7.6/10
221,238
413 user 294 critic

The Reader (2008)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
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:

Stephen Daldry

Writers:

David Hare (screenplay), Bernhard Schlink (book)
Reviews
Popularity
1,715 ( 47)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 25 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Labor Day (2013)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith
Milk I (2008)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch
Malena (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Amidst the war climate, a teenage boy discovering himself becomes love-stricken by Malèna, a sensual woman living in a small, narrow-minded Italian town.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Stars: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico
The Dressmaker I (2015)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A glamorous woman returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Stars: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two friends 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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman
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 thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn
The Hours (2002)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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 | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.

Director: Fernando Meirelles
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.

Director: Olivier Dahan
Stars: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Divorced single mom Mildred Pierce decides to open a restaurant business, which tears at the already-strained relationship with her ambitious elder daughter, Veda.

Stars: Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Michael Berg
Jeanette Hain ... Brigitte
David Kross ... Young Michael Berg
Kate Winslet ... Hanna Schmitz
Susanne Lothar ... Carla Berg
Alissa Wilms ... Emily Berg
Florian Bartholomäi ... Thomas Berg
Friederike Becht ... Angela Berg
Matthias Habich ... Peter Berg
Frieder Venus Frieder Venus ... Doctor
Marie-Anne Fliegel Marie-Anne Fliegel ... Hanna's Neighbour (as Marie Anne Fliegel)
Hendrik Arnst Hendrik Arnst ... Woodyard Worker
Rainer Sellien Rainer Sellien ... Teacher
Torsten Michaelis Torsten Michaelis ... Sports Master
Moritz Grove Moritz Grove ... Holger
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:

Unlock the mystery. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Germany]

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | German | Greek | Latin

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Reader See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$168,051, 14 December 2008

Gross USA:

$34,194,407

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$108,901,967
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Talking with The Sun in 2012 about her nude scenes in this and other films, Kate Winslet admitted "I look like the people that walk down the street. I don't have perfect boobs, I don't have zero cellulite. Of course I don't, and I'm curvy. If that is something that makes women feel empowered in any way, that's great. On a deeper, subconscious level, it's one of the reasons why I've allowed my stupid self to be so naked on screen," Winslet said. "It's partly because I do believe that it's right for the character and it's right for the story but it's also knowing that not many people do that, actually, and not just that, but I'm a normal person." See more »

Goofs

When Michael visits New York in 1988, the cab he is in is being followed by modern day cars including a 2000's GMC SUV behind all the period-vehicles. 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

Jesse Morrow is credited as the film's "smoke artist." See more »


Soundtracks

Don't Look Back
Written by Jackson C. Frank
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A thoughtful and plausible examination of guilt.
9 January 2009 | by hopek-1See all my reviews

Very well acted and presented and a faithful representation of the main points of the novel on which it is based. This film encourages us to look closely at very difficult issues surrounding the atrocities of World War II. I am at a loss to understand why so many critics have been so damning of it. Perhaps it is too subtle for them to understand. It seeks to outlaw the false and intellectually lazy theory to explain the holocaust, namely that the horrors were committed by monsters. In its place we are offered contextualization, not as excuse but as explanation of how quite ordinary people were able to do extraordinarily dreadful things. We avoid these uncomfortable facts at our peril.


204 of 241 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 413 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed