MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 378 this week

The Reader (2008)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  30 January 2009 (USA)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 161,607 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 352 user | 295 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 24 Jun 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 11 May 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 01 Oct 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 38 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Reader" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Reader (2008)

The Reader (2008) on IMDb 7.6/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Reader.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.

Director: Todd Field
Stars: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem
Closer I (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Clive Owen
The Hours (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

Director: Stephen Daldry
Stars: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A British medical doctor fights a cholera outbreak in a small Chinese village, while also being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

Director: John Curran
Stars: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe
Up in the Air I (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The film centers on a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman
The Holiday (2006)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other's countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Director: Nancy Meyers
Stars: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law
Atonement (2007)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn
Titanic (1997)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat, expecting to be married to a rich claimant by her mother, falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Alissa Wilms ...
...
Friederike Becht ...
Matthias Habich ...
Frieder Venus ...
Marie-Anne Fliegel ...
Hanna's Neighbour (as Marie Anne Fliegel)
Hendrik Arnst ...
Woodyard Worker
Rainer Sellien ...
Torsten Michaelis ...
Sports Master
Moritz Grove ...
Edit

Storyline

THE READER opens in post-war Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from "The Odyssey," "Huck Finn" and "The Lady with the Little Dog." Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life - this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hanna's past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. THE READER is a story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another. Written by The Weinstein Company

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How far would you go to protect a secret? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some scenes of sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Leitor  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£671,064 (UK) (2 January 2009)

Gross:

$34,180,954 (USA) (1 May 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Producers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella both died before the completion of the movie. As the film was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the Academy made an exception from their rules not to name more than three producers as nominees because of this rare circumstance. In the end the two producers Donna Gigliotti and Redmond Morris who took over duties were nominated as well as the posthumously honored Minghella and Pollack. See more »

Goofs

During the cycling holiday, when arriving at the church, Hanna gets off her bike on the right hand side of the bike and walks towards the church. When she parks the bike against the wall in the next shot she is standing on the left of the bike. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Brigitte: You didn't wake me.
Michael Berg: You were sleeping.
Brigitte: You let me sleep because you can't bear to have breakfast with me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, other than the studio logo. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #6.2 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Making Time
Written by Edwin Phillips, Kenneth Pickett
Performed by Creation
Courtesy of Polydor Records Ltd. (U.K.)
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Reader Movie Review from The Massie Twins
12 December 2008 | by (www.GoneWithTheTwins.com) – See all my reviews

The Reader is off to a brilliant start with convincing characters, superb acting and looming tragedy, but seems to lose its sure footing as it heads toward a conclusion that feels partly carelessly planned and mainly lacking direction. It decreases the most potent revelations and resides on a powerful love that was successfully sustained only during the beginning. Once again the order of events are jumbled on the timeline and an unexpectedly long ending detracts from the impact of the most poignant moments, not least of which is an undying love story that overshadows the historical importance of the war crime trials that set up a heartbreaking reunion.

In 1958 West Germany 15-year-old Michael Berg (David Kross) is escorted home by a mysterious woman after becoming ill. Diagnosed with scarlet fever and bedridden for three months, he eventually seeks out Hanna (Kate Winslet) to thank her for her aid. Soon the two begin an unlikely (and very graphic) affair that lasts the duration of the summer – Hanna is distant and uncompassionate, but Michael finds himself hopelessly in love (he insists on knowing her name by the third day they are together). Before each sexual tryst Michael reads to Hanna – starting with his school assignments; a German play, Homer's Odyssey, Huckleberry Finn, The Lady with the Little Dog and eventually he even reads comic strips.

One day Hanna vanishes, and Michael is left to return to school, study law, and carry on relationships with people his own age. In 1966, while attending a trial for German guard crimes against Jewish prisoners, he spies Hanna as one of the defendants. Years later, torn between remembering the great flame they shared and condemning her for her crimes, Michael is haunted by the trial and determined to sort out his feelings of guilt and love.

It's certainly a unique angle to show a sympathetic lead character toward Holocaust involvement. As author Bernhard Schlink wrote about his novel, on which the film is based, "The Reader is not a story about redemption or forgiveness. It is about how my generation of Germans came to terms with what the generation before us had done." He challenges the viewer with transcending guilt, the ability to choose love and the complexity of monstrous actions undertaken by ordinary people. The film is splendidly emotional and comes very close to being phenomenal. The drawn out conclusion is a meditation on the power of love and its ability to overcome exceptionally trying junctures – and even to overcome time itself. Morally devastating but not emotionally involving enough to attain instant masterpiece status, The Reader still boasts outstanding performances, a beautiful score and a moving tale of complex affection.


94 of 157 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question about the chronology iammariian
Why didn't Michael tell someone she couldn't have written the report? icefairy88
Why wouldn't Hanna confess to being iliterate? FrauMachina
A Librarian's Take jeberkin
What was wrong with Hanna? fer_sm90
Hanna confesses that she wrote the report henriksemailskriv
Discuss The Reader (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?