Parent reviews for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Common Sense says

Holocaust drama sensitive, but never sentimental.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 54 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 192 reviews
Adult Written bymason kannard December 5, 2018

boy in striped pajamas review

it is not a very good film but it is sad the best part is when they meet and they bruno is curios and dosent understand why he is in there the worst part is when he is going into the gas station and is getting gassed the film taught me what auchwitz is like because its like being there and experiencing the concentration camps the film would be good for someone who is curios about concentration camps during ww2 i do not recommend watching this
Adult Written bylainey s November 8, 2018

good, informational movie about the holocaust

There were many ups and down in the boy in the striped pajamas. The main character, Bruno, has to move near a concentration camp. He eventually makes a friend which is really exciting for both of them. One of the downs however, is when they both die together in the end.

The film can also teach us a lot about the holocaust. Both little boys were being treated so differently. It also really shows us how jews were treated during this time. They all end up dying and the father basically kills his son. Also, in the movie, you can see that there are ovens that the jews were basically getting burned alive in. This is horrible and cruel but it fully lets us understand how they were treated. We also got to see that Brunos sister thought that the Nazis were good people and did only good things. We really get to see that side of the story which we wouldn't get to see anywhere else.

I think this movie is good for anyone who is learning about the holocaust. Mostly people that at probably 13 and older. However, I don't really think this would be a good family movie. However, that is just my opinion.
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bychisod01 October 22, 2018

Bizarre revisionist faux historical storyline

Don't bother, so many other better stories that don't distort the past.
Adult Written byIrisAR September 18, 2018

A powerful movie, important to watch with children

I read the book first with my son (11 years old) and we watched the movie together (with my younger son as well, who is 9 years old). I don't agree with other parents that only allow their kids to watch
fairy tales and Marvel movies, but at the same time let them play Fortnite. Our kids need to know what happened only 80 years ago, they need to know that evil exists not only in cartoons but in the real world. I grew up on world war 2 stories, books and movies. My grandfather was an artillery unit commander during the world war II. He was heavily wounded and lived this war till his last days. It's important not to forget. What is more dangerous is to have the collective amnesia and then the history might repeat itself.

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Adult Written byjmbrentnall September 2, 2018

upsetting but real

I am surprised so many people think this is inappropriate for younger children. I watched it recently with my 7-year-old and 5-year-old. The older one has shown an interest in WWII and holocaust after we visited some museums etc. The movie seemed to move him and leave an impression. I think it is important that children understand that reality is not all about unicorns and rainbows and I see no reason to shelter them from reality. One thing my son is leaning is that "bad people" don't look like villains from superhero comics but can look just like everyone else. I would say my younger one didn't really process it as something that really happened or totally understand what was going on. But then the movie is not explicit or graphic (apart from an off-camera beating which is a bit scary and brutal) so it wouldn't really bother or traumatise children who don't understand the conclusion, unless they are overly sensitive. Overall, a very good family movie but don't expect it to be fun. The best movies are not.
Adult Written byMillllie123 August 29, 2018

real life- the people in the camps did not sit around doing nothing. there where no young boys in concentration camps they where all killed on entry. there for there where no boys in striped pyjamas sitting at fences. fences did not have wholes in the!!

not a good film in any way for information about the holocaust please watch or read something based of true events
Adult Written byMitrajin July 31, 2018

Enriched in its own way

We must watch this particular movie at least once as it reflects the situations of the then world at the time of world war II under Nazi government. But at the same time its depressing for a kid of 7,8 or 10 years may not be able to watch the harshness revealed through the film.

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Adult Written byMandy R. July 28, 2018

Historical Epic Story

This film was qiite exceptional an exceeded my expectations entirely. The acting is impeccable and the story authentic. The characters are beautifully flawed and the story is sensitively told from the prespective of the film's main character Bruno. From the moment this family moves to Poland you are swept up in the story, with all of its injustices and pain and the budding friendship between two lonely boys thirsting for friendship. The story keeps you in its grip until the bitter end. A poignant reminder of one of histories bleakest chapters.
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byJimae H. May 1, 2018

Great intro for curious questioners...but sad and not for everyone this age!

My son's 4th grade teacher started a unit on historical fiction recently which includes the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, and Holocaust content. Not sure how detailed the information is that they have been giving out, but we have not discussed the Holocaust with our child yet and don't watch network TV, so he has not seen or heard anything about Nazis or WWII in particular at home other than his great-grandfather was a POW. Unfortunately, we got a report that some kids were making the Nazi salute at school so I knew it was time to talk to him about that gesture and what it means, why it is so offensive, and is not appropriate to joke about. I wasn't sure how to broach the topic with him and not being Jewish or religious at all, didn't know if I could do the topic justice.

I researched this movie and finding it rated PG-13 decided it was a good one to help him understand without it being too graphic. I will admit I should've previewed it first as the end is quite shocking and induced tears for me (and my son, too), but I think it drove home the point that like using the N-word, a Nazi salute is unconscionable. We spent at least 30 minutes after watching to process what we'd seen and set the ground rules for behavior expectations. I told my son that not only is it his responsibility not to engage in conduct that he now knows is objectionable, hurtful, and incredibly offensive, it is also his responsibility to inform his friends of what he knows when he sees them doing so. The movie made it easy to see how such ideas were allowed to spread through indoctrination of children at a very young age and that standing by and letting it happen is as bad as engaging in it yourself. It's important for kids to get some context along with whatever their school is dispensing. It's not necessarily the teacher's job to fully explain to your child the horrors of the Holocaust considering it is quite delicate territory and involves controversial topics such as murder, politics, race, and religion. I recommend this movie, but preview it, watch with your kids, and be prepared to explain things or answer questions they may have afterward.

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Adult Written byCade B. April 24, 2018

Great movie!

This movie is great about giving kids a glimpse at what the Holocaust is like while still being age appropriate. There is no inappropriate language, and while there might be some scenes that have adults drinking and smoking, they also depict what life was like during that time period. I love how it shows that EVERY person deserves compassion, regardless of your racial, ethnic, cultural, or religious background.

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Parent of a 8 and 11-year-old Written byCharity H. April 23, 2018

Not appropriate for children

My 5th grade daughter's class was made to watch this and my daughter came home mortified. She said nearly the whole class was crying and it messed with her head watching the kids slowly die in the gas chamber. Should children learn about the Holocaust? Yes. Should they learn at 10 just how twisted and disturbing it was? No. For God's sake, let them remain children a little longer!
To the teachers who posted that this movie contains no violence, I say you have a narrow idea of violence; the term encompasses more than just hitting and punching. When a film's main descriptor is labeled as "disturbing and haunting", the school should reconsider playing it for their kids. This coming from a parent that in no way shelter's their children.
Adult Written bybobbyn1 January 6, 2018
It’s an amazing movie super sad but fantastic I watched this movie when I was 9 it was amazing

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Parent of a 11 and 13-year-old Written byACool December 9, 2017

Amazingly sad!

This is a film that shows a child of an SS Officer being confused about the role his father plays in the war. He goes from being completely ignorant to learning some hard truths about the "farm" near their home. It also shows the struggle that his mother goes through when she also learns about what her husband does and how the SS is "fighting" the war in the countryside. I wish there was a follow up movie to this one to see if the family ever changed their view on everything.
Adult Written byVelma F. November 17, 2017

Movie and Book comparison

This movie is a good medium to use when comparing character interpretations between the novel and the movie. The naive outlook of the main character in the book gives limited insight into others; the visuals in the movie allow us to see what is happening through the reactions of other characters, their expressions and body language. We had excellent discussions in our 6/7/8 group around the differences between the two mediums.
Adult Written byteacher8831246 May 9, 2016

Very good for kids when you know they're ready...

This movie is about kids, but I would not say it is a "kids' movie." It was very affecting to watch as an adult viewer. As a middle school teacher, I would say that his movie is fine for most kids 14+, possibly some younger kids who are mature and prepared. Kids need to know the realities of the Holocaust and concentration camps before viewing this film in order to understand some subtle/indirect references. Kids also need to be emotionally ready to view a film with a tragic and surprising ending. I don't think the film would have the same impact if it ended another way, but kids need to be mature enough to handle it. Parents should consider viewing the film before showing it to kids so they know what background information the kids might need and so they are ready to answer questions/help frame discussions. Kids will need help processing what they have seen...

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Adult Written byParamoreFan09 September 19, 2015

It's a holocaust movie, what else is there to say?

This film doesn't actually have any on-screen violence (although beatings occur offscreen), but the nature of the story will be heavily disturbing for all ages, kids, teens, and adults alike. Obviously, this is kind of the case with all holocaust films. As a young kid I was really curious about the book because it featured young protagonists and my parents didn't want me reading it. The fact that this is about children doesn't really make it more accessible to youth, but more horrific, and I see why my parents steered me away from it. The ending is shocking and well, not a happy one. It hurts to watch this with the knowledge that this is truly historical fiction, but I don't think preteens or teens should watch it if they aren't already completely aware of the holocaust and all of its horrors. I'm an adult and this thing tore my heart to shreds and had me sobbing in the last 15 minutes, in physical pain knowing that this was once a reality. I can't imagine what it would do to a kid who isn't used to the idea that not all endings are happy ones. I'd say iffy for 14 and up, depends on the kid, their maturity, and their education about the holocaust. Otherwise, the acting is phenomenal and the story itself is very good, although heartbreaking. Tells the story of WWII through a different perspective that makes it all the more disturbing, but it's well done.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bymmccormack January 27, 2015

Sooo Good!

I thought this movie was fantastic! I teach 6th grade and think that it is very appropriate for them, especially if we are learning about this time in history, which we are! :) I did not hear any swearing in the movie. And their is not on scene violence.
Parent Written byImjustsaying December 28, 2013

Great movie, sad but stunning story, will stay with you for a long time.

Young boy moves with his Nazi father /family to a concentration camp home. He's lonely and bored and befriends a boy in the camp. He visits him daily. One day the Jewish boy tells the Nazi boy his father is missing so the Nazi boy goes into the camp to find his friends father. A horrible tragic thing happens to him.

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Violence & scariness
Parent Written byVentura Lady March 13, 2013

Hate this world of Hate

I am 40yrs old... I had to pause the movie to catch my breath and thoughts, to wrap my head and heart around the idea of such hate... I don't do hate well. It really helps to see how innocent children are and how they don't see others as enemies... if only adults had that kind of love

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Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bytdod July 16, 2012

Upsetting, yet Good.

I think this film is an excellent choice. However, my children, Ruby and Jasper, found it quite upsetting at the end when the pow's went into the holocourst and they were told it was just a shower. I am going to let my year 7 class see this film as i am a humanities teacher.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness