Box art for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

drama, thrillers

Bored and restless in his new home, Bruno, an innocent and naïve eight year old, ignores his mother and sets off on an adventure in the woods. Soon he meets a young boy, and a surprising friendship develops.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Holocaust drama sensitive, but never sentimental.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this intense World War II-set drama follows a young boy whose father, a German officer, has moved the entire family close to his new assignment -- running a death camp dedicated to the mass extermination and murder of Jewish prisoners. The boy befriends a prisoner on the other side of the wire even as his teachers and parents explain to him about how "the Jew" is the enemy. Given the subject matter, the film -- which culminates in a room full of people being killed with poison gas -- could be difficult to watch for viewers of any age. There's also some drinking and smoking and concentration camp violence.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what teens know about the Holocaust. What upset them in the movie? Why?
  • Ask your kids whether they think people can be good and evil at thesame time. Then you can go into the discussion of how the Holocaust waskept secret. Was it actually hidden, or did people know and simply lookthe other way?
  • Families can also discuss what keeps drawing filmmakersand audiences to this subject material.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I was worried at first that The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was going to be like a typical BBC dramatisation; posh accents, bad child actors and Sheila bloody Hancock. Thankfully the film finds its feet within about 15 minutes (in the nick of time) and the story, mood and pace are set. It is a thoughtful story, is filmed well and the acting is acceptable, it is the ending that really makes this film something special. Mark Herman didn't do a bad job, he certainly wouldn't have been my first choice of director and even though I enjoyed it and would recommend it, I can't help but think someone else could have adapted it and made a masterpiece. Still, like I said, I still recommend it!

- SirPant, Wednesday, September 8, 2010

5 stars

What a fabulous movie -- It puts a really human face on the Holocaust -- But beware, a very sad ending!

- sainttom93, Thursday, August 26, 2010

4 stars

A powerful film with a great cast. The Boy In The Strped Pajamas is a terrifc drama film set during World War II and surrounds the family of an SS officer. The Young befriends a young Jewish boy, but doesn't understand that they are murdered for Hitler's final solution.. Drama unfolds for the family as their young son is gased to death by accident by sneaking into the camp and mixing himself with other prisoners. A terrific film not to be missed.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Thursday, July 15, 2010