Writer/director Stefan Ruzowitzky explores the moral corrosion of Nazi complicity with this tightly wound adaptation of Adolf Burger's fact-based book The Devil's Workshop. Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics) may be a talented artist at heart, but his desire for wealth has driven him to use his creativity for more nefarious means. Arrested by the police inspector Herzog (Devid Striesow) at the onset of World War II, Sorowitsch is sent to the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp. It's not long before Salomon's thinly veiled opportunism earns him a relatively comfortable position as the camp's resident sketch artist, and five years later he is mysteriously swept away to Sachsenhausen. Upon arriving at the camp, Sorowitsch discovers that Herzog, now a commandant, is attempting to destabilize the economies of the Allies while simultaneously funding the Nazi war machine by assembling a special team of counterfeit artists to create millions in fraudulent pounds and dollars. As the operation gets under way, Sorowitsch finds the efforts of the team continually undermined by unyieldingly idealistic collotype specialist Adolf Burger (August Diehl). In the months that follow, the team wrestles with their consciences as Axis forces are gradually overwhelmed by Allied might. The Counterfeiters won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
It's a sad movie but at the same time a very good one. It is something difficult to understand how people can be so cruel that you begin to look a bad thing like counterfeiting as the good action (to save people from the cruelty of the nazis). There are people in this world that still think that the nazis did not do what they did, maybe because it's so difficult to conceive so much stupidity in a country as Germany.
I rented this thinking it was a revenge film post-Holocaust. It isn't. It takes place in a concentration camp whose name I didn't get because I tried to fast-forward through all the concentration camp scenes. When I realized the entire movie apparently would take place in that setting, I ejected it and sent it back. The protagonist is a really unlikeable character and wasn't compelling in any way that would make suffering through torture scenes, etc., worth it.