"The Wave" feels overdetermined and ploddingly dramatized.
Jeannette Catsoulis - New York Times
Seductive and horrifying at the same time...The film opens with a rush of energy and doesn't let up.
James Greenberg - Hollywood Reporter
The inclusion of an engrossing (yet expected) finale ensures that The Wave ends on an exceedingly positive note...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
The Wave is top-heavy and light-footed, racing its winning idea-that fascism can still be attractive to some, even in modern Germany-past itself.
Kalvin Henely - Slant Magazine
The Wave forces a confrontation with the seductive potential in all of us to abuse and be abused by the exercise of singular power in the name of good.
Leslie Stonebraker - New York Press
Brilliantly written and directed, wonderfully performed by an ensemble cast, and haunting in its intensity
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Here is the winner of this week's No Shit Sherlock award: a prime example of the kind of film dead set on telling you what you know already.
It's an interesting and provocative idea somewhat marred by wretched performances from several of the kids and the same whiff of sanctimony and naivety that made The Edukators, another tiresomely right-on film from Germany, such a trial.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
An intriguing premise, well performed by the actors and engagingly directed by Gansel, suffers from a script that tries to pack too much into a single week and an ending that feels forced and didactic.
Jamie McLeish - Film4
Still, the quicksilver editing and thumping score mean it's zippily put together, and an undeniable willingness to engage with a youthful audience is admirably inclusive.
Trevor Johnston - Time Out
A fascinating notion, convincingly realised.
Rosamund Witcher - Empire Magazine
It's a strong film but in the end a rather obvious one.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
A seductive, button-nudging probe of pack-frenzy mentality. Some credibility's lost in the rush to combustion point, but the brawny direction and convincing cast make this a gripping cautionary tale.
Carmen Grey - Total Film
Nevertheless, as a disturbing indictment of the course that could be taken by disaffected youth, The Wave makes a big splash.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
As it bounds along with its pumping rock playlist, you start to realise that the movie is predictable and slightly scared, and that it doesn't really make sense.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
The film is persuasive that fascism can take root in any environment. Strong performances all the way.
Victor Olliver - Teletext