• PG-13, 1 hr. 46 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Mark Herman
    In Theaters:
    Nov 7, 2008 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 10, 2009
  • Miramax

Opening

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

Hank Sartin
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

November 17, 2011
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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The result isn't a deep film, but rather a profound one.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

May 13, 2009
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Young Scanlon and Butterfield are scathingly effective, never overplaying their roles.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 14, 2008
Tom Long
Detroit News
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In truth, the film is sure to stop the hearts of many who see it. There may indeed be hope in hell, but better to avoid hell altogether.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

November 14, 2008
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Because its gaze is so level and so unyielding, it stands as one of the better dramatic films made on this subject (although it's not nearly as fine as Louis Malle's Au Revoir les Enfants, in which the camps remain a distant abstraction).

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

November 14, 2008
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Although it's told from the perspective of a child, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is as shattering as any film about the Holocaust could be, perhaps more so.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

November 13, 2008
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
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I think that's what makes it so powerful, is because it is so small.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

November 10, 2008
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
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A beautiful film.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

November 10, 2008
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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The great conundrum of the Holocaust is that it was perpetrated by human beings, not monsters. Few movies have rendered this puzzle so powerfully.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A

November 7, 2008
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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When Bruno makes an effort to set things right, the film goes powerfully wrong.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

November 7, 2008
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
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That these boys could not fathom what was actually going on in the camps also rings true and is the reason why stories like this one must endure.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 7, 2008
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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This very unsubtle movie's heart is in the right place; its art, unfortunately, isn't.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

November 7, 2008
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Farmiga's emotional clarity and intensity have an almost cleansing quality -- so pristine, plain and right. This role takes her abilities and her career to a new level.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

November 7, 2008
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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Not everything in life, or in history, needs to be framed in terms of things children can relate to. I'm not talking about shielding kids; I'm just saying that some ideas are so horrific that they shouldn't be framed in childish terms.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

November 7, 2008
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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When it comes to the Holocaust, contrivance is neither welcome nor necessary.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

November 7, 2008
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Director Herman rarely pulls us out of Bruno's naive view of the world, which adds a layer of unsettling ominousness.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

November 7, 2008
Sheri Linden
Chicago Tribune
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Translating this dark fable to the screen, Herman for the most part maintains the book's oversimplification of historical events, but he nonetheless crafts an affecting drama that refuses to soft-pedal its harrowing conclusion.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/5

November 7, 2008
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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It tosses over all that finely drawn narrative caution and goes straight for the sensational, swinging its attention on Bruno's distraught mother and the breakdown of a single German family.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 7, 2008
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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The child in the striped pajamas is yours and mine and every child at any time.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

November 7, 2008
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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It reeks of self-righteousness.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 7, 2008
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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See the Holocaust trivialized, glossed over, kitsched up, commercially exploited and hijacked for a tragedy about a Nazi family. Better yet and in all sincerity: don't.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

November 7, 2008
John Anderson
Washington Post
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Yet another attempt to revisit a sorrowful event in history that should never be forgotten or used for entertainment.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

November 7, 2008
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
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It sounds ridiculous, and yet thanks to a remarkable concatenation of talent, it's horrifying rather than risible.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

November 7, 2008
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
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The faux-naive point of view probably worked better in the novel; the literalness of film renders certain of the story's conceits ... overly precious.

Full Review Source: NPR.org | Original Score: 4/10

November 7, 2008
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has a storybook innocence about it, by design.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

November 7, 2008
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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This beautifully rendered family film is told in a classic and old-fashioned style, in the best sense, providing poignant and powerful teachable moments.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 6, 2008
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The premise doesn't excuse lapses in logic, but the power of the story and the performances is indisputable.

| Original Score: 3/4

November 6, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not only about Germany during the war, although the story it tells is heartbreaking in more than one way. It is about a value system that survives like a virus.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 6, 2008
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas should be heartbreaking, but it isn't. The muted quality of its impact is the result of narrative shortcuts and a desire to keep the images from being too startling.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 5, 2008
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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As a Holocaust-for-kids fable, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is an appalling, jaw-dropping movie that will cause serious nightmares.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: D-

November 5, 2008
Hank Sartin
Time Out New York
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[Director] Mark Herman knows how to milk the melodrama from every scene, but viewers may feel a little icky about the experience.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/6

November 5, 2008
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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See it at all costs. It is both wonderful and devastating.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

November 5, 2008
Derek Elley
Variety
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John Boyne's almost unfilmable novel about a young German kid's-eye view of the Holocaust gets a solid, ultimately powerful translation to the bigscreen in Brit helmer Mark Herman's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 12, 2008
Derek Adams
Time Out
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Ultimately, though, it's the kids' movie; both Butterfield and Scanlon deliver strong, poignant performances. Just prepare to leave the screening feeling somewhat depressed.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/6

September 12, 2008
Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
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Writer-director Herman handles a difficult topic with great sensitivity, drawing splendid performances from his young actors with David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga and the other grown-ups reliably efficient.

September 11, 2008
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