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Starring: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldaña, Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Shannon, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Andrea Riseborough, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Taylor Swift
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Dark mystery comedy written and directed written by David O. Russell. Set in the 1930s, Amsterdam (2022) centers on three friends, a doctor, Burt (Christian Bale), an attorney, Harold (John David Washington), and a nurse, Valerie (Margot Robbie), who after witnessing a murder, become suspects themselves, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American history.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Love is not enough. You got to fight to protect kindness. You get attached to people and things. And they might just break your heart. But that's being alive.' - Burt Berendsen (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Milton King: [referring to Bill Meekins] Harold, I don’t know what you think you’re doing. Excuse me. Hello. You got a dead white man in a box. Not even a casket. Important man, in a pine box of old wood. Doesn’t even have a top on it. His daughter’s crying. Who do you think is going to get in trouble here? The Black man, that’s who.
Harold Woodman: Milton. Right now we need to get him, our leader, who founded our regiment, into the truck.
Burt Berendsen: I’ve done two autopsies my whole life. One to prove I didn’t leave a clamp on someone’s small intestine, the other to remove a clamp I did leave on someone’s small intestine.
Harold Woodman: Now we know you’re good with small intestines, Burt.
Harold Woodman: [to Burt] I just want to see you happy. Dead man makes you realize time is short, and love is real, if you know what it is.
Irma St. Clair: [after she’s told him that her husband left] It’s fine. True love is based on choice, not need. Do you need your wife, or do you choose your wife?
Burt Berendsen: Well, can’t it be both?
Irma St. Clair: No. The second one is the one that truly matters. At the end of the day, it is. Choice matters over need.
Burt Berendsen: I don’t like to be alone.
Irma St. Clair: That sounds like need.
Irma St. Clair: Harold says you deserve a better circumstance, but you allowed yourself to be corrupted. He says you followed the wrong God home.
Burt Berendsen: What? Corrupted? Followed the wrong God home? Why doesn’t he say that to me? What does that even mean?
Irma St. Clair: I don’t know. Maybe you spent enthusiasms and urgencies you didn’t know you were wasting until it was too late. You ended up without a chair by the time the music ends, even in your own home.
Harold Woodman: All it takes is a little bit, Burt. Then they got you. Like that drop of blood from the cut you got from the war before I stabbed that German. Those cuts clouded your eye, and guess what, you lost the eye forever.
Liz Meekins: [referring to her father] He used to say you can’t run from fear. You can’t let fear chase you around.
Liz Meekins: [referring to her father] He knew something. He saw something terrible. He did. And they knew he was going to tell.
Harold Woodman: Tell what? What did he see?
Liz Meekins: It’s dangerous. I think that…
[suddenly a man, Taron Malifax, pushes her into the oncoming traffic, killing her]
'Dead man makes you realize time is short, and love is real, if you know what it is.' - Harold Woodman (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Burt Berendsen: [after they’re accused of killing Liz] Holy s**t. What fresh hell is this? You don’t get here, without things starting a long time ago.
Burt Berendsen: I mean, the people you meet in these circumstances of tremendous stress are bonded to you for life.
Harold Woodman: [flashback 1918, when they first met] So, we’ll make a pact. You see to it that we won’t die. And I’ll make sure you won’t get killed.
Burt Berendsen: We’ll look out for each other.
Harold Woodman: [after Valerie nurses him and Burt back to health] A woman who smokes a pipe.
Valerie Voze: Are you intimidated?
Harold Woodman: A little bit right now.
Valerie Voze: When you see someone, and you really see them, you see the kid that used to be them. You see the part of them that’s vulnerable. Harold and I had that kind of seeing each other right from the start.
'True love is based on choice, not need.' - Irma St. Clair (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Harold Woodman: Well, now that the war is over, I just want to be a person. You know? I just want to walk around free as a person. Just living my life.
Harold Woodman: [referring to Valerie] Without even too many words, I mean, she’s looking right into your soul.
Valerie Voze: You got to know what you love. And you got to get a real kick out of it, or there’s too much damn trouble in it to spoil this affair of living from beginning to end, if you let it. Why not live it for the beautiful things, even if you were a bit broke?
Valerie Voze: When I was first going through France a couple of years ago, okay, things were a little more difficult. I had to stab a guy. I had to hit a lady with a brick one time.
Burt Berendsen: What?
Valerie Voze: Yeah. It’s a long story. But with you two, it’ll be a cakewalk. And besides, I’m far better at forging documents now.
Harold Woodman: Come on, Burt, let’s go to Amsterdam.
'The people you meet in these circumstances of tremendous stress are bonded to you for life.' - Burt Berendsen (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Valerie Voze: [referring to Paul and Henry] They’re old friends. They’ve helped me out, and I’ve helped them out. Now I think they’ll help you out.
Henry Norcross: There will come a time to say “enough” to these madmen who create this war we cannot make any sense of.
Harold Woodman: Well, how could this monstrosity repeat itself?
Burt Berendsen: It’s supposed to be the war to end all wars.
Harold Woodman: Right.
Valerie Voze: Because the dream repeats itself since it forgets itself. That’s why it repeats itself. This is the good part. But the bad part will come again one day. But for now, this is the good part, in Amsterdam.
Burt Berendsen: The world was suddenly our oyster, and it was glorious. Yeah. Amsterdam is in the heart, and was there all along.
Burt Berendsen: [referring to Valerie] She was brilliant and nuts. But she was our kind of nuts. And so the pact now had three. I stayed in Amsterdam for a while because it was glorious there. He was steady and strong. She was bold and luminous. It was what the French call a coup de foudre. Love at first sight. She made her art. I was their best friend, with my new eye.
Burt Berendsen: [to Valerie and Harold] You can choose your friends. You can’t choose your family. And I choose you. And this, I’m getting embarrassed, because you might not feel the same way. But this relationship, probably the most important thing in my life.
'When you see someone, and you really see them, you see the kid that used to be them. You see the part of them that's vulnerable.' - Valerie Voze (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Valerie Voze: [after Burt decides he wants to return to America] I think we both knew where this was headed anyway. Yeah.
Harold Woodman: What do you mean by that?
Valerie Voze: Well, I mean, we only exist in Amsterdam.
Harold Woodman: I want to go back home and fight. And I want to stay here with you. And I want to live. I want to truly live.
Valerie Voze: How do you have both those things?
Harold Woodman: There’s a way.
Burt Berendsen: [referring to Valerie] She vanished, one day soon after, without a word to Harold, except a note. I was suddenly released from jail. Never heard from her.
Burt Berendsen: [referring to Liz being killed] Oh, my God. That poor girl. I can’t bear this. Something is very wrong, Harold. What’s that thing that you always say to me?
Harold Woodman: We’ll fight through it. We’ll find a way, no matter what.
Burt Berendsen: Thank you. I need that.
'You got to know what you love. And you got to get a real kick out of it, or there's too much damn trouble in it to spoil this affair of living from beginning to end, if you let it.' - Valerie Voze (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Harold Woodman: [referring to Burt’s place] Smells of mothballs, like your marriage.
Burt Berendsen: Thanks, pal.
Harold Woodman: What are friends for if not honesty?
Burt Berendsen: [to Harold] Do me a favor. Try to be optimistic.
Burt Berendsen: Why did you invite me?
Beatrice Vandenheuvel: Because it was… I had a moment of weakness.
Burt Berendsen: That’s what we’ve become? A moment of weakness?
'The dream repeats itself since it forgets itself. That's why it repeats itself.' - Valerie Voze (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Beatrice Vandenheuvel: You were once so beautiful.
Burt Berendsen: Oh, for God’s sakes.
Beatrice Vandenheuvel: And now you’re just hideous and grotesque. You’re so ugly and deformed. It’s so hard to look at you. And you wear a corset like a woman. You’re helpless.
Burt Berendsen: [referring to Liz’s death] Somehow, they think that we did it. And we need somebody. We need something. We need someone to help us.
'The whole world overlaps in its most treacherous way if you pay attention.' - Henry Norcross (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Burt Berendsen: [referring to Liz’s death] Why would you possibly think that was us?
Detective Lem Getwiller: Well, there’s not too many people that fit the description of a doctor looking for his eye on the ground with his Black attorney.
Harold Woodman: I’m a part of the Bar Association. Don’t touch me.
Detective Hiltz: I don’t even like that this man is a lawyer.
Harold Woodman: Columbia Law School. Maybe those flat-a** arches of yours make that hard for you to comprehend.
'I'm very happy to be unimportant and live in a place that has love and beauty. Art and love, that's what makes the life worth living.' - Valerie Voze (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Beatrice Vandenheuvel: [to Burt] Well, that was exciting. Go and get your things, but don’t get killed on the way home.
Harold Woodman: [after they see Valerie at Tom Voze’s place] How is this coincidence even possible?
Valerie Voze: Because it’s not a coincidence. I told Liz Meekins to hire you two.
'What do powerful people want? Is it never enough? They do the craziest things.' - Burt Berendsen (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Harold Woodman: This is how you live?
Valerie Voze: Yeah.
Harold Woodman: No letter. Not a phone call.
Valerie Voze: I was embarrassed. This is not who I once was. It’s not who you met in Amsterdam.
Harold Woodman: After everything we had in Amsterdam, turns out Burt and I have no idea who you are.
Valerie Voze: You know exactly who I am. I know exactly who you are. All three of us. Burt too. We know each other the way it counts. And if you two still have an arrangement, then I’m still part of it.
'That's how you face such a world. You must have love in your heart for your life. It is love versus hate.' - Burt Berendsen (Amsterdam) Click To Tweet
Valerie Voze: [to Harold and Burt] I came back because of you and you.
Burt Berendsen: That’s true.
Valerie Voze: I told you when you left Amsterdam, something bad would happen. I said it would be the bad part of the dream. Did I not say that?
Burt Berendsen: It’s true.
Valerie Voze: And here we are.
Libby Voze: Please, darling girl, stop crying.
Tom Voze: It’s only natural for her to cry, Libby. She just found out her friend is dead. We couldn’t keep it from her for forever.
Valerie Voze: I’m not so ill that I can’t talk to people.
Libby Voze: You leave me here with this invalid, when you know very well that I think she should be hospitalized. It’s for her own good.
Valerie Voze: If you ever say that to me again, I’ll put you into a hospital! I’ll send you to a witch trial!
Harold Woodman: You said you’d come back.
Valerie Voze: Why? So you could leave me?
Harold Woodman: I didn’t know if I was a fleeting adventure, or if you even thought about me at all, Valerie.
Valerie Voze: I never thought of anyone else. Not really. What about you?
Harold Woodman: No. Not really.
Valerie Voze: Really?
Harold Woodman: Yes.
Harold Woodman: And what did you mean, “embarrassed”? What did you mean by that? Embarrassed to contact me all these years?
Valerie Voze: Just seeing me like this. It’s not who I was in Amsterdam. And for what? For what? We can’t be together in this country.
Valerie Voze: Burt, I don’t know what’s happening, but it’s far beyond Meekins and his daughter.
Valerie Voze: The three of us, we were inseparable. We did things, we got things done, and most of all, we lived.
Burt Berendsen: I’m so sorry that you got mixed up in all this.
Irma St. Clair: I’m an autopsy nurse. I get mixed up in all sorts of things. Besides, brought me closer to you and to…
Detective Lem Getweiler: Why would you take a tea set, a lovely tea set, and turn it into an instrument of violence? It makes no sense.
Detective Hiltz: That’s a good question.
Burt Berendsen: Perhaps, Lem, the question of the century. Don’t think about it too much.
Burt Berendsen: Truth is possible. And I think that love, maybe, is even possible.
Burt Berendsen: Milton, Harold was supposed to be at my office hours ago.
Milton King: You okay? You don’t look good. Things have gotten more complicated, haven’t they? You know, my grandfather shot a guy in the face. And he got shot in the face. Separate occasions. Separate occasions. Not the same guy. And it all worked out.
Valerie Voze: Did someone slap you, Burt? Because you have a red mark on your face.
Burt Berendsen: I fell. I got slapped. Carlton punched me.
Valerie Voze: Yeah, I was there for that one.
Milton King: Did I mention that I predicted extreme trouble from a white man in a box? Then added to by a white woman under a truck.
Burt Berendsen: The point, Milton?
Milton King: You know, I’d rather be on trial for killing five white men than one white woman. Because this can lead to one Black man, or more dead in a box.
Burt Berendsen: Give me the keys.
Harold Woodman: You’re not driving. You can’t drive, you one-eyed nut.
Paul Canterbury: Valerie, we’re prepared to do anything we must as gentlemen.
Paul Canterbury: [as man suddenly throws water in his face] Bugger!
British Ornithologist: You bounder! You cheat! You disgust me!
Paul Canterbury: History will redeem me.
British Ornithologist: Like hell it will!
Paul Canterbury: Sorry, everyone. It’s alright. Drinks on me, literally.
Henry Norcross: Lots of things overlap, Berendsen. The whole world overlaps in its most treacherous way if you pay attention.
Henry Norcross: We proved that the cuckoo lacks the capacity, the civility, the character to build its own nest.
Burt Berendsen: Wow. How is that possibly significant, or interesting to anybody, or anything?
Paul Canterbury: Because it shows that the cuckoo is a parasitic bird. It tricks better birds who build nests. Cuckoo destroys the host’s eggs, and then destroys the nest itself.
Henry Norcross: Berendsen, the cuckoo doesn’t give a damn. Okay? I’d say it’s a profound statement on the parasitic destructive behavior of nature, including humans.
Paul Canterbury: [referring to the forced sterilization clinic] It means there’s a cabal in this country tied to another in Germany who supports these clinics, who want to rule the world.
Burt Berendsen: Rule the world?
Paul Canterbury: We told you in Amsterdam we’d come a-calling, and here we are.
Burt Berendsen: And here you are.
Henry Norcross: [to Burt] You know, a lot of people assume that it’s about the tranquility, or the communion with nature. But I find bird watching so fascinating, because it forces you to decide what you are looking at. I am honing my art of discernment. And I want you to trust me that I believe now is the time to intervene.
Valerie Voze: I don’t like to say, “I told you so,” but this is all turning out to be a lot larger than any of us imagined.
Harold Woodman: Well, even if we solve Meekins out of the three of us, I’m the one that’s going to jail. The system’s rigged.
Valerie Voze: You can’t turn your backs on me now.
Harold Woodman: You broke the pact, remember?
Burt Berendsen: I broke the pact? When?
Harold Woodman: We told you not to leave, Burt.
Burt Berendsen: At least you found love, even if you can’t get it. I’ve never been lucky enough to even know what the hell it is. And that’s a terrible affliction I don’t wish on anyone.
Valerie Voze: I wish I never did find it. Because it hurts too much.
Mrs. Dillenbeck: I had vertigo once and the world just keeps moving.
Burt Berendsen: You call your husband “General”?
Mrs. Dillenbeck: Only on the weekdays.
Burt Berendsen: What do you call him on weekends?
Mrs. Dillenbeck: That’s a very personal question.
General Gil Dillenbeck: I’ll tell you one thing that I can remember quite clearly. You did something that, you sang a song I believe.
Harold Woodman: Which one, sir?
General Gil Dillenbeck: Well, that’s for you to remember. I met thousands of people. You just met me twice. So, you should remember the song. I’d like you to sing it now, then I’ll know it’s you.
General Gil Dillenbeck: The last time I spoke to my friend, he called me from Rome. Called me from the hotel. Told me of something monstrous that he had seen. Disturbed him greatly. That was why Bill was killed.
General Gil Dillenbeck: Somebody’s trying to do something dark and treacherous.
General Gil Dillenbeck: Do you want me to be a dictator? Is that what your big sponsors want?
Maguire: A dictator? No, it doesn’t have to be said like that.
General Gil Dillenbeck: Okay, chancellor? Does that make it better?
General Gil Dillenbeck: Whoever offers me more money, and tells me what to say, and what not to say in my speech, very likely killed Bill Meekins and his daughter. And is behind all this.
Burt Berendsen: And so, two soldiers and a nurse found ourselves in league with the great honorable, decorated General Dillenbeck.
Harold Woodman: I would like to try again in Amsterdam.
Valerie Voze: You would?
Harold Woodman: Yes.
Valerie Voze: Well, let’s hope this goes well.
Burt Berendsen: The trick was to let the Committee of Five and Maguire think the general would give their speech for new leadership in the White House. Immediately. No election. Conning the veterans into supporting it. And Tom, as promised, had gotten us off the hook with the police, who now, to our great surprise, were together with us, united in this plan to stop it. And we all supported the general. He was using himself as bait.
General Gil Dillenbeck: Let me ask a very simple question. Whose side are you guys on?
Paul Canterbury: We’re on your side, of course. Same God, different church. Same lady, different dress. We’re on the exact same side.
General Gil Dillenbeck: Do me a favor. Explain this to me very carefully, because I’m about to do something that could cost me my life.
Henry Norcross: The trick with all this is, is to wait till the absolute very last second to expose as much of the criminality as we are able to capture.
General Gil Dillenbeck: There’s a lot of people I care about here tonight.
Henry Norcross: Trust our powers of discernment, General.
Paul Canterbury: Yes. The cuckoo is in the nest, and the cuckoo is about to be trapped!
General Gil Dillenbeck: Cuckoo?
Henry Norcross: I hope this son of a b**ch thing works.
Paul Canterbury: Or else we’re f***ed.
Libby Voze: [referring to her hands] Oh, have you met the general? He truly is the most wonderful specimen of a man. Clammy, already. Truly clammy.
Tom Voze: She never gets that clammy for me. Perhaps I should travel more on business.
Burt Berendsen: I’ve waited too long for the wrong thing. It turned into something very different than it ever once could be.
Beatrice Vandenheuvel: I think terrible things might happen to you.
Burt Berendsen: What a thing to say to anyone, let alone your beloved.
Harold Woodman: It’s okay, Burt.
