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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.
All Critics (137)
| Top Critics (35)
| Fresh (86)
| Rotten (51)
| DVD (8)
[Director] Mark Herman knows how to milk the melodrama from every scene, but viewers may feel a little icky about the experience.
The result isn't a deep film, but rather a profound one.
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.
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.
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).
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.
This intelligent film offers a fresh perspective on an oft-portrayed period, asking the viewer to question his own assumptions about what he expects and wants from such a telling.
Not without its qualities, the movie ultimately does a disservice to the very people it purports to represent.
A film dealing with the Holocaust really should be a little less clumsily executed, manipulative and contrived than this.
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.
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.
Much of the film depends on our ability to suspend disbelief and see the world as Bruno sees it. It has a finale designed to shock.
Moving film about those in concentration camps in WWII. Good performances.
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.
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.
If you've read my review for Pearl Harbor, then you'll know that I had a bad experience when my teacher showed a movie in a history class. Thankfully, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is different from Pearl Harbor. This movie was actually good, really good as a matter of fact. I had not seen the movie prior to watching it in my history class and I heard a lot of things about it:
"It's a really good movie."
"It's so sad!"
"I love this movie!"
"This movie sucks because there's no action."
That last comment was actually said by one of my friends, so clearly I have little faith in today's generation of movie-goers. To start, this movie got me hooked almost right away. Just from the opening scene I could tell that the little boy was going to go through some tough stuff. Asa Butterfield (Very interesting name) plays young Bruno and he did a really good job. David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga (two extremely underrated actors) play the mother and father and do a great job. I really liked how they showed how young children were brainwashed into thinking Jews were bad people. There's this one scene where the kids have a tutor and he's reading a bunch of crap about how Jews were responsible for the war. Seeing the guy I was thinking to myself "That guy is a dick but he represents what life was like back then." Overall it had great acting, a great plot, the friendship between Bruno and the Jewish prisoner was really well done and the ending actually almost had me crying. I won't spoil the ending but it's one of those things where when it happens, you just say "Oh my god, did that just happen?" Great movie though, I'd definately watch it again.
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