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Winter in Wartime (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nazi-occupied Holland, 1945. In a snow-covered village, thirteen-year-old Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier) is drawn into the Resistance when he aids a wounded British paratrooper. Michiel's boyish sense of defiance and adventure soon turns to danger and desperation, as Michiel is forced to act without knowing whom to trust among the adults and townspeople around him. Wartime's harsh reality encroaches on childhood innocence as Michiel confronts good and evil, courage and duplicity, and his own burden of responsibility. Based on the bestselling novel by Jan Terlouw.

The gleaming snowy landscape of the Netherlands provides a stark backdrop to a gripping fusion of Nazi occupation and coming-of-age story. Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier), son of the mayor of a town occupied by the German army, gets into mild rebellious trouble--until he discovers a downed British pilot (Jamie Campbell Bower) hidden in the nearby woods. Rather than turn to his father (Raymond Thiry), who tries to placate the Nazis, Michiel seeks help from his uncle Ben (Yorick van Wageningen), who has ties to the Resistance… and in so doing, sets a tragic series of events in motion. Winter in Wartime is a mild title for such a compelling, emotionally powerful movie, packed with several edge-of-your-seat suspense sequences, including one at the end that's downright Hitchcockian. The action is all the more compelling because it's grounded in well-realized characters, a clean and propulsive story, attention to the details of daily life, and outstanding performances from a uniformly strong cast. It's no surprise that Winter in Wartime outgrossed international hits like Twilight and The Dark Knight in its home country. This is a marvelous movie that deserves to be just as popular abroad. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

The Making of Winter in Wartime

Product Details

  • Actors: Martijn Lakemeier, Yorick van Wageningen
  • Directors: Martin Koolhoven
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French, Dutch
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036TGSV2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,225 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Winter in Wartime (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Druxman on July 10, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
WINTER IN WARTIME is an engrossing World War II drama, set in 1945 Holland.

The story centers on 13-year-old Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier), son of his village's mayor. When local Resistance fighters are captured and killed by the Germans, Michiel finds himself helping a downed British flyer (Jamie Campbell Bower). The youth, working on his own, plans to get the flyer to another village, so that he can reach a contact that will get him back to England. But, when a dead German soldier is found (shot by the flyer), the situation changes.

The Germans take hostages, and one of those hostages is Michiel's father.

Based on the best-selling book by Jan Terlouw and superbly directed by Martin Koolhoven, the Dutch language (with English subtitles) film is filled with suspenseful moments and several surprising plot twists. This is a "coming of age" story under the worst possible circumstances, as a young boy finds that his entire world and everything he loves is put at risk, forcing him to make decisions that will change his life forever.

I'm not a big fan of war movies, but this one is quite powerful. It stays with you long after the final credits roll.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 8, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I started watching this feeling quite tired and after five minutes I was wide awake and hooked. This is a film set in the January of 1945 very near the end of the war in occupied Holland. It tells the story of Michiel (Martijn Lakemeir), the son the towns Mayor. He has a paradoxical relationship with his father, in that he hates him for `working' with the Nazi's but at the same time loves him for being his Dad.

One night an RAF plane crashes near to the town, one pilot survives and goes into hiding under the dubious protection of the local resistance, who don't seem too well organised. Michiel then picks up the gauntlet to try to get this English flyer home.

The story is not really about war, but choices and good and evil, how in war nothing is cut and dried. The acting in the whole thing is of a particularly high standard. There have been criticisms that a lot of the `action' was signposted. I hate that in films too, but did not feel that to be the case. There are a few plot holes, but that did not spoil my enjoyment of this great little film.

This is in Dutch, some German and English with quite good sub titles. I should point out that this is not an action war film, there is no blood and guts battle scenes. So if that is what you are looking for then you should be advised to avoid - big time. It has a run time of 139 minutes and did not drag, I thought it was a very well made, shot and acted tale of morality and of a boy growing up and dealing with the tragedies of War.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DVD Verdict on July 14, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Judge Clark Douglas, DVD Verdict-- Though Winter in Wartime takes place during WWII, the film hews closer to the suspense/thriller genre. Koolhaven demonstrates a real knack for fusing observant naturalism with immensely polished cinematic technique. That fusion makes for an intriguing viewing experience, as the film frequently shifts gear from an arthouse-like exploration of these people and the world they live in to a brisk, tense thriller. In a way, the intense moments are made more effective by the manner in which they spring forth out of a considerably more sedate film. This is clearly the effort of a top-notch craftsman; don't be surprised if Koolhaven is recruited to helm some sort of American prestige project in the near future.

In many ways, Winter in Wartime feels like a WWII movie for the No Country for Old Men era; an emotionally involving but cynical look at the world that wraps everything in aching shades of gray and delivers unsettling catharsis.

Winter in Wartime marches onto Blu-ray sporting a very handsome 1080p/2.35:1 transfer. The film's cool, wintry palette (dominated by assorted shades of white, blue and gray) is a pleasure to absorb, and the level of detail is pristine throughout. Blacks are deep and inky, flesh tones are warm and natural and the occasional bursts of bright color are striking. Audio is also impressive, highlighted by a fantastic score courtesy of Italian composer Pino Donaggio. It's such a pleasure to hear the kind of intensely emotional music Donaggio provides; it's similar to and on par with his best work for Brian De Palma thrillers of the 1970s and 1980s (and so many of the film's best moments owe much of their impact to the power of the score). Dialogue (usually Dutch, but sometimes English) is clean and clear and the spare sound design is distributed in an immersive manner. The only extras are a brief making-of featurette and a theatrical trailer.
-Full review at
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
WINTER IN WARTIME (Oorlogswinter) is a stunning and intensely involving film that explores the damages war inflicts on all those involved. It is based on the life of Dutch author Jan Terlouw whose novel by the same name reflects the fact that the author spent five harrowing years under Nazi occupation of Holland in WW II: it has been sensitively and successfully adapted for the screen by Mieke de Jong, Paul Jan Nelissen and writer/director Martin Koolhoven. The title of the film commands every aspect of the story - the colors of a nearly black and white cinematography, the cold atmosphere that intensifies the desperation of war and of coming of age and the bleak aftermath of a war torn country.

The time is January 1945. Michiel Van Beusekom (and impressive debut by Martijn Lakemeier) is 13 years old, facing the usual stresses of coming of age accentuated by the fact that his village is occupied by Nazi soldiers. Michiel's father Johan (Raymond Thiry) is the town's Bürgermeister (mayor) and attempts to pacify the Nazis whenever possible to protect his town - a fact that Michiel finds disgusting, as though his father was a Nazi sympathizer. Despite this disparity in viewing the atmosphere in the town, Michiel and Johan have a tender relationship as well. There is a crash of a British RAF plane just outside the town and Michiel and his friends inspect the plane, taking souvenirs, and then finding that the pilot Jack (Jamie Campbell Bower - now King Arthur in the television series Camelot) survived but is wounded. Michiel and Jack become friends and Michiel brings his sister Erica (Melody Klaver) who is a nurse to tend to the leg wound Jack incurred as he parachuted to safety.
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