The Reader

Movie review by James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
The Reader Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Literary adaptation tackles sex, shame, and guilt.

R 2008 120 minutes

Parents say

age 17+

Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 1 review

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

mixed opinion

The acting is superb. I give everything else a 4 star rating. On film editing I give it 3. I did not like the shift in the middle from Michael as a young man going under water and when he resurfaces he is a man sitting at a desk. I wish the visual had transcended better. I also felt a radical jump when going from end where she has left the apt. to court room. Very disjointed and confusing. And I did not like how it ended with woman looking at tin at her dresser. It left me flat. Definitely a film worth seeing. But the book might be better ? I did not read the book. Gernally, I am skeptical about Holocaust films. When in doubt Hollywood makes a film about how evil the Nazi's were- it is sure to do well at box office. I am also leary of "awe" struck films. With "Sophie's choice" at top of list. Although again the performances were outstanding. I have more problems with the book. I like my heavy films to leave me more with questions not feeling sentimental about the characters. Details I found hard to believe- that as simple a person as Hannah seemed to be- I don't see her not being able to admit she could not read. On the subject of sexuality- I am fine with the film and think curious teenages should be aloowed to see it. I don't like any of the sexuality I see in Netflix. It seems gradtuidus . But this film has a gentle touch to the sexuality. I doubt many parents pay attention if their kids see Netflix and their sexually is closer to porn. I have read skeptical critics of Shindler's List. Again there is much about the film that are 5 star and well done. I did not like the film turning to color at the end. A very Hollywood ending that is safe. We don't want to let the non Jewish audience feel to guilty. It does not sell tickets. At the end of The Reader I did like the Jewish woman who even in her elegant life style also faced reality headone. the camps teach nothing . For me that should have been the end. The tin left on the table. We still have slaughter houses for animals. think about what that does to the people who work there. the film ended with the Jewish woman putting the tin w/ her other memories on her dresser. And maybe that is how the book ended At least this film starts people thinking. I could give you a list of books to read but I do not have time right now. The searching is in the questions not the answers or summing up.
age 13+

I enjoyed it.

I found it good although there is a lot of sex but it was good

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate