The Reader - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Reader Reviews

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½ March 10, 2017
A captivating and moving holocaust drama that challenges ethical decisions on a number of issues. It is both bold and provocative in its nature but doesn't always seem genuine. Winslet and her young counterpart do wonders here and Fiennes just makes it all the better
March 2, 2017
Stephen Daldry manages to move Bernhard Schlink's great novel to the big screen, being a painful and touching story that shows the struggle between emotions against ethics and moral values, coming out the most difficult decisions which in life never end. The holocaust is approached from a challenging but well executed perspective where the uncertainties in thought and feeling and the feelings of guilt abound throughout the plot amazingly.
½ March 1, 2017
With the combination of Kate Winslet's incredible performance and Ralph Fiennes's compelling portrayal, The Reader is an absorbing, affectionate, complex, and heartbreaking post-war drama.
February 27, 2017
Much better than expected! A complicated move....
February 16, 2017
Kate Winslet was great in this film, totally deserving while The Reader just suffers from Oscar-bait tropes and a weird time gap with plot holes that aren't filled up. Also this film was nominated over two other films, but I won't say as you probably know what they are
February 12, 2017
Disgusting and dull. (First and only viewing - 3/15/2010)
December 19, 2016
This was absolutely a phenomenal movie! Kate Winslet was excellent in her role of Hanna Schmitz. What a great movie to watch. This is a movie that I'll watch over and over again because it's such a great movie.
½ December 17, 2016
this was not what i thought it was going to be; it was very scandalous - then frustrating, then sad, then happy, then sad again. not bad.
November 28, 2016
What a deep movie! The first 30-45 minutes with the affair was the most enjoyable and emotion filled portions of the movie. There were definitely some cool cinematic shots in terms of reflections, framing, and lighting and it really was filled with happiness. The last two thirds of the movie landed itself on the serious side as we explored the trial and later life of Michael. It's not a movie you watch to end up feeling happy but it explored some real life situations that some of us can relate to.
½ November 22, 2016
I found this film odd and disappointing. The first part of the movie focuses on a 15 year old boy's affair with a woman in her 30s in post WWII Germany. The film seems to take no position on this relationship, where the boy spends a summer reading books to this woman and sleeping with her after camp. She abruptly moves away without notice, leaving him to return to his age appropriate friends. Years later he finds himself in law school only to see her on trial for war crimes as a Nazi soldier while on a field trip. He realizes during the trial that while she is found to be the leader of the six women on trial, she in fact could not have written the smoking gun report, as she is illiterate. She spends 20 years in prison and as an adult he sponsors her release, only for her to take her life. While the movie raised issues of whether we are all guilty of not speaking up when we should, and exploring the idea that just because a person does one horrible thing it doesn't mean they are evil. At the same time, Kate Winslet's character is not overly sympathetic and I was left wondering, what is the point? Why should we feel sorry for a pedophile nazi war criminal? Does her caring relationship with him absolve her of any wrong doing? Does her lesser role as a guard prevent her from being a war criminal? Does her abuse of the boy excuse him remaining silent when he knew her sentence would likely be reduced if he came forward? While thought provoking, overall I didn't feel moved either way. Is the message that we are all just awful?
½ October 23, 2016
Interesting movie seen for the second time...don't know why i waited so long to see this again . Sexy , Smart ... SOMDVD
½ September 25, 2016
Una historia conmovedora, entretenida, las actuaciones son muy buenas, la cinematografía de igual forma, los personajes son agradables y entendibles.
½ September 2, 2016
If you enjoyed Stephen Daldry's 'The Hours,' you will surely enjoy this film. The film beautifully weaves together an emotionally intriguing story, and you strive to understand Hannah and Michael the best you can. What packs this story with complications for the modern viewer is the distance we have from the tensions during the WWII trials. To me this is the central challenge, and this film does a good job in delivering those delicate feelings to us in a beautiful story.
September 1, 2016
Very touching movie with ultra nuanced Kate Winslet performance as former ex-Nazi. The film deals with pretty controversial German guilt theme and deals with great caution.
½ August 21, 2016
Let's not all talk about Winslet's remarkable interpretation, despite her sometimes exagerated theatricality. Such a cast and production could've made something more memorable, although, given the excellent script, it'll remain one of the most peculiar movies around the Holocaust.
August 8, 2016
An emotional rollercoster. I have been wondering wether I love or hate this movie, but I cannot help it, I think it's fantastic.
June 27, 2016
For the most part this was very close to the book but I've learned not to demand perfection from adaptations.† There was one scene that I am heartbroken was not included.† In the book Hana shows up at the pool.†Behind the gate she stares at Michael almost accusingly as if to show him that he is the reason she is leaving.† I did like the film's faithfulness to the book but I didn't like the odd added relationship between adult Michael and his adult daughter.† What was the purpose of this?† I do recommend this but before you see it read the very short book.
May 10, 2016
Another catch up film of the past that I missed. Hands down, Kate Winslet's best performance to date IMHO. The melancholic performances in this film really carried the movie from being just another Oscar bait title. This one will forever depress me forever, I feel.
March 26, 2016
The Reader is a multi-layered period drama split into three distinct sections with the first following a graphic love affair between a 15 year-old boy and an adult female, the second section focusing on the slightly older boy studying law and taking part in a court case that the woman is being tried in and the third portion centers on the now grown-up boy reminiscing about their time together while she serves a life sentence for Nazi war crimes. Based on the German novel of the same name, the film is an extremely faithful adaptation of the book, to the point where I actually wish I had read the book instead because the story isn't exactly cinematic. What I mean by that is it's a very engaging story, but it's told in a very direct way and with my knowledge of film structure, I was able to predict all of the major beats in the film and the big revelation, that I otherwise may not have picked up as quickly while reading. The film is marvelously acted by Kate Winslet as Hanna Schmitz who harbors a humiliating secret and she plays the character with a sad, innocence well-deserving of her oscar win. David Kross was also great as the young man seduced into a life-changing experience that will forever alter his future and Ralph Fiennes also does exceptional work as the older version of him. The first section of the film is quite explicit and it's a bit uncomfortable watching a 15 year-old (the actor was actually 18) engage in so many sex scenes with a grown woman, thus I can only recommend this film for mature audiences. This is a deeply emotional film with terrific performances and excellent direction, but I do feel the book would be a more rewarding experience as I was able to predict most of the film.
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