Arrested in 1943 with her brother Hans (Hinrichs) for distributing pamphlets criticizing the war and the genocidal plans of the Nazi regime, young, fiercely intelligent German activist Sophie Scholl (Jentsch) squares off in court against Robert Mohr (Held), a cunning interrogator representing the Third Reich. When Hans finally confesses, Scholl boldly defends her views and ideals to a packed courtroom, knowing that the penalty for her actions is death.
Based on newly unearthed transcripts detailing the real-life trial of Scholl and other figures in Germany's White Rose resistance movement, Rothemund's faithful recreation has the nail-biting intensity of great courtroom drama combined with the oppressively sad weight of actual history. Jentsch is a marvel as the committed young woman whose bravery and refusal to cower before Nazi authority seems almost miraculous. André Hennicke is also memorable as a vituperative judge determined to silence Scholl. Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, "Sophie Scholl" is a chilling look at totalitarian justice and state power.