The Book Thief - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Book Thief Reviews

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½ November 21, 2016
One of the worst movies ever made
½ October 17, 2016
I jus saw the movie on cable, and i wonder about the review and find out rotten tomates did fresh this movie, really the movie great !!
½ October 5, 2016
A film beautifully adapted from a great novel! Stellar performances from each cast member!
½ October 1, 2016
Tries to be complex, but fails by all accounts. Some brilliant cinematography, but altogether a lengthy sweet pie. Holocaust becomes cozy and kitschy with John Williams as fidller on the roof.
September 11, 2016
1993's Schindler's List Is My Fifth Favorite Film Of All Time.
September 6, 2016
I loved the book and loved the movie. Best movie since Disney's Pollyanna! Love the cast!
August 20, 2016
I believe some critics were a bit too harsh in judging this film. I found it beautiful, touching and inspiring, well- written,masterfully acted and directed.
½ August 16, 2016
Oh, the horror! No, not the horror of war. Well, that too. I'm referring to the horror of taking a perfectly good book and turning it into a perfectly awful movie. THE BOOK THIEF is the film adaptation of the very popular 2005 novel of the same name by Australian author, Markus Zusak.

It is 1938, Nazi Germany, and Liesel Meminger is a young German girl who is brought to the home of an older couple, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, as they have agreed to foster her. It is unclear to Liesel why her mother had to give her up but she seems to take it all in stride... at least she does in the movie. At the funeral for her younger brother who has died en route to the Hubermanns, Liesel snatches up the gravedigger's funeral guide as a souvenir. With that act, she embarks on a pastime of book thieving, or "book borrowing" as she calls it. As war falls upon the residents of Himmel Street in the fictional Munich working class suburb of Molching, favours are called in, secrets are kept and alliances are made... all while Death watches and waits. Needless to say, Death doesn't have to wait very long as the war turns against the Nazis, which everyday Germans pay for dearly.

When I heard that the film was going to be made, I wondered how they were going to handle the language issue. Although the novel was originally written in English, the dialogue is generously infused with German words - most of them being expletives and most of those being delivered by the protagonist's foster mother. I had hoped that the film would be in German but no such luck. Instead, we're given a mixed bag of mostly German-accented English; some full-on German, which is subtitled; and a bit of German 101 words such as "nein".

I also wondered how they were going to handle the time progression. The story runs from 1938 to 1945 - seven years, which for teenagers is half a lifetime. I had hoped they would use two sets of young actors but they went with just one and that just didn't work at the end, as the kids still looked like kids when the war ended. That being said, the two main young actors - Canadian actress Sophie NÚlisse and German actor Nico Liersch did a great job and really held up their end against acting heavyweights Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.

Lastly, I wondered how they were going to handle the character of Death, whose narration throughout the novel adds to the sense of foreboding doom that will ultimately turn Himmel Street ("Himmel" being German for "heaven") into hell. In the film, Death becomes a pretentious gimmick whose narration reduces the story to an albeit dark fable.

If you haven't read the novel, you may just like the film. It is slickly made - although the sets look like something Disney might create if they ever do a Bavarialand - and the acting is very good. It's certainly suitable viewing for young people, as even the victims of the Allies' carpet bombing die without a scratch on their bodies. But the screenplay is a mess. Writer Michael Petroni, who also penned the third Narnia film, takes the best scenes from the novel and either distills them down to quick, meaningless vignettes or dispenses with them altogether. Liesel and Rudy become best friends but we don't understand why. Mama Rosa is gruff but she's not nearly as caustic as she is in the novel. And when Jews are being marched down Himmel Street (on their way to Dachau Concentration Camp, as the novel explains), we're left thinking that many, many more people in Molching were hiding Jews in their basements than just the Hubermanns.

So, save your money and give this film a miss or, better yet, use your money wisely and buy the book.
½ July 16, 2016
[2016-7-17] Reminds me the game "This War of Mine"
July 12, 2016
This movie made me cry!! Good Movie based on horrible events during a bad war!
June 7, 2016
A film adaption of Markus Zusak's 2005 novel, which is plagued from the first moment by over-earnestness, over-acting ("I'm going for the Oscar!"), odd writing choices based on the assumption the audience must be idiots who will never get the subtly of the source material, and paint-by-numbers direction. The Book Thief (2013) should be avoided at all costs. This is what a film looks like when the heart of a book is ripped out (and its guts for good measure) and then sent to a Hollywood mortician to be 'prettied up' for burial... I mean, release. I can even hear in my head the all-too-obvious conversation during a preproduction casting meeting, "God always has an English accent in films, so Death should have one, too." This book is begging for a high-quality 4-to-8 part HBO miniseries, some decent script writers, and a director with some flair and more imagination than the average goldfish. I had to pause the film multiple times to just survive the entire run time. I seriously considering leaving it turned it off a couple of those times. I'm only giving the film one star because I liked Sophie NÚlisse as Liesel and Nico Liersch as Rudy; too bad they weren't given a better adaption of the book. Mark's Grade: 1 Star
½ June 4, 2016
"The Book Thief" is a true work of art. The book was beautifully written and is my favourite book. The movie did an excellent job of portraying the book in a respectful matter. The movie was beautiful, just like the book.
½ May 25, 2016
it wasn't nearly as good as the book bc the book really played into my emotions and really got me crying but ben scneetzer is really good as Max so that makes up for it
½ May 25, 2016
Really dull. The child acting is cute but just because you have a story with kids & nazis doesn't necessarily make for a great. It's full of themes and totems and cliches. I wasn't mad about the book either.
May 17, 2016
Magical, beautiful....at last, something I absolutely loved.
May 10, 2016
The scene with the child's chorus over lapped with the imagery of Jews being beaten and taken from their home was powerful and will stick out as a perfect example of a great scene in an otherwise mediocre movie. The acting from the three main leads is fine in its self. And it is nice and kind of weird seeing a World War 2 movie set in Germany that follows the lives on people other than in hiding Jews and/or the people trying to smuggle them out, though there is a bit of that.

Despite all of this, the film will go down as just another unremarkable adaptation in a world of ever more unremarkable adaptations.
½ May 9, 2016
The Book Thief is a well acted and well crafted movie with a great story. This is one of the only movies that made me cry.
May 2, 2016
grate movie, but not as much as the book. Many moments were changed, important ones were omitted, characters' personalities were not enought. It could be much more better.
½ April 25, 2016
Users got it right over the critics on this film. This is one of my new favorites!! I think characters and theme were well developed. I was moved by this film. More so than most films produced these days.
April 10, 2016
Good. Not spectacular, but good.
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