7.2/10
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159 user 88 critic

The Believer (2001)

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A young Jewish man develops a fiercely anti-Semitic philosophy. Based on the factual story of a K.K.K. member in the 1960s who was revealed to be Jewish by a New York Times reporter.

Director:

Henry Bean

Writers:

Henry Bean (screenplay), Henry Bean (story) | 1 more credit »
6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Gosling ... Danny Balint
Peter Meadows Peter Meadows ... Orthodox Student
Garret Dillahunt ... Billings
Kris Eivers Kris Eivers ... Carleton
Joel Marsh Garland ... O.L. (as Joel Garland)
Billy Zane ... Curtis Zampf
Theresa Russell ... Lina Moebius
Summer Phoenix ... Carla Moebius
Jack Drummond Jack Drummond ... Old Coot
Sig Libowitz ... Rav Zingesser
James McCaffrey James McCaffrey ... Young Avi (as James G. McCaffrey)
Jacob Green Jacob Green ... Young Danny
Frank Winters Frank Winters ... Young Stuart
Ronald Guttman ... Danny's Father
Heather Goldenhersh ... Linda
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Storyline

"The Believer" explores a Jewish student's private journey to understand the meaning of Judaism in his life. Set in New York City, the Plot follows a morally confused young adult struggling with the conflict between his beliefs and his heritage. "The Believer" examines themes of religion, family, and self-loathing. It is a psychological examination into the forces of intolerance, both on the individual and society as a whole. Written by Joe Bloggs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

23 August 2001 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Danny Balint See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,236, 19 May 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$406,035, 29 September 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Critically acclaimed, grand-jury prize winner at Sundance Festival in January 2001, then appeared on Showtime pay-cable in March 2002, before finally being released theatrically in NYC, May 2002. See more »

Goofs

In the DVD version, the words "a decade" are silent in the phrase "The Thousand-Year Reich barely lasted a decade..." even though Zampf is still mouthing it. See more »

Quotes

Daniel Balint: Let me put it this way. Do we hate them because they push their way in where they don't belong? Or do we hate them because they're clannish and keep to themselves? Because they're tight with money, or because they flash it around? Because they're Bolsheviks, or because they're capitalists? Because they have the highest IQs, or because they have the most active sex lives? Do you want to know the real reason we hate them? Because we hate them. Because they exist. Because it's an axiom of nature ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ryan Gosling -- Superstar!
23 April 2003 | by Bry-2See all my reviews

I think I first saw Mr. Gosling in Murder by Numbers, in which he played half of a modern-day Leopold and Loeb murder team. In that good-but-not-great thriller, he did a fine job with an easy role: the smarmy manipulator who's convinced his Intellect is so superior to everyone else's that he has the right -- no, the obligation -- to kill those inferior to himself.

In The Believer, Gosling plays the young fascist who really seems to believe the antisemitic vitrol he spews. His skinhead punk is just as scary, believable and *common* as Edward Norton's in American History X -- with the added layer of being from an Orthodox background. He has apparently convinced those around him that his fascination with all things Judaic is only an effort to "know his enemy thoroughly" -- nothing more.

Gosling is nothing short of astounding in this role. He richly deserves all the honors bestowed upon him. If he continues to only get roles like Murder by Numbers, it will be a waste of a wonderful natural resource, kind of like strip mining in Yellowstone.


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