Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writers: Gerard Soeteman, Verhoeven
Verhoeven returned to his native Netherlands after a long stay in Hollywood (RoboCop, Basic Instinct) to make a nifty World War II spy drama. Its story is similar to the one in the new Ang Lee movie Lust, Caution: a young woman, joining her country's Resistance, takes the assignment to lure an Occupation officer into an affair. It's the old Mata Hari template, and in Black Book the heroine (Carice Van Houten) is a Jewish girl hooking up with a Gestapo chief (Sebastian Koch of The Lives of Others). The movie's tense, twisty plot has wicked fun upending the platitudes of the genre, while Verhoeven applies all his expertise and his familiar canny kinkiness you won't soon forget the hair-dyeing scene. With lots of lust, little caution, the film is perfect for an evening's home entertainment.