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The Book Thief 2013 PG-13 CC

(2,569) IMDb 7.6/10
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Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson star in this moving film based on the bestseller about a girl (Sophie Nélisse) who transforms the lives of those around her in World War II Germany.

Roger Allam, Sophie Nélisse
2 hours, 10 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama
Director Brian Percival
Starring Roger Allam, Sophie Nélisse
Supporting actors Heike Makatsch, Julian Lehmann, Gotthard Lange, Rainer Reiners, Kirsten Block, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Nico Liersch, Ludger Bökelmann, Paul Schaefer, Nozomi Linus Kaisar, Oliver Stokowski, Robert Beyer, Hildegard Schroedter, Levin Liam, Ben Schnetzer, Sandra Nedeleff, Rafael Gareisen
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
All too often a movie turns out to be less than what the trailers lead you to expect, but every now and then there's a movie that surprises you by being more. The Book Thief is one of those movies. Directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey, North & South) from a screenplay by Michael Petroni (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys) adapted from the novel of the same name by Marcus Zusak, The Book Thief does not lend itself to easy categorization. On the surface, you'd think from the trailers that it's an Anne Frank sort of film, a young girl's POV about life under the Nazis and about a family hiding a young Jewish man in their house. But it's more than that, a lot more.

You know you're in for something different when the film begins with the narrated line "Here's a small fact: you're going to die." You know you're in for something really different when you realize that the narrator is Death. And it is Death who introduces us to Liesel (marvelously played by Sophie Nélisse) a young German girl riding on a train with her very ill younger brother, being taken to a place she does not know to live with people she's never met. Her brother does not make it, dying before they reach their destination, resulting in the train stopping for an impromptu burial service. As they are departing the grave, Sophie notices a book that fell out of the makeshift shroud her brother had been buried in and on an impulse she steals it, wanting to have something to remember him by. Her first stolen book, but as it turns out, far from her last.

When Liesel reaches her destination, she is taken to meet the couple who are to become her foster parents, Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) Hubermann.
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179 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 28, 2013
Format: DVD
Those who love Markus Zusak's The Book Thief as I do will know that it is an incredibly complex novel - the way the main characters intersect each other's lives and the themes that are developed throughout the novel are deep and layered and would make for a daunting on-screen translation. Yet director Brian Percival manages to make the movie accessible to viewers whilst staying true to the source material. This may not be a blow-by-blow, faithful to each and every word adaptation, but to me at least, it is a true adaptation in portraying the essence of the story. I love the book but I also loved the movie, for similar and different reasons.

The story of The Book Thief begins with the narrator, Death (Roger Allam), providing a sort of overview/introduction. Fortunately, the narrator's voice is not dominant throughout the story as it would (to me) have been a rather distracting voice, but the narrator's presence is felt nevertheless. The protagonist in this film is Liesel (Sophie Nelisse in a ground-breaking performance), a young teenager who comes to live with her foster parents, Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush) and his wife, the acid- tongued Rosa (Emily Watson). The setting at the beginning of the story is Germany in 1938 and the story goes on till the end of WW II. Liesel's mother is a Communist and has been packed off somewhere, presumably a camp, for this is after all Nazi Germany.

The story focuses on Liesel's relationship with her foster parents, her best friend, Rudy (Nico Liersch), and her life-defining friendship with Max (Ben Schnetzer), the young Jewish man hiding in her parents' basement.
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206 of 225 people found the following review helpful By Jon (Scott Reads It!) on November 16, 2013
Format: DVD
Note: I saw an advanced screening of The Book Thief.

The Book Thief is a book that has stuck with me for so many years, there is just something so powerful and raw about Zusak's novel. The Book Thief has to be one of the trickiest books to adapt because it's far from a simple story. The novel is nearly 600 pages and it's main narrator is Death himself commenting on the events of World War II. How could Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) direct such a movie without doing the novel injustice?

The Book Thief is true to it's source material, even though it doesn't maintain all of the major plot events in the novel. The filmmakers rarely utilized Death's narration, so the few times they did use it, it felt a bit awkward and out of place. I didn't get quite the chills from hearing his narration like I did when I had read the book. Despite the unevenness of the narration, The Book Thief really captures the essence of Liesel's story. All of the characters were truly perfectly cast, the dialogue is well done and the film truly captures all of the emotion from Zusak's novel.

Sophie Nelisse is essentially a newcomer to Hollywood and this is her first major role in a movie. I really hope Nelisse wins an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance because it's absolutely unbelieveable. Nelisse's performance is absolutely unbelievable and it's clear to me that Nelisse is an extremely talented actress. Even though Nelisse shares screentime with veterans like Watson and Rush, Nelisse truly steals the show and easily makes viewers fall in love with Liesel.

Both Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson did wonders in The Book Thief, they truly translated the characters from the book into their performances in a flawless manner.
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