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The Counterfeiters | 2007 | R | - 6.5.5

When a group of Jewish prisoners in a German concentration camp are enlisted to produce counterfeit currency to help the Nazis, they struggle with the moral questions of what they are doing to survive. Based on true events. Also with Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow, Martin Brambach, August Zirner, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Andreas Schmidt, Lenn Kudrjawizki. Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky. In German, Russian and Hebrew with English subtitles. [1:39]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A woman lies nude on a bed (the side of her bare breast, bare back, buttocks and legs are visible) while a man draws a picture of her; she stands and wraps herself in a blanket, faces the man and drops the blanket (we do not see her nude but it is implied that she is fully nude and that they have sex when we see them lying in bed together later).
 A man and a woman kiss (he's bare-chested), she removes her top (we see her wear a sheer bra that reveals nipples), the man caresses her and it is implied that they have sex when she dresses in the morning and he remains in bed.
 Many men stand nude in a shower room (their bare backs, buttocks, chests, legs and genital areas, in deep shadow, are seen). Women wear skimpy outfits and dance at a nightclub (their legs, bare abdomens and cleavage are visible). A man pours champagne on the chest of a woman wearing a low-cut dress. Women are shown wearing low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage, bare backs and shoulders. Men wearing tutus and tights dance on a stage while other men watch.
 A man tries to seduce a woman; she leans back against a wall and pushes him away. A man puts money out for a woman after they had sex, she says that she "is not a…" but takes the money.
 A man talks about a woman "wearing no knickers."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A prisoner is shot in the head (we see blood spurt and he slumps to the ground dead). A man shoots a man twice (he falls over dead).
 A dead man sits in a pool of blood after slitting his wrists. A man with a pocketknife threatens another man, cuts his arm (we see a bit of blood) and stands over him with a gun.
 We see a man beating another man in the head and shoulders with a stick: the man being beaten has blood on his head and face; he tries to dodge the blows and then lies on the ground motionless. Several men beat and kick a man and he spits blood. Two men fight, one pounds the other's head on a table several times and they wrestle on the ground. A man shoves a man to the floor and kicks him. A man with a rubber hose beats another man on the back. A man strikes a man in the back of the head and face. A man punches a man in the face.
 A man slits his wrists trying to commit suicide after realizing that his family has been murdered (we see him after the act with blood on his arms; he does not die).
 A man holds the sharpened handle of a spoon to another man's throat and threatens to slit his throat. Many men with guns threaten other men.
 We hear screaming, and then gunshots and bullets come through a wooden fence into a yard where other men are gathered, and they all realize that someone has just been shot. We hear yelling and gunshots in the background in several scenes implying that prisoners are being shot. A man is arrested and taken to a concentration camp.
 We see many dead bodies lined up on the ground. We see prisoners in various stages of starvation and exhaustion. A prisoner has a bloody mouth, eye and hands. A prisoner has a bloody gash on his head. A prisoner has a very bloody foot wrapped in a dirty cloth. Men in a concentration camp are forced to do hard labor and we see the bloody and blistered hands of one man after a long day of work.
 A man says of a prisoner, "we could have him shot." A man gets word that his wife was shot trying to escape a concentration camp, and the man yells and overturns a bed in anger. A young man panics and yells thinking he and others are going to be gassed. A man talks about having lost toes due to frostbite. A man talks about his family having been deported or killed.
 A young man has a fever, coughs violently and is diagnosed with Tuberculosis. A young man coughs violently and is very pale, and another man smears blood on his cheeks to give him color. A man urinates on another man's back and head (we see the stream of urine). A man urinates on himself in fear (we see discolored pants).


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LANGUAGE 5 - 4 F-words, 1 sexual reference, 7 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 3 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for Jewish people, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans, name-calling (maggot, stupid, scum, fat pig, filthy swine, idiot, cheap), 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown drinking alcohol in several nightclub and bar scenes, a man pours champagne on the chest of a woman, and two men drink alcohol. Men are shown smoking cigarettes in many scenes, a man smokes a cigar, and women are shown smoking in a few nightclub and bar scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Nazis, concentration camps, counterfeiting, racism, heroism, imprisonment, principles, suicide, raising children, death of loved ones, bankruptcy, communism, deportation, adapt or die, Tuberculosis, freedom, sabotage, martyrdom, coercion.

MESSAGE - Doing the right thing can be hard but is still worth it in the end.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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