard to keep track.

In Black Book, however, Verhoeven's European film-making sensibilities mix nicely with his Hollywood experience to bring together a fascinating and even fresh, albeit fictional, story of a small group of people fighting back against the Nazis as the war slowly begins to go wrong for them.

The films pace gives the impression that it was cut by a person with severe ADD who got bored with the scene they were working on between 5 and 10 minutes into it and just wanted to move on to the next one.

Her character is very well-developed in the film's writing, to what I imagine is a highly personal extent, and to see her keep her feelings constantly in check, act under great pressure, show such self-reliance, and feel so heavily at once, not to mention sing so beautifully, is riveting to see.

Amazing and wildly entertaining.

No question, this is one gripping film.

The result is an empty depiction of events, in which the heroine Rachel (Carice Van Houten) acts like Robocop (an earlier Verhoeven effort).

The strangest Verhoeven film you'll ever see, but also a solid and compelling wartime thriller that perfectly justifies the lengthy running time.

the worst movie I've ever seen about World war II .

Easily Paul Verhoeven's most enjoyable and breezily entertaining films in years .

The plodding preachy forced plot is very typical of Dutch movies.

Zwartboek was very predictable at certain moments.

I love the way he turned up at the Razzies to collect the Worst Film and Worst Director awards for "Showgirls" (sure it's bad, but it's entertaining).

This gripping (true) tale of what the Dutch people went through during the waning days of WWII is masterfully told from the point of view of a young Jewish girl who is forced from hiding and joins the Resistance in order to spy on the Germans and, ultimately, to survive.

Surprisingly dull film from Paul Verhoeven .

Simply stunning.

Empty Plot, Junk over-acting, terrible cinematography, boring and useless details, non-sense scripts besides that the events are too weird to be real!

Paul Verhoeven's film manages to wrench a range of intense emotions from viewers as he simultaneously takes them for a thrill-packed roller coaster ride that is carefully plotted to keep riders on the very edge of their seats.

Paul Verhoven has created a masterpiece - The actress in the leading role was stunning and her performance completely captivated me mind and soul.

The first part--focusing on Rachel/Ellis's and the Resistance's struggle with the Nazi during the war--is gripping.

It's a gripping and suspenseful thriller with plenty of neat twists and turns to keep you riveted to the end.

(Cliché 1607-15 variant 5) Fortunately "Our Heroine" has just the thing!

I did not realise I was reading the subtitles, it was so realistic, so believable, riveting, and graphic enough to be effective without being over the top.

It doesn't have to be, as when being good a movie is always worth watching.

What catches your eyes besides the beauty of Carice van Houten is how visually stunning the movie is.

The main actress gives a brilliant and daring performance, and the story is so riveting, and at points insane, that it kept me watching in awe at how this group of people will do whatever it takes to survive and triumph over the Axis powers.

I think that the academy would prefer a more heavy drama with a more serious told story, that is more powerful than entertaining.

Film is carefully made by Paul Verhoeven , direction is alternately gripping and touching drama.

It's sad and yet thrilling that no one could be trusted.

With "Black Book" he digs back into his Dutch roots and delivers a thrilling, though flawed, WWII flick anchored by an amazing lead performance from Carice Van Houten.

This is particularly true for the climax of the film which sees a sad and compelling situation of misunderstanding descend into farce.

Enjoyed it .

Glossing over the starvation that occurred in 1945 makes the movie even more superficial (one scene with kids scraping food out of trashcans based on one very overplayed dutch propaganda film).

The storyline is at points very confusing.

This cliché riddled film was so predictable I only watched it to the end to see how bad it could become.

It includes so much plot twists that the movie is an exciting experience throughout.

Don't get me wrong, Verhoeven's attempt to make a film which takes place during the dark times in the Holland's and European history is watchable and entertaining.

That scene is pretty dull compared to the breasts ones.

On the first, there's an action film as compelling as anything with Indiana Jones, which propels you through the 148 minutes as on a roller coaster.

It is a stunning turn that flatly demands award consideration.

Filled with good performances, explosions, violence and even some English, this is pretty engaging war thriller.

I mean -- they dump a cauldron of human excrement on her, and the scene is drawn out until long after we've grasped the point.

There's even a sense that he's probably quite passionate about making a film loaded with gripping history and lots of 'cinematic' characters (not totally real, not totally fake either).

An exciting tale of espionage .

It's depressing, thrilling, and uplifting at the same time.

But unfortunately, I think the movie is trying to do/tell too much that it feels a bit unfocused and contrived in the end.

Fascinating spy thriller set amongst World War Two with genre fusion, twits, turns and war-time action to soak up.

The movie is filled with pointless scenes.

Zwartboek is a typical Paul Verhoeven-movie with some nudity and heavy in your face-scenes and provocative and unexpected things that happen.

But this aside, "Zwartboek" is a fast-paced and suspenseful war thriller, with plenty of memorably moments, a strong story, and remarkable moral complexity.