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Devil's Arithmetic Reviews

Page 2 of 10
June 2, 2013
Sixteen year old Hanna Stern (Kirsten Dunst) was a typical American teenager who ignored her family's heritage until a mystical Passover seder takes her back in time to German-occupied Poland on an emotional journey of life, death and survival. Transported to a dank, cold, concentration camp, she experiences the horrors of the holocaust and for the first time understands the grim reality of her people's fate. Fighting for survival, she keeps everyone's spirits up by entertaining them with stories of the future, but she soon must face a terrible sacrifice.

also stars Brittany Murphy, Paul Freeman, Mimi Rogers, Louise Fletcher, Nitzan Sharran, Shelly Skandrani and Kristy McFarland.

directed by Donna Deitch.
May 25, 2008
From where I stand, rather contrived and unnecessary when placed against the many other World War II films that portrayed such events and characters so much better. A lame highlight would be its smart title.
Marie King
November 10, 2012
A respectful film to book adaption, it depicts the atrocities of the Holocaust with realism and sensitivity, Kristen Dunst and Brittany Murphy give strong and genuine performances
October 8, 2012
It's a story that needs to be told, but as far as made for cable film go it's still crap from the questionable accents to the pathetic acting. this could have been so much better.
September 26, 2012
i'm sorry but it's forgettable :|
July 23, 2012
A great film. Very heartfelt. It's sad but a must see.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2012
Alternate title: "And This Is Why It's Important to Be a Good Little Jewish Girl." I know, I know, the film was based on a novel for children, so some simplification can't be avoided, and it was made for TV, which doesn't help.

As a movie that was shot in Toronto and in Vilnius, Lithuania (where I spent part of the summer of 2011, and learned a lot about Jewish Lithuanian history), I almost wish I had paid money for it, but it was so bad, I'm glad that I didn't. To yoke Passover and the Holocaust in this way feels cheap, and the heavy-handedness makes it virtually unwatchable. Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy are head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, talent-wise, though Murphy's performance (and accent) wavers from good to horribly over-acted and back a few times before the film ends. A well-intentioned film that, if not for its clunky explanatory frame and its clichéd, brutally-written middle, might have been worth watching; as it is, though, it's highly skippable.
December 1, 2011
It may not be a realistic depiction of the Holocaust, but "Devil's Arithmetic" is a well-done film that's able to provide a portrait of Jewish life in Nazi occupation. It's both depressing and essential to memory.

Kirsten Dunst is in the present-day (late 90's), playing as a bratty Jewish teenager who, instead of caring about her heritage, just wants to hang out with her friends and do what she wants. One night, she reluctantly goes to her Aunt Eva's for a Passover dinner. When she is asked to do a ritual, she opens the door and somehow travels back in time to Poland, just in time for a family wedding... and the Nazi invasion. As she's led away from the safety she's known and straight into peril, she learns a great deal and tries to provide hope for her fellow prisoners.

First of all, the cast may not seem stellar, but they do a surprisingly good job in conveying the joy and fear the Jews felt. Its suggestion that we must never forget what happened is a brilliant one at that, and is super-effective! Most who don't know much about the Holocaust will realize truly how devastating it was, just like the main character in this film. The sets and costumes are faithful to the period, and the score is really good.

At first, I thought it wasn't going to be too good. The intro just felt... too modern and out-of-place for a Holocaust film. And yes, the whole time travel thing seemed random and unorthodox, and had a few holes. However, they don't weaken the film's message. A few things were cut out, though; maybe there should've been more to the suffering endured (where were the numbers the Jews were branded with?) in this film. The accents were annoying to hear, and didn't seem that convincing.

Overall, "Devil's Arithmetic" is a good one to start off on the Holocaust subject of film. It is no "Schindler's List" (after all, this was made for television), but it sublimely fulfills its purpose.
November 15, 2011
saw this for class, very depressing
April 7, 2011
The acting was horrid.. The accents were worse.. It is of an important theme, but.... come on.... really???

Super Reviewer

April 4, 2011
I remember seeing this long time ago,I got really touth of it..some say it,s bad but I say give it a chans.The Wizard of Oz meets Schindler's List in this haunting Holocaust film executive-produced by Dustin Hoffman and Mimi Rogers. Kirsten Dunst stars in The Devil's Arithmetic as a flippant modern-day teen more interested in passing notes in history class than learning of the horrors her relatives endured during the Nazis' reign of terror. She finds out firsthand when she's mysteriously transported to WWII-era Poland and promptly carted off to a concentration camp. The usually brittle Dunst redeems herself nicely, and Arithmetic boasts a number of horrifyingly unforgettable images: an imprisoned mother trying desperately to hide her newborn from the Nazis, and an aging rabbi watching as his son is hung after an attempted escape.
April 4, 2011
Hannah Stern is Jewish girl living in the present day. She is bored by her relatives' stories about the past and not looking forward to the Passover Seder. When Hannah symbolically opens the door for the prophet Elijah, she is transported back in time to 1942 in Poland of World War II At that time and place, the people believe she is Chaya Abramowicz, who is recovering from cholera, the disease that killed Chaya's parents. The strange remarks Hannah/Chaya makes about the future and her inability to recognize her "aunt" Gitl and "uncle" Shmuel are blamed on the fever. At her uncle's wedding, the Nazis come to transport the entire population of the village to a concentration camp near Donavin, and only Hannah knows all the terrors that they will face: starvation, mistreatment, forced labor, and finally execution. She struggles to survive at the camp, with the help of a girl named Rivka. At the concentration camp, Aunt Gitl, Hannah, Uncle Shmuel, and some other men try to escape. The men are caught and shot in front of the inmates, except for Gitl and Hannah who return to their barracks and Yitzchak who escapes. Later, when Hannah and the girls from Viosk are talking, they are caught by a Nazi soldier, and Esther, Shifre and Rivka are sent to the gas ovens. As Rivka is about to be sent to the gas ovens for not working, Hannah takes Rivka's place and tells her to run. Then, as she is walking into "Lilith's Cave", and is transported back to her family's Seder. She notices Aunt Eva's number was the same as Rivka's, and while recounting her experience to her aunt, the aunt reveals that when she was in the concentration camps, she was called Rivka and was saved by a girl named Chaya Abramowicz.
February 12, 2008
I was expecting a lot from it, since I saw a scene from it a long time ago.
But I could not help myself feeling that it is so fake. this type of movies touch me by the realism they inspire, and it failed at this, I cannot say why.
scott g

Super Reviewer

October 13, 2010
dunst plays a spoilt american girl in 90s america, not getting or disrespecting the jewish part of her family, when talking about the past, with no explanation, shes transported back to the time of a round up of jewish, and put into camps, here she realises the inportance of it all, and her aragant modern attitude, a film aimed at the young, with the device they used, and for that it works, dunst, and especially brittany murthy do well with what they have, a typical tv movie of the week, which it was
March 24, 2010
Watched this in school and i really did enjoy it.
Very touching.
January 6, 2010
This was a Showtime production. Story was a little slow and the characters weren't as developed as I had hoped. Not the best Holocaust movie ever but the story had a good message and its something we should never forget. Acting by the late Brittany Murphy was splendid. Kirsten was decent.
Emma B.
September 22, 2009
I thought it was an interesting movie, not so keen on how she went back in time and stuff, that seemed pretty childish to me. But Over all I would probably watch it again.
Christine D.
June 11, 2009
Excellent movie!! A must see for anyone that is interested in the holocaust. Kirsten Dunst and Brittney Murphy are excellent.
May 10, 2009
I don't know much about being Jewish or anything like that. But I still enjoyed this movie, it is sad and Brittany Murphy and Kirsten Dunst are great in this film.
May 8, 2009
i was crying half way through the movie and cried all the way to the end. yes, it was that moving!
Page 2 of 10
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