Valerie Voze: Yeah, you still have us.
Burt Berendsen: Thank God. I’m running out of people, fast.
Burt Berendsen: Talk about following the wrong God home. What’s more un-American than a dictatorship built by American business?
Burt Berendsen: [as Tom gives him some of the eye drop] Now, normally, guys like me, we have to turn to booze and morphine, and that can lead to addiction… Oh, that’s fast. That is advanced. Oh, that is tremendous energy. I feel no pain.
Tom Voze: Feel this. This is walrus.
Burt Berendsen: Oh, that is soft.
General Gil Dillenbeck: A walrus was killed for this?
Tom Voze: No, sir, he died of old age. He lived a long, happy life because he made smart choices.
General Gil Dillenbeck: I know fear, and I know facing fear. But the one thing I truly detest, the one thing I truly, truly detest, is cruelty.
General Gil Dillenbeck: I became a Marine to serve the Constitution, which intends for us all to be equal in the brotherhood of mankind. But what good is it when powerful people make exceptions for the people who stand in their way? Some people of influence and power like it when regular folks are fired up by hatred because it distracts us from the fairness and kindness. They don’t want us to think about too much just so they can get more and more of what they already have, which is vast wealth. This is your country. This is your country. Don’t let the big men take it away from you.
General Gil Dillenbeck: You’re going to be charged, Tom. You. Yes, you.
Tom Voze: No, sir. You are confused.
General Gil Dillenbeck: No, I’m not confused.
Burt Berendsen: Between my own pill and getting shot, these eye drops are the only reason I’m standing and I feel no pain. And holy s**t. Look what’s happening in this room. Everything.
Valerie Voze: You poisoned me?
Tom Voze: If that’s what you want to call it, fine.
Burt Berendsen: That Tom had an angle was no surprise, but the horror of it. My God. Right under Valerie’s nose. They kept her distracted with the invented condition.
Libby Voze: Valerie, darling. All great societies are built this way. You live in a dream world with your strange sculptures. And that’s fine. You can have that. But it won’t make the world go round.
Valerie Voze: I’m very happy to be unimportant and live in a place that has love and beauty. Art and love, that’s what makes the life worth living, while you’re building this big, gigantic, terrifying future. What a waste of your imagination.
General Gil Dillenbeck: [to Tom] You thought you’d use these men to get me. But I used them and their event to reveal you, and stop your plan, for at least a decade. Maybe two or three more, hopefully.
Harold Woodman: Are you alright, Valerie? You’re shaking.
Valerie Voze: Oh, I’m fine. I was just thinking about shooting Tom and Libby in the face. I won’t do it. Don’t worry.
Burt Berendsen: You have to stand up to them, as we had done. And you have to live your truth.
Valerie Voze: I love Harold. He’s given me the greatest happiness of my life, as has Burt.
Burt Berendsen: [as Valerie kisses Harold] There it is. Look at that. That’s how you face such a world. You must have love in your heart for your life. It is love versus hate. I love my life and the people in it. Even Beatrice. And clear, not Portuguese, I’m-in-love-with-her Irma. Milton. Shirley at the office with Morty. The tapestry. Everything in it. Even my glass eye.
Burt Berendsen: Each one of us is given a tapestry, our own opera. This person and this person. Thinking about it. Love is not enough. You got to fight to protect kindness. You get attached to people and things. And they might just break your heart. But that’s being alive.
Burt Berendsen: My back brace that I so disliked had saved me from this bullet. And we three had helped stop this terrible plot. Burt Berendsen, Harold Woodman, and Valerie Voze.
Burt Berendsen: Valerie and Harold were no longer safe in this country. Friends for life means friends for life. You do whatever it takes. We had to get them on a boat that very night.
Harold Woodman: You’ll be seeing me again, Dr. Berendsen, because history repeats itself. Goodbye, old friend. We’ll see you in Amsterdam.
Henry Norcross: Oh, no. You’re not going to Amsterdam.
Burt Berendsen: What?
Paul Canterbury: It’s only a matter of time before the Gestapo kicks down your door.
Valerie Voze: What’s the Gestapo?
Henry Norcross: Yeah, you don’t want to know.
Valerie Voze: Burt, why don’t you come with us?
Burt Berendsen: I choose to stay. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find a new life and a new love.
Valerie Voze: I hope so. Because when it comes to love, there’s nothing quite so good as clarity.
Burt Berendsen: I stayed to stand up for my country so that one day, my best friends could come back.
Burt Berendsen: Part of me wished I did run with my friends. But I didn’t. You want for your heart and for your people to follow the right God home.