The Counterfeiters joins a small group of films in which characters are faced with the "choiceless choices" of "gray zone" situations. Its characters must decide whether to assist the Nazis in a counterfeiting operation or sacrifice themselves for the greater good. While suspense is generated in the film through debates among the characters about their moral decisions, the director has fit the story into a thriller genre format and acknowledged his intention to provide universal messages for a contemporary audience. This has given the film wide appeal and earned it the 2008 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. However, The Counterfeiters ultimately allows its thriller action plot to overshadow the moral issues it addresses, so that in the end its contribution to the ongoing dialog in film about morality and the Holocaust is compromised.