John Haider (Oscar®-nominee Viggo Mortensen) is a 'good' and decent individual. A German literature professor in the 1930s, Haider explores his personal circumstances in a novel advocating compassionate euthanasia. When the book is unexpectedly enlisted by powerful political figures in support of government propaganda, Haider finds his career rising in an optimistic current of nationalism and prosperity. Yet with Haider's change in fortune, his seemingly inconsequential decisions potentially jeopardize the people in his life with devastating effects.
Like its title, Good is a forgettable and bland experience that is merely lukewarm. John Haider is a typical academic, with an ageing mother and someone who finds relationships far easier with books than people. He is happy to drift along in life until the Third Reich find themes of interest in a previous work. Carried along on the crest of a wave he can turn a blind eye to what he knows is wrong, and thereby enjoy the rewards that his position brings, or he can be a man and make a stand. I won't spoil the conclusion but I felt underwhelmed the film, as it fails to tackle the issues with any conviction or passion.