The Book Thief
Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson star in this inspiring film based on the bestseller about Liesel, (Sophie Nélisse), a girl adopted by a German couple (Rush and Watson) who hide a Jew (Ben Schnetzer) from Hitler's army.
© 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
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Emotional WWII drama explores loss, literacy, and love.
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Tomatometer®reviews counted: 20see all The Book Thief reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Fresh: If you can't do a thing right, sometimes it's best not to do it at all. Thankfully, "The Book Thief" gets more right than it doesn't.
- Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic, Thursday, November 14, 2013
Rotten: This plush, mawkish period drama, adapted from Markus Zusak's 2005 best-seller, might be useful as a means of introducing the Holocaust to small children, but it's indefensible on almost any other terms.
- Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Thursday, November 14, 2013
Rotten: And so another awards season brings another film (adapted from another international bestseller) offering up the unrelated and uncontroversial lessons that reading is good and Nazis are bad.
- Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, Friday, November 15, 2013
The Book Thief is a riveting drama set in the days of before the Second World War and during. This is an engaging story with a terrific cast. The film is a richly detailed tale about an adoptive girl who lives under the oppression of Nazi rule, and who defies Hitler's regime by stealing books in order to find an escape from the harsh realities of war. The plot is very well thought out, and it's told in a subtle way that you know that there is the terror of war, but the story only shows a few glimpses of that, and focuses more on the characters who are living through this dark period. Geoffrey Rush delivers a good performance here, and the rest of the cast bring something special to the screen, that really makes this a far better film than what critics have said. The Book Thief has its weak points, but overall, it's a highly entertaining and captivating picture. I felt at times, however that the film could have been better, and that some parts should have been reworked a bit to really make it standout. The Book Thief, as it stands, is a very good film, but one that could have been better. Despite its limitations, The Book Thief is worth seeing, and is a compelling drama that has plenty of worthwhile performances to make up for the lacking material. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the film, and thought it handled a dark subject matter in a subtle way, and it makes for a very good film. The Book Thief is a far better film that you might think, and though it doesn't stand out, it's still an entertaining piece of dramatic cinema, and one that relies on a cast of very talented actors and a good story to grab your attention. But like I said, it could have been reworked to make it a far more memorable film than what we got on-screen. Still, The Book Thief is worth checking out despite its flaws.
- TheDudeLebowski65, Sunday, January 12, 2014
Not having read the book first, I feel no remorse as to review it that way. I believe this would work so much better in novel form, due to it's time period and slow pacing. It is genuine when it needs to be and sad at the times you expect it to be, which works in it's favour, but when the story begins, it just feels like it could be told in a short 20 minute narrative of what comes next, rather than a 130 minute feature. I didn't really dislike anything about this film, I just didn't think it was anything spectacular. "The Book Thief" has a great performance by Geoffrey Rush and the conclusion will most definitely leave you in tears. Overall, I liked the movie, but it's very slow and it feels 30 minutes too long.
- fb733768972, Sunday, January 12, 2014