7.6/10
119,520
267 user 262 critic

The Book Thief (2013)

PG-13 | | Drama, War | 27 November 2013 (USA)
Trailer
2:11 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 protected by her adoptive parents.

Director:

Brian Percival

Writers:

Markus Zusak (based on the novel by), Michael Petroni (screenplay by)
Reviews
Popularity
3,347 ( 927)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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

Through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, a 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 | History | 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
Unbroken I (2014)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland
Little Boy (2015)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An eight-year-old boy is willing to do whatever it takes to end World War II so he can bring his father home. The story reveals the indescribable love a father has for his little boy and the love a son has for his father.

Director: Alejandro Monteverde
Stars: Jakob Salvati, Emily Watson, David Henrie
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Director: James Marsh
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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

Director: Gabriele Muccino
Stars: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith
127 Hours (2010)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An adventurous mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two teenage cancer patients begin a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam.

Director: Josh Boone
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A lonely art expert working for a mysterious and reclusive heiress finds not only her art worth examining.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Sylvia Hoeks
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Allam ... Narrator / Death (voice)
Sophie Nélisse ... Liesel Meminger
Heike Makatsch ... Liesel's Mother
Julian Lehmann Julian Lehmann ... Liesel's Brother
Gotthard Lange Gotthard Lange ... Grave Digger
Rainer Reiners ... Priest
Kirsten Block ... Frau Heinrich
Geoffrey Rush ... Hans Hubermann
Emily Watson ... Rosa Hubermann
Nico Liersch Nico Liersch ... Rudy Steiner
Ludger Bökelmann ... Football Urchin
Paul Schaefer Paul Schaefer ... Football Urchin
Nozomi Linus Kaisar Nozomi Linus Kaisar ... Fat Faced Goalie
Oliver Stokowski ... Alex Steiner
Robert Beyer Robert Beyer ... Jewish Accountant
Edit

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 Mayor'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

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ladrona de libros See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$105,005, 8 November 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,488,481

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,586,316
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Nelisse was told she was acting with Emily Watson, she thought they meant Emma Watson from the Harry Potter franchise. She told everyone she would act next to Hermoine until her mother eventually told her that wasn't the case. 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

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode dated 19 February 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Deutschlandlied
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Shining Gem In The Darkness
26 January 2014 | by krocheavSee all my reviews

"The Book Thief" is certainly a rare kind of film for its day. It gleams like the sun, glistens like rays on the surface of water - for here is a dark tale that lights up the very soul.

I've read several 'professional' reviews for this work and it seems too easy for some Critics to sit in their comfortable cinema seats, or arm chairs in the safety of their homes, and write, what often amount to trite comments. They can read meaning (often their own) into works of crude ugliness, yet feel they have to hide from life affirming warmth.

From the very opening scenes this film draws you in. Some did not like the fact that death (as voice over) begins to tell the story, but this also served to make it all the more compelling. Screen play adapter: Michael Petroni who's been associated with such diverse works as "The Rite" and "Narnia" is equally at home writing for the BIG screen as well as TV. As is talented Director: Brian Percival (Downton Abbey & North and South) Both seem to have given their all, and with no less than 6 various producers, there seemed to be plenty of money to assure superb production values ~ guaranteeing a great look and feel. Director of Photography: German born Florian Ballhaus, captures the magnificence of the carefully selected locations, lifting astounding images from the pages of the book onto the screen.

The cast all work hard to bring to life the characters from Markus Zusak's novel. Child actors can sometimes be hit or miss but award winning Sophie Nelisse (Liesel) is reminiscent of the great Patricia Gozzi from the 60s (Sundays and Cybele '62 & Rapture '65) She convinces over a full range of emotions. Young Nico Liersch scores equally as Rudy.

Some cynical critics seem to have difficulty in understanding the intellect of children forced to grow up in terrible circumstances and may have been unnecessarily harsh. Rush is reliable as always, managing to convey the emotions of a man living with fear, yet playing it down for the sake of his young adopted charge.

John Williams' multi-layered music score brings to mind the style of strong scores that helped breath life into great classics from the past.

Films of this quality have become rare in these days of often foolish, Hollywood comic book action blockbusters, but it's hoped this, along with 'The Railway Man' might see us treated to more intelligent modern cinema. If I'd change anything, perhaps it could be the anticlimactic style of the closing scenes ~ looked as if more may have been added as afterthought, through one too many fade outs (a very minor point)

But more importantly, perhaps, some cynical critics may also be 'reminded of their humanity'.


47 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 267 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed