Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Good German (15)
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

You know, when I wished for more good films to come out, this isn't what I meant. Hot on the heels of The Good Shepherd comes The Good German, leaving the door wide open for more "Good" films. Personally, I'm holding out hope for The Good German Shepherd, a "one man and his dog" inspired story of a particularly loyal Alsatian.

This story, however, has nothing to do with dogs. Or sheep. Instead, it is Steven Soderbergh's latest film, starring George Clooney (of course), Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire. Set in Berlin at the close of the Second World War, the film opens with Maguire playing a duplicitous US soldier who works in the motor pool, but is more interested in selling black market goods to the Russians, the Americans and the British than in his role of Clooney's official driver. His primary goal, however, is to get his German girlfriend Lena (Cate Blanchett) out of Berlin.

Clooney, meanwhile, plays a journalist who has come to Berlin seeking Lena, with whom he had a relationship in the past. The story and narrative neatly hands over from Maguire to Clooney, and later to Lena herself as the plot further unfolds.

The real beauty of the film, however, is the way it is shot. It is classic film noir in every way. It is black and white – in fact it was filmed exactly as movies were made in Hollywood in 1945. Entirely on sets and back-lots, using lenses that can't zoom and very harsh lighting that gives the film its wonderful high-contrast look.

Not only that, but the score is very old-fashioned, as are the shots that Soderbergh frames. Coupled with the constant smoking, intrigue, suspense and Blanchett's femme fatale, the result is some classic film noir.

So if you're a fan of old films like Casablanca (which is clearly the inspiration behind the end of this film), you'll want to seek this out just for its stylistic qualities. Apart from looking wonderful and original though, the storyline is good but not outstanding. The casual viewer or those less adventurous among you may want to try out something more mainstream.

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Length: 105 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 30th March 2007

Top Five Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)
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