Down 46 this week

The Book Thief (2013)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, War  |  27 November 2013 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 90,243 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 222 user | 250 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.



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

Director: Mark Herman
Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend
War Horse (2011)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Author P.L. Travers reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A master auctioneer becomes obsessed with an extremely reclusive heiress who collects fine art.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Sylvia Hoeks
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Pearl Harbor follows the story of two best friends, Rafe and Danny, and their love lives as they go off to join the war.

Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton
Philomena (2013)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor.

Director: Gabriele Muccino
Stars: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith


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


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 | girl | library | track | See All (79) »


From the Studio that brought you The Life of Pi See more »


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ladrona de libros  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$21,483,154 (USA) (4 April 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The lines on the back of the book are from the novel's prologue. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Featured in 71st Golden Globe Awards (2014) See more »


Kampflied Der NationalSozialisten
Music by Albert Methfessel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.

133 of 159 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Any explanation for the big plot hole? diogenes-13
demonizing the german language. leandro_t-a-t-u
Is it suitable for a nine year old girl (with her parents)... carax3
Where was GOD :( jrenai67
Why did this only get a 49% on rotten? worldsoutro
Discuss The Book Thief (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: