'Good' Reviews

Image Larry Horricks.
© Good Films.
Viggo Mortensen is extraordinary! He gives a restrained, soulful, haunting performance that makes the movie. - Scott Feinberg, Los Angeles Times

'Good' Reviews

An extremely powerful World War II drama about a man at a crossroads, forced to make almost impossible choices between friendship and survival. It's the best work Viggo Mortensen has done.

Jeffrey Lyons
NBC/Lyons and Bailes Reek Talk
October 2008

In the electrifying Good, my favourite film of the festival, Viggo Mortensen, who has proved he can play anything, surprised the hell out of audiences, who emerged stunned.

Rex Reed
Toronto Film Festival Review
New York Observer
September 2008

Viggo Mortensen is extraordinary! He gives a restrained, soulful, haunting performance that makes the movie.

Scott Feinberg Los Angeles Times (The Envelope)
October 2008

"There's a new Viggo Mortensen movie out and all is right with the world. It's called Good and, as usual, he gives a mesmerising performance."

Jeffrey Lyons
Reel Talk
December 2008

A profound, provocative, and deeply moving film that is so sensitively and intelligently crafted. Viggo Mortensen's versatility never ceases to amaze me.

Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 2008

The first element of the film, most viewers will notice, is the solemn yet convincing performance delivered by Mortensen. Mortensen, who has arguably been one of the top cinematic tough-guys of the decade, brilliantly conveys the film's message with calm diction and cold stares.

It is an unexpected role for him to play, but it's also a reminder that Mortensen is a legitimate actor who has sadly been overlooked by the Hollywood Foreign Press in this year's Golden Globe nominations.

Arin Mikailian
Los Angeles Independent
1 January 2009

As a professor drafted into the Nazi Party (despite his liberal ideals), Viggo Mortensen, in the tiny but worthy Good, does what may be his most fascinating acting. He reveals the soul of an intellectual who's enlightened to everything but where the lust for absolute power leads. Good has a stagy fustiness, but it's worth seeing for Mortensen, who makes this study of "good German" look creepily contemporary. He shows us the horror of ignorance.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
14 January 2009

In and out of each dilemma we go, as director Vicente Amorim takes us on a dizzying roller coaster ride back and forth in time, what to do about his worsening mother until we are confronted with the horror known as Krystalnacht when the Nazis went quite a bit further than mere contempt and discrimination aimed at the Jews. Throughout the ensuing horrors rounding up the Jews, we are tortured along with John at his predicament, his responsibilities to his family, his friend and himself. How Mortensen deals with John's quandary and some of the struggles are marvellous to watch. A tightly controlled man wanting so much to scream his outrage but dares not do so for fear of the consequences.

Michael Russnow
The Huffington Post
9 January 2009

Joining the list of late 2008 releases set in Nazi Germany (alongside Valkyrie, The Reader and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) is director Vicente Amorim's Good, which casts Viggo Mortensen against type in the starring role of a morally confused, somewhat meek academic. Based on C.P. Taylor's play, Amorim's film is hardly groundbreaking, but he gets another sturdy performance out of Mortensen, and an even more impressive one from underappreciated British actor Jason Isaacs. Good steadily grows more intriguing with every scene, a movie that's intensity gradually rises to a satisfying boil.

John Halder is far different from the types of characters we're accustomed to seeing Mortensen playing, and his convincing performance shows range.

Warren Curry
Entertainment Insiders
29 December 2008

Viggo Mortensen continues to display his brilliance in front of the camera with another chameleon turn in his representation of the shy and humble Hadler. The gradual moral corruption is wonderfully and convincingly portrayed and the entire film would fail in the hands of a less capable thespian. Mortensen is truly a master of his art.

Sebastian Cordoba
7 April 2009

Mortensen, best known for playing forces of nature ("A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises"), is here all mild manners, spectacles and fawning body language. His Halder is a character who lacks character, and Mortensen subtly turns him into a pitiful, pitiable villain.

Rafer Guzman
31 December 2008

It's always a challenge for actors to play a character who's meek and passive; often, those qualities rub off on the performance, making the actor erase himself off the screen. Mortensen manages to make John a docile doormat in the first part of "Good" -- he frantically tries to watch over his children, cook dinner, and tend to his ailing mother while his wife is immersed in her work as a composer -- while still being magnetic and compelling.

Alonso Duralde
2 January 2009

It was a pleasure to see Mortensen in the role as Halder, a man of inertia, dither and moral confusion as compared to his previous roles that copped out to flawed, reflexive violence. Playing an academic he has the opportunity to discard the macho cover-up of "Eastern Promises", and project the more common from of human stress of simply not knowing what to do. His performance is good but not a landmark---his fans will see the film anyway.

Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
23 January 2009

"Good" doesn't seek any misplaced sympathy for Halder, but rather looks at him as a human specimen and symbol of what so many did in Germany at the time. Yet Mortensen's excellent acting that renders Halder a human being as well as a symbol may make one sad that a character of so much promise allowed himself to descend into a shell of a man who has in effect made his pact with the devil as a price for being part of Nazi society.

William Wolf
Wolf Entertainment Guide
December 2008

In telling the story of a man swept up by the tide of National Socialism despite never subscribing to its tenets, the movie maintains a particularly terrifying feel. By refusing to caricature John Halder (Viggo Mortensen) even as he joins the propaganda apparatus, dons a uniform and neglects his Jewish best friend (Jason Isaacs), the film drives home its unsettling message: That could be us.

Robert Levin
Critic's Notebook
2 January 2008

Mortensen continues to stretch as an actor. The coiled violence that radiated through every cell of his body as a Russian gangster in "Eastern Promises" is replaced by a skittish uncertainty in "Good" that is palpable as he reaches again and again to adjust his wire-rimmed glasses.

Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
31 December 2008

Viggo Mortensen is outstanding as a head-in-the-clouds lecturer who allows a novel he wrote exploring euthanasia to be exploited in support of Hitler's demented theories about a master race. Using a credible English accent along with the mostly British cast, Mortensen conveys the scholar's self-absorption and willingness to be blinded to events all around him that point to the Holocaust.

By Ray Bennett
The Hollywood Reporter
Oct 23, 2008
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival

Halder (Viggo Mortensen) is good--not heroic but more conscientious than most, with the pedestrian flaws of passivity and impatience....Mortensen's character dwindles believably from the brawny hero he usually plays into a man who's good enough to see his weakness but too feeble to make a change.

Alisa Harris
World Magazine
27 December 2008

Mortensen has a bookish quality here that's surprisingly effective (given some of his recent action roles).

Marshall Fine
Star Magazine
7 January 2009

In "Good," Viggo Mortensen plays convincingly against type as the passive, bookish Halder, the kind of a spineless, floppy-haired and soft-spoken character once reserved for Julian Sands.

Leo Goldsmith
4 January 2008

It is a fine piece of acting from Mortensen, who portrays his character's weakness superbly.

The Sun (UK)
18 April 2009

Viggo Mortensen's turn as a milquetoast professor made into an unlikely Nazi official is pretty striking....Mortensen, often cast as tough men of action and boundless rectitude, persuades us here that his John Halder has the skills to present to the world and himself a façade of decency over the spine of a jellyfish. It's a very skillful, commendably self-effacing performance.

Abbie Bernstein
If Magazine
31 December 2008

Mortensen is never less than note-perfect as Halder, as he descends from harried, over-extended family man -- near his wit's end in terms of responsibilities to his wife, children, and mother, even as the Nazis take power and threaten his future as a teacher -- to academic philanderer, carrying on an affair with a student; to silent collaborator with the Hitler regime; and finally to uniformed representative of the SS.

Bruce Eder
TV Guide Online
31 December 2008

Viggo Mortenson continues to make interesting film choices following the fame he earned after Lord of the Rings and he is once again great in the role of John Halder. Mortenson has an ability to act with his eyes and let his face tell the story, something he utilizes in many ways in this film.

Brad Brevet
Rope of Silicon
21 December 2008

Viggo Mortensen plays Halder in a masterly way, he wears without judging the clothes of a character who the audience venture until the end to identify with, because of his naïve goodness and the unaware inertia which marks him.

Anna Concetta Consarino
Nuova Agenzia Radicale
27 October 2008

This movie with almost imperceivable borders, hits you like a punch in the stomach, especially thanks to the exceptional and unrivalled performance of the great Viggo Mortensen, who brings to life a seemingly poor-calibre character, who is really complex instead, and carries a lot of troublesome questions.

Alessandra Cavisi
19 November 2008

Last edited: 14 February 2010 13:43:13