The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) (2008)



Critic Consensus: A touching and haunting family film that deals with the Holocaust in an arresting and unusual manner, and packs a brutal final punch of a twist.

Movie Info

Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis, and Asa Butterfield star in Little Voice writer/director Mark Herman's adaptation of John Boyne's novel concerning the forbidden friendship that between an eight-year-old German boy and a Jewish concentration camp prisoner in World War II-era Germany. The innocent son of a high-ranking Nazi commandant, Bruno has been largely shielded from the harsh realities of the war. When Bruno discovers that his father has been promoted and that their family will be moving from … More

Rating: PG-13 (for some mature thematic material involving the Holocaust)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Mark Herman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 10, 2009
Box Office: $9.0M
Miramax - Official Site


as Shmuel

as Father

as Lt Kotler

as Gretel

as Grandfather

as Grandmother

as Herr Liszt
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas)

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Critic Reviews for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas)

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (34)

The result isn't a deep film, but rather a profound one.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Not without its qualities, the movie ultimately does a disservice to the very people it purports to represent.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012

A film dealing with the Holocaust really should be a little less clumsily executed, manipulative and contrived than this.

Full Review… | July 14, 2011
Digital Spy

Built upon a powerful but gimmicky end, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas would make a fine short. As a full-length feature, though, the pajamas wear thin quickly.

Full Review… | August 14, 2009

We are left in no doubt about the brutality of what's going on there but it's almost entirely off-screen. Still, the film is terribly confronting.

Full Review… | May 1, 2009
Sydney Morning Herald

This writer can't remember witnessing a harder-hitting kids' movie denouement than the one that closes this microcosm of middle-class German family life in WWII.

Full Review… | April 24, 2009
Time Out Sydney

Audience Reviews for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas)


Moving film about those in concentration camps in WWII. Good performances.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

An oversimplification of the Holocaust, yes, as a very young German boy during WWll accidentally discovers exactly what his camp commandant dad does for a living, but to be forgiven its chosen naive viewpoint in respect to its chosen naive audience: a perfect film for schools.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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