• R, 2 hr. 3 min.
  • Drama, Romance
  • Directed By:
    Stephen Daldry
    In Theaters:
    Dec 10, 2008 Wide
    On DVD:
    Apr 14, 2009
  • The Weinstein Co./MGM


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The Reader Reviews

Page 1 of 10
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly

A tedious piece of awards bait that drains the color from both illicit sex and historical tragedy.

Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 31, 2008
Adam Tobias
Watertown Daily Times

...for the life of me I cannot figure out how the Academy Award voters could consider this film as year's most elite. Heck, I can't even understand how The Reader received five Oscar nominations.

Full Review Source: Watertown Daily Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

January 30, 2009
Gina Carbone
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)

How do you solve a problem like The Reader? It's deep and layered and sexy and Oscary and left no emotional impression. It happened and I left.

Full Review Source: Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine) | Original Score: 2.75/4

January 11, 2009
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

It's only when The Reader begins to dig at these big questions that the movie begins to feel slight and inadequate. As a soft-core love story, a seedy and silly male fantasy piece, it sort of works.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: 83/100

January 2, 2009
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Reader is low-budget, high-profile and beamed straight at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Category of High Moral Tone.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 11, 2008

Watching Daldry try to tuck the horrors of Nazi Germany into neat little hospital corners made for a singularly unsatisfying (however tidy) experience.

Full Review Source: MSNBC | Original Score: 2/5

December 9, 2008
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Told, coolly...the novel was hugely popular as well as controversial worldwide and an Oprah's Book Club selection besides. I'm afraid it needed a different set of interpreters to make any emotional sense of it onscreen.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

December 24, 2008
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Reader remains schematic, and ultimately reductive. It really is about literacy, which proves to be a dismayingly small answer to the enormous questions posed by Hanna's dark past.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

December 12, 2008
Fernando F. Croce


Full Review Source: CinePassion

August 26, 2009
Jolene Mendez
Entertainment Spectrum

"The Reader" definitely could have more to offer the listener.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum | Original Score: 3/5

January 5, 2009
Tony Macklin
Fayetteville Free Weekly

The Reader is the most undeserving of the five Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. A nice quality for a movie to have is if it has one or more characters to whom one can relate. In The Reader the two main characters are clods.

Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly | Original Score: 1.5/5

February 1, 2009
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Best evidence of what a magnetic presence Kate Winslet is: When her role diminishes in the second half of The Reader, the movie disintegrates.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 2/4

December 24, 2008
Karina Longworth

This is a film which asks us to contemplate the deeply complicated relationship between rational thought and instinctual feeling via a perverse intermingling of global horror and very, very local pain.

Full Review Source: SpoutBlog

December 12, 2008
Chris Barsanti

Without [Kate] Winslet, The Reader would be just another literary adaptation that got high on its own self-importance.

Full Review Source: PopMatters

December 12, 2008
Katey Rich

Were there any real passion or feeling behind it, The Reader might feel like more than just a space-filler on the inexorable march to Oscar night.

Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com | Original Score: 3/5

December 1, 2008
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter David Hare exhibit a continued inability to thrillingly translate literary forms to the screen.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

December 7, 2008
Kam Williams

Springtime for Hitler, the sequel!

Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Original Score: 1/4

February 1, 2009
Eric D. Snider

Whatever legitimacy the story once had must have been lost in translation, because what appears on the screen is a cold, artless lump.

Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com | Original Score: C-

December 21, 2008
Philippa Hawker
The Age (Australia)

The film...hankers after something redemptive. But whatever difficult possibilities about guilt and silence it explores are dissolved into disconcerting blandness.

Full Review Source: The Age (Australia) | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 20, 2009
Julie Rigg
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

The Reader does not succeed as a coherent film, despite some fine work by actors and the filmmakers' best intentions.

Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National

February 20, 2009

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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