Jakob the Liar

1999

Jakob the Liar

Critics Consensus

Any real story is buried by awkward performances and contrived situations.

29%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 72

63%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,744
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Movie Info

This remake of the 1975 German film Jakob der Lügner stars Robin Williams in a dramatic role as a man who uses his active imagination to bring a ray of hope where hope was all but unknown. Jakob Heym (Robin Williams) is the owner of a small café during the Nazi occupation of Poland; he has little money and is struggling to keep body and soul alive in the shadow of the Third Reich. One day, he overhears a radio broadcast, forbidden to Polish ears, that reports a major victory for Russian troops over the German army. Enthusiastic about this good news, Jakob begins spreading word of the Russian army's progress through the Polish ghetto. He notices that the story gives people hope and makes it easier for them to get through the day. So Jakob begins inventing stories and passing them along, creating fictional war reports that suggest that the occupation may soon be ending. However, when the occupation troops get wind of these stories, they become convinced that someone has communications equipment stashed away somewhere, and they're determined to find both the radio and its operator at all costs. Jakob the Liar was the first American feature for director Peter Kassovitz; the supporting cast includes Armin Mueller-Stahl, Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban, and Liev Schreiber.

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Critic Reviews for Jakob the Liar

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (23)

Audience Reviews for Jakob the Liar

  • May 15, 2010
    I loved this movie. Robin Williams and Liev Schreiber were outstanding. This movie is set during WW2 in Warsaw where Nazis have taken control of a community of Jews. Jakob is one of the jews and somehow the word gets out that he owns a radio which according to Nazis is not allowed. Jakob tells his fellow citizens news that he claims that he has heard on the radio and this keeps the hopes up in the community, hopes that the war will soon have an end. This truly is a touching story and it is so well played by these talented actors.
    Naughtia N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2010
    I liked it. It was definately a different spin on the typical Holocaust movie. I liked the ending as well.
    Sarah P Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 2009
    Unique and interesting. Definitely a differnt role for Robin. I love him and LIev though. It was a cute story. Maybe cute isnt the right word to use though. Im not really sure what to call it. It was alright though, nothing amazing, a little too long. But still. Its not a bad film.
    Sarah . Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2009
    I admire Robin Williams as an actor but I have no time for "holocaust" movies. To me they are nothing more than awards bait. I don't believe a single one has ever truly portrayed what actually went on, and a diet version of such events is criminal. This film tries to show the harshness but the tone is too light and nothing happens that you don't expect.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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