Schindler's List

Critics Consensus

Schindler's List blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg's signature tender humanism to create the director's dramatic masterpiece.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 100

97%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 411,603

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Movie Info

Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons. When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.

Cast & Crew

Liam Neeson
Oskar Schindler
Ben Kingsley
Itzhak Stern
Caroline Goodall
Emilie Schindler
Jonathan Segal
Poldek Pfefferberg
Embeth Davidtz
Helen Hirsch
Malgoscha Gebel
Victoria Klonowska
Shmuel Levy
Wilek Chilowicz
Mark Ivanir
Marcel Goldberg
Steven Zaillian
Screenwriter
Kathleen Kennedy
Executive Producer
John Williams
Original Music
Janusz Kaminski
Cinematographer
Michael Kahn
Film Editor
Tova Cypin
Casting
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News & Interviews for Schindler's List

Critic Reviews for Schindler's List

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (97) | Rotten (3)

  • The film's epic sweep and grasp of detail are exemplary, while some scenes could make even a lump of granite weep. This is Spielberg's most grown-up film.

    February 4, 2020 | Full Review…

    Geoff Brown

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It's a stunning achievement, a film that re-creates the Holocaust not as something abstract, but as felt knowledge.

    April 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • With seemingly effortless grace and skill, Schindler's List balances fear and exaltation, humor and horror, love and death. It evokes, superbly, a time of savagery and grief, and the inexplicable, stunning compassion that rises within and against it.

    February 23, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Spielberg ultimately remains Spielberg, finding his enduring themes within Thomas Keneally's novel and giving them the full Spielberg treatment.

    February 17, 2015 | Full Review…
  • For this film Spielberg has done the best directing of his career. Much of his previous work has been clever and some of it better than that, but Schindler's List is masterly.

    January 7, 2014 | Full Review…
  • More than any previous non-documentary Holocaust movie, this one convinces through the accumulation of such detail.

    May 6, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Schindler's List

  • Feb 10, 2017
    So vivid. So necessary. So powerful is Schindler's List it may be the most important film for every human to watch. And yet the film's brutal atmosphere may make it difficult to some to handle. This film is an experience. It puts the audience through the emotional wringer. It engulfs you with its accurate depiction of the Holocaust that the audience can't help but feel thankful for the lives that we live today. Steven Spielberg masterfully directs the film which is a sprawling three hours, but not a minute is wasted. The film is wholly involving depicting the terror and even occasional dark humor of the period, although laughing in a movie like this seems highly wrong. The film wraps itself up with some potently emotional scenes that highlight Liam Neeson's fantastic acting and a tribute to the man responsible for saving so many. Schindler's List is not easy cinema in the least, but it is masterful and very vital for those to view and remember a past that we'd be lucky never to experience. Rating: 95
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Sep 20, 2016
    Schindler's List is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Liam Neeson as Oscar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of hundreds of Polish Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. Ben Kingsley also stars as Itzhak Stern, a Jewish accountant under Schindler's employ, and Ralph Fiennes as Nazi officer Amon Goth. Has there ever been a movie you've always wanted to see but have never taken the time to watch? That was my situation with Schindler's List. I had heard fantastic things about it, but just didn't want to take the 3+ hours to sit down and watch. I jumped at the first good opportunity I had to view this movie, and I'm glad I did. Schindler's List is a masterpiece. Typically, I'm not the biggest fan of Spielberg movies. I find a lot of his works are a bit overrated. However, there's no denying that he is an expert when it comes to crafting a production. Every stylistic decision Spielberg made paid off; the black-and-white recording effectively painted the bleakness and hopelessness of the Holocaust, and the cinematography and editing always matched the scene presented (quick edits during the frantic purges, etc). There was also one big instance of color in the film: Schindler spotted a little girl in a red coat running during a scene where Jews were being purged out of their homes. Later, Schindler saw that girl dead, still wearing her red coat. To me, that symbolized the turning point in Schindler's mindset, where he went from businessman to savior. Little things like this throughout the film really stood out, and John Williams' score only magnified the emotional impact of each scene. Of course, it helps that Spielberg had tremendous talent to work with. Liam Neeson delivers his best performance to date as the layered Schindler, and Kingsley and Fiennes give powerful deliveries as well. Neeson especially delivers towards the end of the movie, his scene with Fiennes about what power really is standing out. And yes, I teared up at the end during Schindler's final scene with his employees. I hate to be nit-picky with a movie like this, but there is one thing that bugged me. The length of scenes depicting the hardship of the Jews were unnecessarily long. I understand that it's that way on purpose to emphasize the horror of the Holocaust, but a lot of those scenes seemed to go on and on. Some of those scenes could have been cut down without sacrificing their impact. It would have helped the run time of the movie as well, keeping it at 3 hours instead of going over. Overall, this is a must-see for everybody, movie fan or not. Spielberg delivers what I believe to be his best film, and the entire cast shows up to play. I'll probably never watch this movie again, but I'm forever glad I did. If you find yourself in the right mindset with 3+ hours to kill, go watch Schindler's List and let it change your life. Final grade: A -Ben
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 09, 2014
    Though surprisingly contained for a film that lasts more than three hours, Shindler's List nonetheless manages to feel like a much shorter film than it is, thanks to a strong script that tackles the horrors of the Holocaust but doesn't forget to remain engaging, and a strong performance by Liam Neeson in the lead role.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2014
    Schindler's List is a silhouette of creativity and a real live portrait of the events that went on during World War II. What's great about it is that you have to go back to it a million times over to truly understand it. The magnitude of something that great is not easily discovered nor explained.
    Jackson W Super Reviewer

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