MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 488 this week

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
"The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  28 November 2008 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 94,487 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 357 user | 179 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

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:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 16 Nov 2010
 
a list of 25 titles
created 12 Aug 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 22 Jan 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 41 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

User Polls

2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Black Book (2006)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman
Brothers I (2009)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man comforts his older brother's wife and children after he goes missing in Afghanistan.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
Rendition (2007)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A CIA analyst questions his assignment after witnessing an unorthodox interrogation at a secret detention facility outside the US.

Director: Gavin Hood
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard
Valkyrie (2008)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II.

Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-hun Lee, Kang-ho Song
Green Zone (2010)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Russian sniper and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes
The Wave (2008)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A high school teacher's unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Special-Ops commander leads his team into the Nigerian jungle in order to rescue a doctor who will only join them if they agree to save 70 refugees too.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.

Director: John Moore
Stars: Gene Hackman, Owen Wilson, Gabriel Macht
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At the end of the Civil War, a colonel hunts down a man with whom he has a grudge.

Director: David Von Ancken
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Anjelica Huston
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Zac Mattoon O'Brien ...
Leon (as Zac Mattoon-O'Brien)
Domonkos Németh ...
Henry Kingsmill ...
...
...
Zsuzsa Holl ...
Berlin Cook
...
László Áron ...
...
...
...
Grandma
...
Palm Court Singer
Iván Verebély ...
Béla Fesztbaum ...
Edit

Storyline

Young Bruno lives a wealthy lifestyle in prewar Germany along with his mother, elder sister, and SS Commandant father. The family relocates to the countryside where his father is assigned to take command a prison camp. A few days later, Bruno befriends another youth, strangely dressed in striped pajamas, named Shmuel who lives behind an electrified fence. Bruno will soon find out that he is not permitted to befriend his new friend as he is a Jew, and that the neighboring yard is actually a prison camp for Jews awaiting extermination. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jew | fence | eight year old | ss | jewish | See more »

Taglines:

Zäune trennen, doch Hoffnung eint. (Fences divide, but hope unites.) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic material involving the Holocaust | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

28 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$253,085 (USA) (7 November 2008)

Gross:

$9,030,581 (USA) (16 January 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the concentration camp where the movie is set is never actually mentioned by name throughout the movie, we know it is Auschwitz because it was the only Nazi death camp with 4 crematoria. The SS officers are discussing the building's construction in the Commandant's office when Bruno's mother interrupts the meeting. In the book it is referred to as "Out-With" (coming from the P.O.V. of Bruno, who is only nine years old and can't pronounce some words properly). See more »

Goofs

In the scene where mother is knitting while listening to the radio, the actress is knitting using the British method, holding the wool in the right hand and "throwing" it. No German mother knits the British way and would use the continental method, holding the wool in the left hand and "picking" the stitch. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mother: Hello, sweetheart.
Bruno: Mum, what's going on?
Mother: We're celebrating.
Bruno: Celebrating?
Mother: Mm, your father's been given a promotion.
Gretel: That means a better job.
Bruno: I know what promotion is.
Mother: So we're having a little party to celebrate.
Bruno: He's still going to be a soldier though, isn't he?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Quotation displayed before the opening titles: "Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows - John Betjeman" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Friendship Beyond the Fence (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Romantic Violin
Written by Hans Conzelmann, Delle Haensch
Courtesy of APM Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Stunning! Simply Stunning!!!
13 September 2008 | by (Rochford, Essex) – See all my reviews

There have been more than a few films on the subject of the Holocaust, possibly the daddy of them all being Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" based on the book "Schindler's Ark" by Thomas Keneally. Much better, however, in my mind is Costa-Gavras' "Amen" based on Rolf Hochhuth's play "Le Vicaire". Now Mark Herman's "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas", itself based on John Boyne's novel, is fit to mentioned alongside these two great films.

I was initially doubtful at the premise of this film since my knowledge of Holocaust history suggested that 8 year old boys would have been sent straight to the gas chambers on arrival rather than set to work in a camp (obviously I am happy to be set straight on this point if I am wrong). And having seen the film, I also doubt that the boy in the camp (Shmuel, well played by Jack Scanlon) would be able to sit at the camp fence undetected long enough to meet and talk to Bruno, the camp Commandant's son (an astonishingly assured performance by newcomer Asa Butterfield).

There has also been some criticism of the fact that all the actors speak in Received Pronounciation English accents (even American actress Vera Farmiga, whose English accent is completely faultless). This is true, although to be completely accurate, all the actors would have to speak in German and the film would have had to be subtitled as a result.

In truth, however, none of these criticisms actually matters a damn. For even though all of the above is undeniably true, the film still works. And my, how it works. When it finished, I sat in my seat stunned (I had the same reaction after watching "Disaster Movie" last week, but most definitely not for the same reason, I assure you).

The Holocaust as seen through the prism of 8 year old German boy is a novel approach and although we all know what is happening at the camp nearby, at the beginning, he does not. And every step he takes, he gets closer to discovering the truth, losing his childhood innocence in the process.

What I liked about this film is the sophisticated and multi-layered portrayal of the German characters. None of them are one dimensional wholly evil characters but nor are they wholly good either (not even Bruno who tells lies on several occasions, one occasion which results in brutal punishment for one of the prisoners as a consequence).

With good performances from Asa Butterfield as Bruno, Amber Beattie as his sister, David Thewlis as his father, Vera Farmiga as his mother and Jack Scanlon as Shmuel, this may not be the first film about the loss of childhood innocence in the Holocaust (Roberto Benigni beat Herman to it with "Life is Beautiful" and whilst Benigni's film has a powerful end of its own, even that does not compare to the powerful shattering ending which this film possesses) but it is the best and most effective to date.

With restrained direction by Mark Herman and a similarly restrained score from James Horner, if this film does not win the hat full of Oscars next year that it surely deserves, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will have shown itself to be completely irrelevant.


188 of 235 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why germans speaking in english? fabio-1
One issue I have with this film scubadivergeek
Bruno's Father.. keriannxo
One thing I didn't understand scubadivergeek
British Accents reece_hanrahan
Auschwitz is in Poland? LittleMonster-741-47980
Discuss The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?