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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Sometimes-noble reporter seeks to solve murder in post-WWII Potsdam; discussions of Nazis; lots of illegal activity and cover-up by Russians, Germans, and U.S. military/government officials.
Violence & Scariness
Fights are brutal (kicking, punching, drawing blood); murder victims appear with visible bullet wounds/blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
An explicit sexual act (woman in shadows on bed, man has sex from behind her); Hannelore performs feather/strip dance in club (shadowy); Hannelore strips to her underwear and invites Jake to have sex with her (using explicit language); Hannelore and Lena work as prostitutes (discussed frequently).
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Frequent and various language: "f--k" (30+), "s--t" (10+), "hell," and "ass," as well as single use of "c--t." Also, disparaging use of "Jew."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking cigarettes and/or drinking in nearly every scene, as befits a "noir" update.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this black-and-white, 1940s-style "film noir" isn't likely to appeal to kids. Its plot includes references to Nazis, war crimes, and the atomic bomb, as well as lots of strong language and violence (beyond what typified the era). Characters frequently say "f--k"; there's also one use of "c--t" and an anti-Semitic remark. Violence includes beating, kicking, and shooting (resulting in bloody wounds). Sexual imagery includes a woman stripping, a rough sexual act (the woman's figure and face are in shadow), and some kissing. Several references are made to Lena's work as a prostitute. Characters smoke incessantly (it's 1945) and drink like fish. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A thoughtful, complex film, The Good German is Steven Soderbergh's latest expansion of stylistic and thematic boundaries. Shot in black and white, the movie focuses on the moral and political dilemmas emerging from the Potsdam Peace Conference, where, an epigraph asserts, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin gathered to "draw the postwar map."
Lena and Jake's passionate past -- as well as a scene at a rainy airport -- evokes Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca. But Jake's efforts to do the right thing are repeatedly complicated by others' greed and desire for vengeance. The film ends with a Stars & Stripes headline announcing that the United States has just dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. Even as WWII comes to a horrific end, the Cold War is already in motion.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate