7.6/10
88,660
102 user 94 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:

Writers:

(short story and original protocols) (as William Ron Jones), (screenplay "The Wave") | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,906 ( 85)

On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
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
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
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
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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Marco
...
...
Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz ...
Cristina do Rego ...
Lisa
...
Maximilian Vollmar ...
...
Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ...
Ferdi
Tim Oliver Schultz ...
Amelie Kiefer ...
Fabian Preger ...
Kaschi
...
Maja
Edit

Storyline

High school teacher, Rainer Wegner, 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:

Based on a true story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wave  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

€5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,151,023 (Germany), 16 March 2008, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The students are repeating a play, in which only "The Wave" students have roles after Karo is fired. In this play, 'Der Besuch der alten Dame' by Friedrich Durenmatt, an old woman who was exiled from her village by her fellow inhabitants comes back after many years. Having lost her billionaire husband and inherited his wealth, she has her revenge by leading all the villagers to kill her former lover who didn't help her. One of the themes is the group action and how people lose their personalities in a group. This mirrors the teacher's experience, who lead people into acting and losing personalities. See more »

Goofs

The way the word "Autokratie" is written on the black board changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Tim Stoltefuss: Run for your life, or I'll blow your brains out.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Wave (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeff the slayer of worlds
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Spot on!! It explains a lot about world history.
24 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

The Wave rides high (pun intended) on the new wave of film makers from Germany. The movie itself is shaped like a proverbial wave, starts gently and slowly gathers momentum and before you know it it turns into a powerhouse. The movie will amuse you, frighten you, disturb you and enthrall you completely.

The movie takes a lesson in human psychology and shows how it is possible for a person with oratory skills and confidence to start a movement that turns into a revolution with frightening possibilities. It explains a lot about world history and current affairs.

Theme apart, I don't usually like to discuss any movie's story but I suppose if you're here you would've read the other reviews and summaries and would know a fair bit already. Putting it mildly, the movie deals with a classroom experiment about autocracy which has interesting positive and negative consequences.

The direction is sharp and spot on. The director is able to delve deeply into the minds of the various characters and explain their behaviour and position in the society that is created. It is all done realistically. The acting by and large is very good; however a few of the actors displayed a scope for further improvement. However this does not take away much from the movie experience. There are certain similarities with another great German film, Das Experiment, but not many.

I am certainly going to suggest this film to people I know including people who live on a staple of Hollywood blockbusters and like to keep away from festival films. So if you get the opportunity to watch it, please do.


43 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 102 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017