Critic Reviews

55

Metascore

Based on 28 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not only about Germany during the war, although the story it tells is heartbreaking in more than one way. It is about a value system that survives like a virus.
88
Viewers should know that the film's resolution, though admirably restrained and unsentimental, is devastatingly sad. Parents should take this into account. This beautifully rendered family film is told in a classic and old-fashioned style, in the best sense, providing poignant and powerful teachable moments.
88
Miami Herald
Even though it unfolds almost entirely through a child's eyes, and contains no onscreen violence, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas packs as devastating a punch as an adult-oriented drama about the subject. Its concluding five minutes are almost impossible to watch.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
Boyne's tale is starkly cautionary, and writer-director Herman handles a difficult topic with great sensitivity, drawing splendid performances from his young actors with David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga and the other grown-ups reliably efficient.
75
The power of this Holocaust tale sneaks up and floors you.
75
Told from a different angle than any other Holocaust film I've seen.
75
In key ways, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is like Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth": a child, caught in the waking nightmare of one of history's ugliest times, confronting the horrors of a grown-up world, and dealing with them as best he, or she, can.
75
Because its gaze is so level and so unyielding, it stands as one of the better dramatic films made on this subject (although it's not nearly as fine as Louis Malle's "Au Revoir les Enfants."
70
The film's two levels -- metaphoric and nitty-gritty -- don't mesh until the devastation of the closing sequence, which both indulges in and transcends melodrama.
50
The film succeeds to the degree that it does -- partially, but honorably and sometimes affectingly -- because it was made as well as it was.
40
The faux-naive point of view probably worked better in the novel; the literalness of film renders certain of the story's conceits overly precious.
16
An appalling, jaw-dropping movie that will cause serious nightmares.

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