User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 88
  2. Negative: 7 out of 88

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  1. Oct 15, 2014
    8
    Ignore these "professional" review... If you like History, drama, or u want to know more about the Second Great War, just ignore the reviews and buy Netflix.
  2. Aug 7, 2014
    2
    I give this movie a two simply because I made it to the end without shutting it off and because I truly believe the message was no one is born with a predisposition for hate by showing World War Two from the perspective of children. Terribly inaccurate and unrealistic. Holocaust fantasy movies should not exist.
  3. Jun 23, 2013
    8
    With a film like The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, there are countless and sometimes ignorant historical inaccuracies, however these can be easily looked past when there are issues being dealt with here that outline one simple thing, human error and judgement.
    It's really down to the basic truth that those who committed the atrocities of the Holocaust during the second World War were indeed
    human beings, the SS, the unfortunate victims of the concentration camps were all human beings and not monsters or what not. This movie makes the atrocities very gritty as we see the son of an SS Commandant (David Thewlis) in charge of one of these camps befriend a young boy within the confinements, dressed in what the soldiers son Bruno (Asa Butterfield) believes to be striped pyjamas, completely oblivious as to what is really going on.
    The more humanly and realistic tone comes from this soldier and his family, a very comfortable family with a wife and two children, a girl aged 12 who is simply doing what she is told and who falls even more deeply for the Third Reich as each day passes. There is also the Commandant's wife, who is unaware exactly what her husband's work consists of. She tries unsuccessfully for Bruno to enjoy their new home, but of course unbeknownst to her he is spending his time quite recklessly at the barbed wire fence of the camp and bringing food to this boy the same age as him, similar in curiosity, but these two have led very different lives, a pecking order if you will.
    David Thewlis playing the SS Commandant is quite the predicament indeed in terms of explaining what he is like in the role. When we become aware of his job and what his intentions are, there is shock to be had because of his humanity, which is either shedding light on these soldiers simply following orders or a poorly placed character, because at the end of the day, these people are murderers.
    This is exactly where the film is at its best, it never necessarily cares about the political motivation of any of the characters, but showing the point of view of these two innocent and caught in the middle children, they don't quite know why they are where they are, but they soon add up that not everything is right.
    An historically questionable but ultimately powerful film of friendship and humanity, that never fails to break the heart.
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  4. Jun 16, 2012
    10
    This movie was simply amzing. The story was heartbreaking and teached many moral values such as that doing something bad will haunt you for the rest of your life. The cast was awesome, whith Butterfield playing his first ( and best ) role of his career. I really dont know what else to say, simply a masterpiece that every teenager and adult should watch, whether he likes nazis or not.
  5. Feb 9, 2012
    8
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is one of those emotional movies that you could easily put together with films like My Sister Keeper, A walk to Remember or Remember Me, but the thing that separates this picture from the bunch is that the conflict is more believable and it involves historical events, so it approaches more to reality.
    There are three situations that add strength to the plot,
    the first one is the way in which Bruno sees the world that surrounds him and according to this he lives his life, the point of view and judgment of this boy is incredible because is pure, innocent and not influence by common sense or human reason. Second it is the relationship between Brunoâ Expand
  6. Feb 1, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I find the ending disgustingly manipulative, and soils the rest of the film, which otherwise is a decent yet unmemorable experience. Are we meant to be sad that a non-Jew kid has accidentally been taken to extermination with the Jews? The idea that THAT is the reason people love/cry at this movie sickens me. It's ok that the thousands of Jews at that camp were incinerated? but one little non-jew kid gets killed too and suddenly we have a tragedy? Expand
  7. Jan 28, 2012
    7
    This is an excellent movie..It is somehow unrealistic and historically innacurate, but still delightful- in spite of its sadness! The Boy in the Striped pajama is powerfully touching! Children's performances are outstanding. The script is beautiful. A bit like a fairy tale, and some may argue that the movie has been manipulated to attract audiences, and they may be right, but it is still a film that we should all see once. Expand
  8. Aug 31, 2011
    7
    I haven't read the book so i cannot compare the two however I found the film was an excellent look at the holocaust from the eyes of a child. For me the main let down in film was the ever so posh English accents on most of the cast in particular the "German" family and I think if the movie had been filmed in German with English subtitles it could have become a classic.
  9. May 29, 2011
    6
    Beautiful and scary, at the same time. Actually, only for the fact of making films about fictional events in 2nd War became something cult. Even up to quite tiring. But what to say about this production in particular, among many others of the genre? First, it's curious that a film based on a book has only 90 minutes long. But this is not something that points the lack of content or material. On the contrary. There are movies that can perfectly flush this out and just The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas achieves that success. The film primarily deals with the innocence of a child, and this can be modeled as negatively in the wrong hands. And the narrative axis has support precisely in fraternal relationship between the boys, both in extremely opposite but at the same time demonstrating profound ignorance of everything that is happening. And of course, not unworthy of the supporting cast, which is a rather considerable, as can be seen with the judel Pavel, showing fear and constant insecurity. We have one final daring by today's standards, but that is precisely what generates all the impact on the viewer (yes, all), so that a passing sensation of pain, both physical and mental. Even though it is fictional, it does point out all the humiliation and brutality that millions of Jews suffered. Expand
  10. May 13, 2011
    5
    The movie was ok. It didn't exactly grab my full attention and I read the book before watching the movie and I prefer the book rather than the movie.
  11. Apr 15, 2011
    5
    This movie made me cry, it was just so damn sad, how bad those **** Nazis treated those poor, innocent Jews. I know that's what it was like in World War II, this movie made me cry over and over again
  12. Sep 4, 2010
    0
    I admit I only saw this movie on DVD...and am really embarrassed. When it's all good intentions, but deeply unhistorical, you probably have to call it a kitsch feast. But then again, given the earnest and sensitive subject. I'd rather call it stupid and obscene. Nazi officials during the war, dancing to English swing music...had always thought that members of the illegal "swing youth" were imprisoned and persecuted. A Nazi family praying in public! A Jewish boy playing by the fence, when in all the camps, approaching the fence meant being shot. No fairy tales about the holocaust, please. Expand
  13. Aug 23, 2010
    9
    World War II, Boy's Father gets promotion, family move from Berlin to the country, misses friends, meets a boy on a "farm", becomes friends.
    Great film which is enjoyable, powerful & upsetting. Very good acting throughout (Asa Butterfield is very impressive) & although you know what is going to happen, it's still quite shocking.
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 5 out of 28
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    80
    Opening half-hour has some of the best stuff in the movie, walking a precarious line between black irony and showing the war from a totally German viewpoint, without tipping over into gallows humor or parody.
  3. 63
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas should be heartbreaking, but it isn't. The muted quality of its impact is the result of narrative shortcuts and a desire to keep the images from being too startling.