Box art for The White Ribbon

The White Ribbon

drama, foreign


In a village in Germany, on the eve of World War I, the children of a church and school run by the village schoolteacher and their families experience a series of bizarre incidents that assume the characteristics of a punishment ritual.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    85%
  • Audience Score
    78%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    85%
    reviews counted: 31
    see all The White Ribbon reviews
  • Audience

    78%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: I don't question Haneke's craft: it's his ideas that get under my skin.

- A.O. Scott, At the Movies, Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rotten: The White Ribbon lunges hungrily for serious art-film credibility. Don't be fooled.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, February 12, 2010

Fresh: Executed at an incredibly high level of craft and with an off-putting degree of self-confidence.

- Bryant Frazer, Film Freak Central, Monday, June 28, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I feel like this should be a five star film, there was so much that I loved about it. But there was just something missing for me, that prevented me from embracing it entirely. The only way I can discribe it is to say that it felt slightly homoginized to me, but even that does not totally encompass how I feel. It is definatley a solid piece of film making. Beautifully shot and well acted and I highly recomend it. Perhaps someone else can help me put into words, what I felt was missing from this impressive film?

- RCCLBC, Monday, September 27, 2010

2 stars

Director Michael Haneke's movies are languidly paced mood pieces that slowly unfold toward an enigmatic conclusion (see Funny Games, Cach). That's not to say that along the way, the audience isn't treated to a beautifully shot, fascinating study of power and control. Here a quiet village is persecuted by a series of aggressive acts by an unknown source. The Protestant pastor, the doctor and the Baron of the community all exert their authority in dictator-like fashion. The fictitious small town of Eichwald is supposedly a microcosm of German fascism. Very well, but what's the point? Yes, the action has an ominous feel that is bewitching. This strikingly photographed, black and white drama LOOKS like some long lost Ingmar Bergmann film from 1957, but it has none of that auteur's focus or optimism. Oppressively gloomy and dark, there is a lot to admire but not much to love.

- hobster1, Thursday, September 23, 2010

5 stars

I love everything about Haneke's cinema.Such as realistic narration and unpredictable events,....I think White Ribbon is his best so far.Haneke is master of suspense and it's unfair if we just admire the intellectual concept of his movies.Empty spaces in his movies allow us to live within characters and grasp the movie's heart.At the first the ending seemed confusing but like Cache it included all the clues.Definitely is movie of the year.

- Alireza64ir, Sunday, September 12, 2010