The Book Thief

Movie review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Book Thief Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Emotional WWII drama explores loss, literacy, and love.

PG-13 2013 125 minutes

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 54 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 13+

Beauty and light in the face of darkness

We watched this with our 15-year-old son who is a writer himself and who is currently reading historical fiction about WWII and Nazi Germany. He hasn't studied the period yet systematically in school, and he was transfixed by this movie -- I think as much by the poignancy about writing as life and humanity in the face of loss and threat and violence as by the particular storyline itself. He has not read the book version yet and I hope he does. We talked through a number of the historical events that are signaled in the film. He is 15 but I think a thoughtful 13-14-year-old would also appreciate it. I think I would have loved it at that age.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

German Family Resists Tyranny in Historical Fiction Movie

Liesl Memminger, the movie's main character, is adopted by two Germans named Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Liesl goes to school and joins the Hitler youth and befriends a boy named Rudy. In the meantime the Hubermanns are faced with a daring decision: to hide a Jew named Max. They are willing to take the risk, hiding Max in the basement, and soon Liesl and Max become friends, bonding over their interest in books. The title of this movie "The Book Thief"--is due to Liesl's risky choice in swiping a book from the site of a Nazi book burning. She also 'borrows' books from the Burgermeister's house as well. Despite being part of the Hitler youth, she displays disgust towards Nazi ideology and claims to "hate the Führer". I enjoyed this movie. It was full of action, had great heroes, but no shortage of heartbreak. This movie does have some scenes of violence and mild language but it's not that intense and nothing that an average thirteen year old can't handle. It's a glimpse into the life of a German family during the Third Reich and World War II and it's a fine story. I was going to give it four stars for the plot and visuals, but I'm giving it three because I found parts of the movie to be cheesy. It's a personal opinion that may not be shared by others but I felt that many scenes could have had better acting. 3/5.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Movie Details

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Themes & Topics

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