The Wave
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Germany today. During a project week, high school teacher Rainer Wenger (Jurgen Vogel) comes up with an experiment in order to explain to his students how totalitarian governments work. A role-playing game with tragic results begins. Within a few days, what began as harmless notions, like discipline and community, builds into a real movement: The Wave. By the third day, the students start ostracizing and threatening others. When the conflict finally erupts into violence at an intramural water polo game, the teacher decides to break off the experiment. But it's too late. The Wave is out of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

""The Wave" feels overdetermined and ploddingly dramatized."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"The inclusion of an engrossing (yet expected) finale ensures that The Wave ends on an exceedingly positive note..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Brilliantly written and directed, wonderfully performed by an ensemble cast, and haunting in its intensity"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"A seductive, button-nudging probe of pack-frenzy mentality. Some credibility's lost in the rush to combustion point, but the brawny direction and convincing cast make this a gripping cautionary tale."
‑ Carmen Grey, Total Film
"Here is the winner of this week's No Shit Sherlock award: a prime example of the kind of film dead set on telling you what you know already."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Still, the quicksilver editing and thumping score mean it's zippily put together, and an undeniable willingness to engage with a youthful audience is admirably inclusive."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"The Wave is top-heavy and light-footed, racing its winning idea-that fascism can still be attractive to some, even in modern Germany-past itself."
‑ Kalvin Henely, Slant Magazine
"It's a strong film but in the end a rather obvious one."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Nevertheless, as a disturbing indictment of the course that could be taken by disaffected youth, The Wave makes a big splash."
‑ Tim Evans, Sky Movies
"It's an interesting and provocative idea somewhat marred by wretched performances from several of the kids and the same whiff of sanctimony and naivety that made The Edukators, another tiresomely right-on film from Germany, such a trial."
‑ Wendy Ide, Times [UK]
"Seductive and horrifying at the same time...The film opens with a rush of energy and doesn't let up."
‑ James Greenberg, Hollywood Reporter
"The Wave forces a confrontation with the seductive potential in all of us to abuse and be abused by the exercise of singular power in the name of good."
‑ Leslie Stonebraker, New York Press
"Thought-provoking stuff."
‑ David Edwards, Daily Mirror [UK]
"As it bounds along with its pumping rock playlist, you start to realise that the movie is predictable and slightly scared, and that it doesn't really make sense."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"An intriguing premise, well performed by the actors and engagingly directed by Gansel, suffers from a script that tries to pack too much into a single week and an ending that feels forced and didactic."
‑ Jamie McLeish, Film4
More reviews for The Wave on Rotten Tomatoes