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The Book Thief (2013)

 -  Drama | War  -  27 November 2013 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 60,672 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 181 user | 227 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator / Death (voice)
...
...
Julian Lehmann ...
Gotthard Lange ...
Grave Digger
Rainer Reiners ...
Priest
...
...
...
Nico Liersch ...
Ludger Bökelmann ...
Paul Schaefer ...
Nozomi Linus Kaisar ...
Oliver Stokowski ...
Robert Beyer ...
Jewish Accountant
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Storyline

In 1938, the young girl Liesel Meminger is traveling by train with her mother and her younger brother when he dies. Her mother buries the boy in a cemetery by the tracks and Liesel picks up a book, "The Gravediggers Handbook", which was left on the grave of her brother and brings it with her. Liesel is delivered to a foster family in a small town and later she learns that her mother left her because she is a communist. Her stepmother, Rosa Hubermann, is a rude but caring woman and her stepfather, Hans Hubermann, is a simple kind-hearted man. Liesel befriends her next door neighbor, the boy Rudy Steiner, and they go together to the school. When Hans discovers that Liesel cannot read, he teaches her using her book and Liesel becomes an obsessed reader. During a Nazi speech where the locals are forced to burn books in a bonfire, Liesel recovers one book for her and the Major's wife Ilsa Hermann witnesses her action. Meanwhile Hans hides the Jewish Max Vandenburg, who is the son of a ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

book | basement | library | track | nazi | See more »

Taglines:

Courage beyond words. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ladrona de libros  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$105,005 (USA) (8 November 2013)

Gross:

$21,483,154 (USA) (4 April 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the books that Liesel read to Max when he was sick is actually the book The Book Thief itself, containing the sentence: "what came to her then was the dustiness of the floor, the feeling that her clothes were more next to her than on her, and the sudden realisation that this would all be for nothing". See more »

Goofs

When Liesel is climbing in the window to steal books from the library, she knocks two books off the table. When she picks them up, the direction the books are facing changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: One small fact: you are going to die. Despite every effort, no one lives forever. Sorry to be such a spoiler. My advice is when the time comes, don't panic. It doesn't seem to help.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 86th Academy Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Gedanken Sind Frei
Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
WW 2 from a child's perspective
16 November 2013 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Those familiar with the 2005 award winning and best-selling novel by Australian author Markus Zusak will not be disappointed with the theatrical version which differs from the book in only minor details. Both tell the story of a preadolescent girl who is adopted into a German family living in a small village in 1938, and then by following her life we get to view war on the home front for Germany. Nazi rallies, anti-Jewish pogroms, Hitler Youth groups, conscription, book burning, daylight bombing, propaganda films and posters, and the whole gamut of events are seen from her perspective.

This isn't the first film to adopt this perspective. "The Diary of Anne Frank" is the classic example, but more recently, "No Place on Earth" (2013) covered some of the same ground as did "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" (2008) and especially "Lore" (2012).

"The Book Thief" has wonderful photography by Florian Ballhaus, an excellent musical score by Golden Globe and Oscar winning John Williams ("Schindler's List", "ET", "Star Wars"), and best of all, marvelous acting from Sophie Nelisse as the young girl, Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson as her adoptive parents, and Ben Schnetzer as the Jewish boy they hide. Many of the core scenes with Nelisse, Watson, and Rush should be required viewing at any acting school.

Hats off too to young Nico Liersch who plays a boyhood friend of Nelisse.

If the film has any fault at all, it is the decision by the film makers to try to walk a fine line between drama and fable. Having "Death" as the narrator right from the start seems to suggest fable, but the story itself veers sharply to drama for most of the 2+ hours, and then, noticeably at the end, reverts to fable. Some viewers may find this disconcerting. But the power of the story and the acting generally compensate for this short coming.


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Is it suitable for a nine year old girl (with her parents)... carax3
Why did this movie get only 7.6 Stars on imdb??? waldenpond88
Any Suggestions for Excellent movies In This Genre !!! vickyacoolboy2000
GAWD BLESS MURICA callum-low
demonizing the german language. leandro_t-a-t-u
Why did this only get a 49% on rotten? worldsoutro
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