A brilliant skinhead (Ryan Gosling) joins an underground anti-semitic sect, leading the debate on group policy, while personally targeting Jews with his own degenerate gang. Through flashbacks, it is soon revealed that he himself is Jewish and was once a gifted and discerning student at Hebrew school. When a New York Times reporter catches wind of his story, he finds his credibility threatened, and his belief system shaken once again. Based on a true story, The Believer takes the same approach as American History X by deconstructing racism through the presentation of a rabid, intellectual bigot. Like that film, it also features a strong central performance, here by Ryan Gosling, which is made all the more impressive by the fact that he was twenty years old when he filmed it. Also similar to the earlier movie, The Believer is inclined towards pretensions and moralizing which strains what is occasionally a very powerful statement.