Schindler's List (1993) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
1,380 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Based on a fictional book
jessvisser4 October 2017
The movie "Schindler's List" was based on the novel written by Thomas Keneally called "Schindler's Ark/Schindler's List". This novel won the best prize for fiction (Booker McConnell Prize) decades ago. This movie was likely portrayed by history teachers as historically accurate, so it was jarring to learn of its origin. Of all the things that happened in WW2, there is no need to fictionalize things, especially just to sensationalize it to sell more movie tickets/DVDs.

The movie itself portrayed things in a needlessly sexualized manner, and was over-dramatic as a whole. For example, did the woman who woke up from sleeping with the German soldier have to be topless? Isn't that sexist objectification of women? Doesn't belong in this genre. Pervs may like this, but if a movie is going to portray a grim topic it shouldn't do so in a dishonorable way like that.

Another thing is that it stereotypes all Germans as psychopathic, sadistic murderers who take every waking moment to victimize innocent Jews. It dehumanizes the German people with this stereotype, and could be used to justify any abuses against them. The movie doesn't take into account historical facts that would balance this obvious false bias, such as the fact that Jews declared war on Germany (Daily Express on 24 March, 1934) which led to the Jewish boycott of German goods. Nor does it mention that there were Jewish supremacist groups like Nakam (Abba Kovner) that attempted to poison the water supply of German civilian cities after the war was over, or how they coated arsenic onto the bread inside the camp where the German POWs were being held (because apparently some thought that not enough Europeans died in WW2). What about the Soviet genocidal brutality that went on in the gulags? This of course was not mentioned.

Also, there is nothing really different about this movie, from all the other movies about this topic. Using emotional scenes to tug at heartstrings shouldn't ever be considered as a replacement for historical facts.

The truth fears no investigation.
24 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
the most overrated movie ever
Mohammad Albazz9 November 2013
when i say overrated, really i mean it..

i just watched this movie and i found it boring 3 hours for nothing this movie is just to make people feel sorry about the Jewish i want to say we must feel sorry about any human .. Jewish have made many holocaust in Palestine and no one said a word.

and why they screen it in black and white i don't know i think there is better movies about war and Nazis or Jews i wonder why this movie have this high rating i think Liam neeson and Ralph fiennes acting was very good specially for ralph but there is many actors in the movie they not good .
628 out of 797 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
don't take this personally
rhinocerosfive-119 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps I should be shot, but I think four minutes of "Springtime for Hitler" is a more ingenious and powerful argument against anti-Semitism than four hours of "Shoah."

Many Jews attribute the resilience of their culture to a capacity for laughter in the face of catastrophe. As Saul Bellow said, "Oppressed people tend to be witty." Pogroms didn't start with Hitler; by the time the Spanish Inquisition burned a hundred thousand Jews, the story of Jewish oppression already could fill many volumes. Many peoples once multitudinous have perished from the earth: there are no Carthaginians left. There are no more Thracians to speak of. The Celts live only in musical traditions and some old literature, having been subsumed by their conquerors. Their gods are dead, and their languages, or nearly so. But the Jews thrive on. Something kept hope alive under Stalin, under Isabella, under the Caesars. A sense of humor is a great virtue, not to be undervalued.

But in order to make sure I appreciate the horror of the events portrayed, this movie cheats me of a glimpse at real life. The situations don't live as they might, because all the time I'm being flogged with message. There is no even partially redeemable Nazi in this movie, and Schindler's own late-stage change of heart is presented with such suddenness that the movie veers into melodrama. And even melodrama need not be propaganda; Minnelli and Ray always left us with choices. But "Schindler" must be classified as propaganda because it lacks the truth of even gallows humor, which by many reports existed in great abundance in the ghettos and even in the death camps.

The films of Bunuel and Altman are often political but rarely propagandist. The films of Michael Bay and Marcus Nispel are always propagandist and not always political, though they are of course always bad. So propaganda need not be political, and politics need not be propaganda. This shouldn't need saying, but in the modern age of American politics, it's worth remembering. I wish Steven Spielberg remembered it.

One can define propaganda objectively as a sort of forced perspective, a narrow range of potential reactions for the viewer. Propaganda is the use of art to persuade. It turns art into an expository essay. Propaganda is therefore by definition a limited form, limited by its very agenda. The tools of propaganda become less necessary the more inherently obvious the subject matter; the mass extermination of a people would seem to me to fit this category. So I think the style of this movie is unfortunately maudlin, an overkill on the negative. I am not heartless; I hate hate as much as anybody, and I celebrate Jews and all humans as valuable and not for burning. But is there no other way to express a political point than to make me cry for three hours?

