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Showing 1-10 of 2,802 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 3,005 reviews
on April 22, 2017
This 2013 film was based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Markus Zusak. Liesel is a young girl who is taken in by a foster family in Germany. Her adoptive father teaches her to read, and when the family hides a fleeing Jew named Max, Liesel takes to borrowing/stealing books that she reads to help keep his hopes and spirit alive.

There are some particularly fine performances from the actors who play Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) and her adoptive father (Geoffrey Rush), and their characterization is very good. I also appreciated how the film shows the effect of the war on ordinary German civilians, some of whom were caught up in the patriotism, but others who selflessly worked against the regime to protect life. This offers a fresh perspective on a subject (World War 2) which often sees the same ground covered in films, but fortunately that is not the case here. The film is rated PG-13, but mostly due to the violence that forms the background to the story and is more implied than shown; there's no real blood or gore. Without needing to resorting to graphic violence, the film shows the very real effect of war on lives like Liesel's. It also has a very positive message about self-sacrifice and love for the neighbour.

While there are many good aspects to the film, it still felt mediocre and disappointing. The personification of Death as narrator was jarring and confusing, and his message about the perplexity of human life was unclear; it's an empty message that offers no real hope, despite attempting to tug at heart-strings. Also unclear was the concept of how words have the power of life, and the title "Book Thief" only played a minor role in the film. From what I have learned subsequently, the book that the plot is based on emphasizes this much more strongly, and many people who have come from the book and watched the film found it a very unsatisfying adaptation. There's also several instances of blasphemy that are more typical of a modern audience rather than pre-war Germany.

Overall, perhaps this is a case of: Read the book, don't watch the movie. - GODLY GADFLY (April 2017)
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on March 4, 2017
I was hesitant about watching this movie because the book summary suggested a bit of a slow moving plot - a girl who steals books and shares their stories.

But I think Ben Schentzer is a fabulous actor and he is in so few movies, I figured I would give it a shot.

This movie was a knockout - and I hope the young girl won an award because she just nailed her role.

It COULD be classified as slow moving to those who do not like movies that speak to them; this movie was deep and emotional. It is one of the few I have seen recently that makes you think and feel. and so much of that is due to the superb casting and phenomenal acting.
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on March 15, 2017
I'm one of those folks who read the book first (bought it in paperback and would have given it a 5). Needed to see what the screen did with it. Acting of the principals, sets, cinematography, and direction were superb. However, for a reader of the book, there wasn't enough of the book stealing in the film, and the grim reaper's overlay narrative was more of an unpleasant diversion than called for.
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on December 26, 2014
Having grandparents that lived (and survived) during this hellish time in history and hearing them speak of some of the atrocities they experienced first hand, it was a bit hard to relate some of the story line to heretofore related stories. However, everyone's rememberances and experiences are obviously diversified. The one thing I could relate to is my grandfather's vivid, "almost like yesterday" recollection of the Nazi's book burning and reading censorship they had to endure as well as being hungry all the time due to lack of food availability. I think these things alone contributed a great deal to my grandparent's home being filled with good books and other reading literature, my grandfather's insatiable appetite for reading and my grandmother's food gardening and subsequent canning and preserving of food stuffs. Like the line from "Gone With The Wind", I heard my grandmother say many times that she wanted to make sure that none of the family..." would ever go hungry again".
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on March 18, 2017
The Book Thief is one of my favorite books of all time so I had high hopes but low expectations for the film. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoy it as much as I do. Good acting, and the changes fron the book weren't all together unacceptable. I'll always love the book more but this didn't disappoint.
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on March 18, 2014
This film forcefully portrays what WWII was like for the average German person, and especially how the children were taught what to think. I loved how Death was made an actumal character by his narration of events. Liesl and Rudy are totally engaging and their innocence is heartbreaking. It is a very sad movie in many respects but ultimately uplifting because the human spirit overcomes terriible adversity..
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on March 28, 2014
I loved the story and the movie in general. It was a little too slow in the middle of the movie and I felt the movie was too long. However I understand this happens often when taking a book and making it into movie form. I think if I had read the book first, the movie length would have been just fine. I look forward to reading the book to get a little more depth to the story based on the character's inner thoughts.
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on March 7, 2017
Followed the book fairly well. I was happy with the outcome of the movie version and I don't believe I've said that about any other book converted to a movie before.
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on April 11, 2016
This is an interesting story about the challenges of living under Nazi occupation during WWII. Appropriate for kids, since the people who die don't look too ghastly.
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on April 21, 2017
Great movie....I love WW2 era movies, and this hit the spot, was deep, real and very good.
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