The Captain

This sluggish World War II drama tells the true story of Willi Herold, a German foot soldier who was separated from his unit in the last days of the conflict and, having found an officer’s uniform in an abandoned suitcase, posed as a Luftwaffe captain on direct orders from Adolf Hitler to observe and report conditions at the front. Gathering a little band of lost soldiers around him, Herold arrived at a military prison camp and took advantage of his charade to carry out the executions of more than 100 German deserters before he was exposed and apprehended. Director Robert Schwentke shoots in black and white, yet the story is strictly black, giving little insight into the cruel, impressively coolheaded Herold (Max Hubacher) except that he’s incensed at the German retreat. The early, innocently comic scenes in which he begins to grasp the magical power of his new clothes are the movie’s high point. In German with subtitles.