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
    63%
  • Audience Score
    85%

common sense

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

4 stars

World War II's greatest horror as seen from the eyes of an innocent child. Quite a riveting drama, with magnificent acting all-around. The subject is really nothing new, but it has a fresh-thinking approach on how it takes us through it's story. Placing focus on the children, and their reactions to the strange and unfathomable actions by the adults around them, is a brilliant concept that made the film all the more engaging. For authenticity's sake, I would have prefer a German cast over a British one, but I suppose you can't get everything. At any rate, however, this a beautifully executed motion picture, with many powerful and heart-rending moments. Be sure not to miss it, because it's one of the best of its kind.

- CloudStrife84, Saturday, May 14, 2011

4 stars

World War II's greatest horror as seen from the eyes of an innocent child. Quite a riveting drama, with magnificent acting all-around. The subject is really nothing new, but it has a fresh-thinking approach on how it takes us through it's story. Placing focus on the children, and their reactions to the strange and unfathomable actions by the adults around them, is a brilliant concept that made the film all the more engaging. For authenticity's sake, I would have prefer a German cast over a British one, but I suppose you can't get everything. At any rate, however, this a beautifully executed motion picture, with many powerful and heart-rending moments. Be sure not to miss it, because it's one of the best of its kind.

- CloudStrife84, Saturday, May 14, 2011

3 stars

An upper class German boy befriends a boy in a concentration camp. Told from the perspective of a child, the foolishness of the adults in this story comes in stark relief, which is one of the film's strengths, especially considering all the films made on this subject. Good performances by Vera Farmiga and David Thewlis hammer home the film's point. I did think that the conclusion was contrived and needed too much help from the protagonists' naivete in order for it to work. Overall, this is a strong, unique film about the Holocaust.

- hunterjt13, Friday, June 8, 2012