The fact is that film as a medium lends itself to propaganda. There is a decision made about every angle; literally, the perspective is chosen for the viewer. This is not the case with other arts, with musical performance, acting, writing, sculpture; but the more visual the medium, the greater its tendency to make statements and the less its potential for ambiguity. It takes a lot of skill to manage a visual art form into something with real depth, into a question rather than an answer.

You can make propaganda about love, like "Love Story" or "English Patient"; you can make propaganda out of character, like "Patton" or "Lawrence of Arabia." The easiest and most common sorts of propaganda are flag-waving and hate-mongering - what's found in state of the union addresses and election campaign ads. At its best, propaganda can remind us of our values, of our responsibilities, of our mythologies and potentials; and so it can be a great good. At its worst, propaganda may contain any of the faults of any medium - it may be bland, dull, predictable. When it is these things, it is not very persuasive, and so it fails at its main intent.

In this light, "Schindler's List" is maybe the second-best type of propaganda. It has real emotion, a compelling story, myriad technical virtues; it leaves me with no choice but to agree with it, but of course I agree with it already insofar as genocide is not a force for good. The movie moves me to an extent. But it lacks comedy, the propagandist's most effective tool; and so when it pretends to explore a range of humanity, it tells a half-truth.

Liam Neeson plays an excellent cad, and Ralph Fiennes' raptor beak was never used to more terrifying effect. (It is among the many faults of the "Harry Potter" movies that they cut off his nose.) But I prefer "The Pianist" as a portrait of Nazi-occupied Poland. Aside from possessing greater artistic powers than Spielberg, Roman Polanski has an immensely deeper capacity for human truth. He does not preach, and he is not strident, and he is not sentimental. And he allows Adrien Brody to make me laugh occasionally, not as often as he makes me cry but sometimes. Shakespeare's trick of contrasting tragedy with comedy is not simply effective storytelling; it is a view to a more realized universe. "Jaws" has it. "E.T." has it. But Spielberg apparently felt that to be funny about the Holocaust would be in bad taste.

As far as propagandist filmmakers go, I'll take Charlie Chaplin or Paul Verhoeven. They are at least funny; the pill of "Great Dictator" or "Starship Troopers" goes down more easily, more persuasively, therefore more effectively, than the pill of "Schindler" or "Private Ryan."
75 out of 89 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Some truth, but Based on a Fictional Account.
keelhaul-808565 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As a film, this is interesting and entertaining, emotional and gripping, with great actors in the cast. As a film, I would give it about a 7.

The problem is that this movie is sold to the public as a true account of the period, and plays to the same sad violin tune Hollywood loves beating Americans and others over the head with.

Evil Nazis. Powerless Nice Jews. Evil Bad Guys. Lovable, ultramoral good guys. Then, the movie is hyped by the media machine and academia until no one in the world can miss watching it. Yes, we know the Nazis were brutal and that Jews were killed, but my God, do people or students even HAVE A CLUE about the backstories that set all these things up, OR THE COUNTLESS OTHER DEATHS AND GENOCIDES????? Nope, because Hollywood is only there to cater to the same narratives and groups. The film is OK, but it is actually based off of a best selling FICTION novel, if my memory serves me correctly. 90% of Americans probably think this happened word-for- word in the same way.

Plus, Hollywood wants to cover up the other facts of the period, like the other evil ideologies fighting the equally brutal Nazis. NKVD jews tortured, murdered, and committed to slave labor so many people during the Bolshevik Revolution it is insane.

Geinrich Yagoda, who looks ironically just like Hitler, was a Jewish leader in the Ukraine who starved or killed around 7 million people in that region alone. The Spartacus League and other organized communist and anarchist groups had taken over areas in Europe, including Germany, and the communists fighting the fascists were no moral paragons of virtue either. Partisans, often portrayed as heroes in the West, were also butchering people in the Balkans and across Europe, and Stalin even kept Americans prisoner and punished his own POWs!!! However, we allied ourselves with the zionists and communists over the fascists. Oh well-- that was such a great trade- off. In Hollywood, because of its zionism love fest, however, the same themes are played out ad nauseam, until the only thing anyone knows about is the holocaust--which also is an unknown number, and probably includes people killed by disease as well as Nazi violence, and the Russians have already been caught killing Poles and others and later Hitler was actually vindicated from some of this. Lots of blame to go around, and PLENTY OF SUFFERING of many people in WW2.

However, all they do is make 20 million movies and games a year pushing the narrative that Nazis and Germans were all crazy nutjobs with no morals, and all the allies were good, and the jews, who also pushed for the Balfour Declaration and killed many people, were completely helpless slaves to everyone else, yet somehow they came out financially successful and crushed their enemies to the point that today people are actually arrested or fined or fired for even daring to ask them any questions or investigate any crimes other than the already-known Nazis'. Just saying...a good study of the Bolsheviks, Communists, Zionists, banking cabal, and even the masons and presidents who helped hatch and finance many of their schemes would certainly fill you in on the gaps of why Germany went crazy and how many ideologies and groups were involved.
23 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
ogulcans-6997931 August 2017
wanted to watch the film but couldn't find time until today, and I think this film is overrated, couldn't say something good about it, if you have enough time to spend for nothing than watch it, but cant ignore the story,must respect to story and I believe that other people is watching the film for the story.
43 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
one of the most overrated movies
manco-258007 May 2017
this is one the worst movies I have ever seen about the holocaust. This movie doesn't do anything to me. If I was to doubt that the holocaust ever happened, this movie would make me a non-believer of the holocaust. To set the record straight I believe and know the holocaust happened. The movie is predictable, badly shot, has one of the worst scripts and the location looked more like a holiday camp than work camp from WWII. Thru out the whole picture there is not one moment of human emotion. In this picture mister Spielberg shows his short comings in his intellect again, after bad movies like ET, Jurrasic Park and Saving private ryan(this movie is only saved because Tom Hanks played in it). And now Iam reading he is involved in a movie about Anne Frank, I really hope he doesn't have to much influence on the script and the in the shooting of the movie
173 out of 220 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Overrated, manipulative, dishonest garbage. Classic Spielberg, in other words...
werewolfsex26 December 2007
This is honestly one of the most overrated films of all time. Stephen Spielberg (one of the most overrated directors of all time, who has not made ONE honestly good film (yes, even including "Jaws")) knew that nobody could objectively criticize this movie, and basically exploited the memory of the Holocaust in order to guarantee himself a "masterpiece".

I am rating this movie as 1(awful), because of all the undeserved praise. If this film were being judged solely on it's own merits, I would probably rate it a 2 or 3 at best, for being exploitative, dishonestly emotionally manipulative, historically inaccurate, and artistically bankrupt.
457 out of 622 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the most boring movies of all time
jacobjohntaylor130 May 2017
This is an awful movie. It has an awful story. It is very slow and boring. It is not funny to watch at all. I do not know why it got an 8.9. Just because people like sad boring movie. I do not like sad boring movie. If I want to be sad and bored I will just live my life. I do not need a movie to remind me how sad and boring life is. This is 4. It is not a 8.9 that is just hype. Do not wast your time. Do not wast your money. Do not see this movie. It a long movie and life is to short. If was a long movie and it was something good to see like Lord of the rings then it would worth the time. This is not. Good actors wasted there time being in this awful movie.
51 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Spielberg's Sentimentality, Again
the_bike9 March 2004
Spielberg is now the Numero Uno director of schmaltzy cinema. I thought Saving Private Ryan was the ultimate good guys save the poor soul, but this one outdoes Ryan in every conceivable heart-tugging, noble humanity fashion. Don't view this film as accurate history, if

Private Ryan is any guide. Historical accuracy is not a Spielberg characteristic. It's the heartstrings he keeps tugging. I next expect a new Pollyanna by Spielberg any day now. The problem with Spielberg's characterizations is that people are either black or white, no inbetweens are allowed. But even old Adolph can be presented in a way that makes him the human being that he was, regardless. This is what makes Shakespeare such a genius in his plays - he never failed to see all sides of a personality. Spielberg's characterizations are cartoons. This could have been a really good movie, if it had acknowledged the

humanity in every person and been realistic.
488 out of 671 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
hollywood drivel
bart14421 August 1999
oh dear, spielberg really should stick to his normal forte of brainless hollywood epics because he is WAY out of his depth here.

I didn't hold out much hope for this one despite all the ridiculously overblown praise. Its amazing how one can go from being the epitome of film-making mediocrity to genius just by choosing the holocaust as your theme!

This film is not a tribute to those that died it is an insult, it reduces their suffering to the level of Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park. I'm surprised he resisted the temptation to stick a dinosaur in it.

But he is, as always, laughing all the way to the bank! This should get 0 out of 10 but unfortunately i'll have to award it a 1.
41 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews