7.6/10
97,569
114 user 97 critic

The Wave (2008)

Die Welle (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 27 May 2011 (USA)
A high school teacher's experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.

Director:

Dennis Gansel

Writers:

Ron Jones (short story and original protocols) (as William Ron Jones), Johnny Dawkins (screenplay "The Wave") | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,063 ( 1,997)
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A look at Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s.

Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek
Run Lola Run (1998)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup
The Chorus (2004)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The new teacher at a severely administered boys' boarding school works to positively affect the students' lives through music.

Director: Christophe Barratier
Stars: Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Jean-Baptiste Maunier
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.

Director: Marc Rothemund
Stars: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Alexander Held
Drama | Sport | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Friedrich's boxing skills gets him in an elite Nazi high school in a castle in 1942. He enrolls against his dad's wish as it promises a brighter future. It's not what he expected.

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling, Devid Striesow
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Adolf Hitler wakes up in the 21st century. He quickly gains media attention, but while Germany finds him hilarious and charming, Hitler makes some serious observations about society.

Director: David Wnendt
Stars: Oliver Masucci, Thomas M. Köppl, Marc-Marvin Israel
We Are the Wave (TV Series 2019)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A new version of Rhue's novel in which a group of teenagers who start a youth movement which develops a dangerous momentum.

Stars: Ludwig Simon, Luise Befort, Michelle Barthel
The Edukators (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three activists cobble together a kidnapping plot after they encounter a businessman in his home.

Director: Hans Weingartner
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Julia Jentsch, Stipe Erceg
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The hilarious adventures of two best friends, Apachi Indian chief Abahachi and cowboy Ranger, in the Wild West.

Director: Michael Herbig
Stars: Michael Herbig, Christian Tramitz, Marie Bäumer
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A comedy that follows an ex-con who lands a position at a school that sits over the spot where money from one of his earlier robberies was stashed.

Director: Bora Dagtekin
Stars: Elyas M'Barek, Karoline Herfurth, Katja Riemann
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jürgen Vogel ... Rainer Wenger
Frederick Lau ... Tim Stoltefuss
Max Riemelt ... Marco
Jennifer Ulrich ... Karo
Christiane Paul ... Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz ... Dennis
Cristina do Rego ... Lisa
Elyas M'Barek ... Sinan
Maximilian Vollmar Maximilian Vollmar ... Bomber
Max Mauff ... Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ... Ferdi
Tim Oliver Schultz ... Jens
Amelie Kiefer Amelie Kiefer ... Mona
Fabian Preger Fabian Preger ... Kaschi
Odine Johne ... Maja
Edit

Storyline

High school teacher, Rainer Wenger, may be popular with the students, but he's also unorthodox. He's forced to teach autocracy for the school's project week. He's less than enthusiastic at first, but the response of the students is surprising to say the least. He forces the students to become more invested in the prospect of self rule, and soon the class project has its own power and eerily starts to resemble Germany's past. Can Wegner and his class realize what's happening before the horrors start repeating themselves? Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

IT WILL THRILL YOU. IT WILL CARRY YOU AWAY. IT WILL CHANGE YOU. IT WILL BREAK YOU See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Constantin Film [Germany]

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wave See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

EUR5,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,350,637
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

While the crew managed to get numerous businesses to allow them to spray the "Wave" onto their stores, or to attach the stickers, they were not allowed to paint the scaffolding, making that the only CGI-Shot in the whole movie. See more »

Goofs

The word "Montag" (Monday) is not reflected properly on the lake's surface, esp. as opposed to "Dienstag" (Tuesday), which has its proper reflection on the school's floor. See more »

Quotes

Mona: It's not about guilt! Germany has a special responsibility.
Sinan: Well... I am a turk.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Referenced in KILL La KILL: Azami no gotoku toge areba (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Short Life Of Margott
Music by Arne Schult, Dominic Lohrberg, Gordian Scholz and Micka Schürmann
Lyrics by Simon den Hartog
Performed by The Kilians
©Grand Hotel van Cleef Musikverlag
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Entertaining fictional experiment in classroom dictatorship
9 November 2008 | by joebloggscitySee all my reviews

How does anyone really portray autocracy and/or fascism? In most ways, it can be done in the usual one-dimensional concoction of corruption, evil deeds, extreme delusion and paranoia amongst the ruling elites of the regimes. The Wave ("Die Welle") though looks at the issue from a different angle, examining how it can arise and entrance those it touches, and in the process makes the whole issue look fresh again.

The basic story is that of a school teacher (an anarchist at heart) who has to teach a class about "Autocracy". Failing to get their attention, he decides to create an experiment whereby they are to create their own mini autocracy and rules amongst themselves (named "The Wave"). With such a controversial subject, the whole thing gets out of hand with the pupils succumbing to the autocratic fascist methodology with grave consequences.

One important point that needs to be added is that its a German movie, and for historical reasons the topic is a delicate one, yet seems to add to the whole feel. The film is quite realistically disturbing in many ways, and shows how most of the pupils slowly fall for fascism in quite innocent ways. It will make you think and possibly reassess the important question, as asked in the film, if Autocracy can rear its head again.

The writing, the acting and direction are excellent. Jürgen Vogel as the class teacher is both entertaining and thoughtful in his role, but the cast in general is exceptional especially as in the main they are mostly teenagers.

If you like thoughtful films, and wish to see something that is questioning historical events in the present, then there is little to better this. Deserves to be watched. Its a film that will definitely be spoken about and re watched by many repeatedly for many years to come.


58 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 114 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed