The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

Top Critic
Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 13, 2009
The result isn't a deep film, but rather a profound one.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 14, 2008
Young Scanlon and Butterfield are scathingly effective, never overplaying their roles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
November 14, 2008
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 | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 14, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
November 13, 2008
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 | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
November 10, 2008
I think that's what makes it so powerful, is because it is so small.
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
November 10, 2008
A beautiful film.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 7, 2008
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 | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 7, 2008
When Bruno makes an effort to set things right, the film goes powerfully wrong.
Top Critic
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
November 7, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 7, 2008
This very unsubtle movie's heart is in the right place; its art, unfortunately, isn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 7, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 7, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 7, 2008
When it comes to the Holocaust, contrivance is neither welcome nor necessary.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 7, 2008
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
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Chicago Tribune
November 7, 2008
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 | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
November 7, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 7, 2008
The child in the striped pajamas is yours and mine and every child at any time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
November 7, 2008
It reeks of self-righteousness.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
November 7, 2008
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 | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Washington Post
November 7, 2008
Yet another attempt to revisit a sorrowful event in history that should never be forgotten or used for entertainment.
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
November 7, 2008
It sounds ridiculous, and yet thanks to a remarkable concatenation of talent, it's horrifying rather than risible.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
November 7, 2008
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 | Original Score: 4/10
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 7, 2008
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has a storybook innocence about it, by design.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 6, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 6, 2008
The premise doesn't excuse lapses in logic, but the power of the story and the performances is indisputable.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 6, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 5, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 5, 2008
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 | Original Score: D-
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 5, 2008
See it at all costs. It is both wonderful and devastating.
Top Critic
Derek Elley
Variety
September 12, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
September 12, 2008
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 | Original Score: 4/6
Top Critic
Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
September 11, 2008
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.