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Parent reviews for The Reader

Common Sense says

Literary adaptation tackles sex, shame, and guilt.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 October 2, 2014

Sensual adaptation is a little dry

I chose to watch this movie for my First Year Seminar Holocaust class, mainly because of Kate Winslet's Oscar-winning turn in it. Suffice it to say I was a little surprised by the abundance of nudity in this picture, the likes of which definitely make it not for kids, even if there's no profanity or violence to go along with it. But Winslet is great as Hanna Schmitz, who becomes smitten with teenage German Michael Berg in post war Germany. Their affair is short but leaves a lifelong impact on both, especially Michael. While strictly on legal terms the relationship is pedophilloic, it is completely consensual, though the story would be way more disturbing if the gender roles were reversed, and that's the double standard to these things. Sometimes I found Michael a little hard to sympathize with; yes he's with this caring older woman but he has so many girls his age, and he's constantly leaving them to be with Hanna. That's only half the movie though, the other half sees Michael coming to grips with something Hanna does that gets her accused of heinous crimes, and something inside him still cares for her immensely. The acting and strong material the film's based on make it legitimate, though I certainly wouldn't put this in the Best Picture field over strong movies like "The Dark Knight" and "Gran Torino" in the Oscar year of 2008. It's not so much a history lesson as it is more a study of love, both physical and emotional, and how it leaves its marks on you forever.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written bymandicruz88 November 30, 2009

Okay for adults and very mature teens

I think that this movie shows that if one engages at intense sexual activity, especially with an older adult, at a very young age, the results can be damaging for the rest of that young person's life. The movie shows how the main character never really got over his romance with the woman he went to see and read to. He was not even able to keep his relationship with his wife. In the end, he was alone and bitter.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Positive Messages
Adult Written bygosyncro March 30, 2009

The Reader....WAAAY Too Much Sex, just not necessary for the movie

The graphic, leave-little-to-the-imagination sex scenes went way beyond the realm of standard R-rated material. It was very uncomfortable to watch. And when you consider that we are basically watching statutory rape on screen, that makes it that much more reprehensible. When the two characters are experimenting with a new sexual position, the viewers are allowed to see the position unfold and hear Ms. Winset's pleasure. This is borderline soft pornographic. And the irony is that I'm not an old prude! I'm a 30-thing male who enjoys a good sex scene as much as the next guy. But it shouldn't permeate through half the show. And it shouldn't be so explicitly graphic and it should not glamorize statutory rape in any way. If it were a male nazi prison guard with a 15 year old girl, would the reaction be the same? I doubt it.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 10 year old Written byLauren Cordova June 4, 2009

Not for kids

This was a very good movie for an adults. The theme in general is about the suffering and after affects affects of a child who is basically molested by an ex Nazi solder.
Adult Written bymjsmom March 16, 2009

Read Reviews Before You Go

I had read the CS Media review & knew what to expect. The friend I went with was shocked by the graphic sex scenes. They were a little more than I expected, too. I wonder how this movie slid by with an R-rating, rather than an NC-17. Kate Winslet bares all (often), as does the young male star (just not as often). Their affair leaves little to the imagination. The story jumps back and forth between time periods, so make sure to watch for the indications of time changes. Maybe knowing the basic story premise helped, my friend got confused some of the time changes: artistically cool, but not necessarily viewer friendly. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO.
Adult Written byشوقي الاحساء January 25, 2009
Parent Written byCkuo May 5, 2018

Brutally honest film about the effects of actions, pride, shame.

Not for teens, leaves a lasting impression. It is not an easy film to watch, similar to "Atonement" or "All the Light You Cannot See", there is no happy hollywood ending. You can feel it, as it pushes inexorably towards the end, that there will be no happy resolution. However it is so well acted, it is hard to stop watching. I am still thinking about it days later! I will definitely not watch it ever again though, I don't need the emotional downer. A note about the xxx sex - it is very graphic not necessarily in the amount shown (which includes full frontal nudity for both), but I think more so that it is SO realistic. It is not hollywood-ized sex at all, it is the kind of sex real people have (not talking about the statutory rape) not glamourous or perfect. I think that is what bothers everyone. Kate was in her mid 30's and David Kross who played her 15 year old lover, had only just turned 18 when he filmed this. We all know she is dedicated to her craft, but that made me go eeewwww.... I think 80-90% of people under the age of 20 won't even fully understand this film, not having had enough life experiences. I had a hard time getting over the fact that this is a 30 something woman, with a 15 year old boy. Once I was able to shut out the abhorrence of that, I was able to watch the rest of the film unravel. It takes you on quite a sad journey...
Adult Written bydvdgirl January 24, 2019

I enjoyed it.

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

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff