The Book Thief - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Book Thief Reviews

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November 24, 2017
I read the reviews and I wonder if the critics even watched the movie. I loved this film. It is real and just because it's not full of gore and curse words and sex, it is still a deep and poignant story, beautifully acted, very complex. I was never bored, not for a second. I laughed and I cried and I loved it.
November 8, 2017
Esse filme eh maravilhoso!
August 19, 2017
GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) Scott, we re caught red-handed. It s time to review The Book Thief.

SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) Indeed. The lead character certainly stole my heart.

GREG: It s 1938 and in Nazi Germany it s not safe to be anyone who is not in the Party. 12-year-old Liesel Meminger s (Sophie N lisse) communist mother has arranged for kindly Hans Huberman (Geoffrey Rush) and not-so-kindly Rosa Huberman (Emily Watson) to look after her daughter. Liesel isn t in town long before she meets a very cute young boy named Rudy (Nico Liersch). Liesel has a secret. At her brother s burial, she stole a book from a grave digger. Hans asks her about the book and learns she cannot read. He then determines to teach her and covers the basement walls with chalkboards where she can write her dictionary words and become a proper reader.

SCOTT: The Hubermans hide a Jew in their basement, a young man named Max (Ben Schnetzer) who is the son of a man who saved Hans life during World War I. Liesel and Max become great friends. There are times when Max almost gets caught by the Nazis and when he almost dies from illness. Liesel has a job delivering laundry to the mayor and is invited into the mayor s huge library, where she is dazzled by the abundance of books. The war slowly heats up and the movie shows us how Liesel and her family attempt to survive soon-to-be bombed out Germany.

GREG: Scott, Liesel is just adorable as a young girl coming of age in one of the most depressing times in human history. She is burdened with many secrets: her mother, her stolen book, her illiteracy, and the man in the basement. She soldiers on demonstrating more maturity than many adults in such a situation. As a hero, we witness her growth from a shy, timid girl into a young woman of unusual courage. She finds a way to gain access to many books so that she can read to Max while he is sick. Rudy calls her a thief, but she insists she is only borrowing the books.

SCOTT: You re right, Greg, this is a great hero story about a girl who is forced by abhorrent circumstances to grow up too fast. The Book Thief is exactly the kind of movie that I was pining away for last summer when we were subjected to one mindless action flic after another. The Book Thief could be accused of being slow and plodding, but I enjoyed the deliberate pacing of events which allowed us to truly get to know and love the characters. This is one of those movies that teaches us some important life lessons. We learn the dangers of nationalism, the senselessness of racism, and the horrors of warfare. We also learn the importance of telling people that you love them while they re still around, or in Liesel s case, kissing people you love while they re still alive.

GREG: True enough. There s a scene where the Nazi party is having a book burning event. It s hard to imagine such books as H. G. Wells The Invisible Man seen as a danger to society. I was struck by how easily we have access to books in our culture. With the abundance of libraries, bookstores, and online outlets, we often take books for granted. And I was given pause by the rise in the popularity of eBooks and wondered if this weren t a modern book burning? If all the print books are gone, how easy would it be to control what we can and cannot read? Still, the point of The Book Thief lies elsewhere. It s a story of a young girl who grows up loving books and loving the people around her in a time when love seems like a four letter word. As a writing coach I was warmed as I watched Liesel overcome her illiteracy and become both a strong young woman and a strong reader and writer. I give The Book Thief 4 out of 5 Reels and Liesel 4 out of 5 Heroes. Movie: Heroes:

SCOTT: The supreme importance of books and literacy is a major take-home message of The Book Thief. Her passion for reading is what cements her relationship with her father and with Max. The wisdom that she gleans from the books is a symbol of freedom of thought that is independent from the Nazi oppression all around her. Her thievery of books is the necessary rebelliousness from that oppression and from so many of the dark forces all around her that she cannot control. This is a wonderful gem of a movie, Greg. Sophie N lisse shines in her role as Liesel and I m sure we ll see much more of her in the movies. I highly recommend The Book Thief and also give it 4 Reels out of 5. It was a joy watching Liesel come of age and evolve into a brave young woman. I give her 4 Heroes out of 5 as well. Movie: Heroes:
August 15, 2017
An enjoyable watch, it drags you in pretty quickly and keeps you held tightly. The ending let it down for me quite a bit, very sudden and rushed however its a very good watch.
July 22, 2017
great story, enjoyed this one
June 18, 2017
Beautiful movie.Great performance by the newcomer Sophie Nelisse !
½ May 6, 2017
Heartbreaking, emotional and tragic, The Book Thief is a another side of WWII that we haven't seen often in movies. Solid and with a strong performances by the cast, even if his third act lost a little bit of momentum, overall is a powerful drama. (3,5/5)
½ May 6, 2017
I think this film is the perfect example of the way that narrative techniques that work brilliantly in book form can fail to fit when adapted to a visual medium. The narrator of the film is Death himself, not a skulking beast as often portrayed, but a compassionate and unyielding force of nature with a curious and mostly harmless attachment to the lead character. This narrative conceit worked very well on the page, where every word comes from the narrator's lips, but in film not every moment can be narrated or it quickly becomes a "and then I watched as she brushed her teeth" type of drain. And what that means is that the narration is only intermittent and utterly out of place with the rest of the fairly realistic setting.

Given the focus on death, you'd expect the film to deal a lot with the pain of loss and the heartbreak of war. You'd be wrong. Losses do come and they do hurt people, but for the most part they're just passed over in silence. And most of them happen in one big (literal) burst at the end, leaving us with nothing to do but wrap up. And it's here that the painfully sympathetic Death really stands out like a sore thumb. Because when Death is such a friendly presence why are individual deaths tragic? It can probably be made to work, but it doesn't here.

In the end I felt nothing. And that's a real shame because the movie is blessed with some extremely strong performances. That's to be expected from Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson obviously, but the child actors are truly first rate as well. Particularly the lead girl and her close friend. They never felt stagey or out of step with the reality of the piece. The film had some wonderful production values too, really capturing the feel of everyday life in Nazi Germany.

I appreciated their avoidance of many of the cliches I've come to expect from such films. I waited till the very end for her friend in the Hitler Youth to sell her out, or consider selling her out, or even be conflicted about her obvious distaste for the Nazis, but it didn't happen. He actually joined in on her bandwagon. Unfortunately, in avoiding cliches it failed to provide any real substitute for the drama those cliches are there to produce. And as such, I left the film feeling empty and unsatisfied, for all that the cast and tone made me want to enjoy it.
½ April 26, 2017
I never read the book, but I enjoyed the movie. Good performances. The Christmas scene made me laugh. Took me a while to appreciate & understand the narrator.
½ April 22, 2017
Good story but not gripping and the characters lacked depth. Emily Watson and Sophie Nelisse were brilliant.
April 15, 2017
This is a great film well worth watching if you like a film with a story, an intelligent well thought out film a hidden gem
April 8, 2017
Nothing compared to the book
April 8, 2017
A definite classic. Beautiful cinematography. Amazing story from a different view of WWII Germany. Did the book justice. Loved the acting. Can't praise this movie enough!
½ April 2, 2017
The Book Thief is an amazing story. I found it very interesting and quite touching. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you do so. Though, I regret not reading the book, I am glad that I decided to watch the movie beforehand.
March 27, 2017
First, I read the book. Then, as soon as it was available, I downloaded the movie. I don't understand the negative reviews. All I saw was a masterpiece.
½ March 18, 2017
The ending should've been better in my case. But overall a nice film. Loved the narration.
½ February 20, 2017
A disgraceful adaption!
February 12, 2017
1993's Schindler's List Is My Fifth Favorite Film Of All Time.
February 7, 2017
I haven't read the book this was based on, but the movie was quite watchable. It was just a little too sentimental in parts for my liking.
½ January 26, 2017
RECOMENDABLE: Sophie Nelisse desparrama dulzura como Liesel Meminger, una niña que es enviada por su madre para ser criada por una familia de clase media baja en el contexto de la Alemania Nazi y en pleno estallido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. En Ese ambiente, Liesel trata de adaptarse a la escuela y a su nueva familia, y empieza a descubrir un nuevo mundo a través de la lectura. Fascinada por el primer libro que pudo terminar de leer tan pronto como aprendió, se verá ávida por nuevas historias y aventuras en aquellos libros que lea, que son su pasión. Desde su inocencia y su inteligencia aprenderá a afrontar los duros dramas de lo que esta guerra significó para aquellos que desde Alemania no estaban de acuerdo con las políticas hitlerianas.
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