The Book Thief (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Book Thief (2013)



Critic Consensus: A bit too safe in its handling of its Nazi Germany setting, The Book Thief counters its constraints with a respectful tone and strong performances.

Movie Info

Based on the beloved international bestselling book, The Book Thief tells the story of an extraordinary, spirited young girl sent to live with a foster family in WWII Germany. Intrigued by the only book she brought with her, she begins collecting books as she finds them. With the help of her new parents and a secret guest under the stairs, she learns to read and creates a magical world that inspires them all.more
Rating: PG-13 (for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Petroni
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 11, 2014
Box Office: $21.5M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Roger Allam
as Death, Narrator/Deat...
Heike Makatsch
as Liesel's Mother
Julian Lehmann
as Liesel's Brother
Gotthard Lange
as Grave Digger
Kirsten Block
as Frau Heinrich
Ludger Bokelmann
as Football Urchin #1
Paul Schalper
as Football Urchin #2
Nozomi Linus Kaisar
as Fat Faced Goalie
Oliver Stokowski
as Alex Steiner
Robert Beyers
as Jewish Accountant
Robert Beyer
as Jewish Accountant
Levin Liam
as Franz Deutscher
Rafael Gareisen
as Walter Nazi Soldier
Carl Heinz Choynski
as Jüergen the Groundsm...
Carina Wiese
as Barbara Steiner
Rainer Bock
as Buergmeister Hermann
Barbara Auer
as Ilsa Hermann
Sebastian Hülk
as Gestapo Agent
Beata Lehmann
as Woman with Champagne
Laina Schwarz
as Neighbor
Georg Tryphon
as Neighbor
Martin Ontrop
as Herr Lehmann
Jan Andres
as Fellow Conscript
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Book Thief

Critic Reviews for The Book Thief

All Critics (134) | Top Critics (38)

Ultimately not much more complex than the moment in which two children yell "I hate Hitler" across a lake, it imparts the message that Nazis are bad, books are good, and Geoffrey Rush would make a great dad even in WWII Germany

Full Review… | May 5, 2014

This extremely moving drama suggests the Holocaust story Ray Bradbury might have written: Events are seen through a child's eyes; books are shown to contain a healing, transformative power; and the supernatural is real, if symbolic.

Full Review… | March 24, 2014
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Zusak's story is stirring, and it holds the film up during most of its predictable parts, but The Book Thief never rises too far above that. The narration from Death only serves to make it more like some sort of fantastical fairy tale.

Full Review… | March 22, 2014

Regrettably this poignant and profound story, does not feel very poignant nor profound at all.

Full Review… | March 10, 2014

Showing tragic events through a child's eyes can be a powerful storytelling strategy, but there's something altogether too cosy and bland about Downton Abbey director Brian Percival's handling of the material here.

Full Review… | March 8, 2014
Movie Talk

Tthe film sees Nelisse give a wonderful performance; indeed, the performances are all round good, but the film lacks emotional depth.

Full Review… | March 7, 2014
Irish Independent

Audience Reviews for The Book Thief

The narrative style that this movie takes isn't the worst part of this movie. Occasionally funny and sweet but not enough to save you from the boredom that ensues!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer


Messy as this aseptic drama is from a narrative point of view, with language inconsistencies and dozens of pointless elements, it is also a mystery what it wants to say after all, lacking emotional weight and tension while being completely detached from the real world.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Courage beyond words.

Great Film! "The Book Thief" has wonderful photography by Florian Ballhaus, an excellent musical score by Golden Globe and Oscar winning John Williams, and best of all, marvelous acting from Sophie Nelisse as the young girl, Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson as her adoptive parents, and Ben Schnetzer as the Jewish boy they hide. Many of the core scenes with Nelisse, Watson, and Rush should be required viewing at any acting school. If the film has any fault at all, it is the decision by the film makers to try to walk a fine line between drama and fable. Having "Death" as the narrator right from the start seems to suggest fable, but the story itself veers sharply to drama for most of the 2+ hours, and then, noticeably at the end, reverts to fable. Some viewers may find this disconcerting. But the power of the story and the acting generally compensate for this short coming.

Based on the beloved bestselling book, THE BOOK THIEF tells the story of a spirited and courageous young girl who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a foster family in World War II Germany.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

The Book Thief Quotes

– Submitted by Donna J (22 months ago)
– Submitted by Baylee E (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Diana R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Greg J (2 years ago)

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