User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 129

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  1. Apr 6, 2012
    4
    This was an utter disappointment. It is not a terrible movie, but it is just not good. Mediocre as its best. The performances and the fame of the actors involved , helped to promote it. Undoubtedly, the director and producers tried to create an original story but it was not. It was just cheesy and almost unethical. They want us to feel empathy for Kate Winslet's character, and they triedThis was an utter disappointment. It is not a terrible movie, but it is just not good. Mediocre as its best. The performances and the fame of the actors involved , helped to promote it. Undoubtedly, the director and producers tried to create an original story but it was not. It was just cheesy and almost unethical. They want us to feel empathy for Kate Winslet's character, and they tried too hard. However, there was no good reason for us to feel sorry about her..She was just and outrageously selfish, calculating, despicable person. She took advantage of a boy, and used him; later, she became a Nazi, and as such, she coldly participated in crimes against the humanity and she doesn't show any regret about it; well at least not until many years later, when she is in jail (which is nothing to applaud). Is she then just a messed up person who deserves compassion and the incoditional love of the one she hurt and used? Not at all! The most unrealistic part of the film is when, in court, since she was embarrassed of not being literature, she prefers to go to jail rather than reveal the truth that could save/help her. I mean, honestly? A mass murdered cares about what people thinks about her?. If just doesn't make sense! Finally, the ending was totally cheesy, cliche...! I will never understand why as an adult, the boy still admired her and had feelings for her....! They wanted to make a beautiful, touching movie...but the story is fake. This movie is not sensible; the producers and director tried hard to manipulate the spectator's feelings.They are forgetting that unlike many other movies related to crime, punishment, and regret (e.g The Woodsman), what happened to the Jews was not just an abuse, was much, much more...millions died because of it! The victims...they were not just movie characters, they were real, they truly suffered. This movie is not even about understanding a 'good Nazi', but it focus in one of the worse kind of people you can get (Winslet's character)..and people like her don't deserve a movie that aims to rescue their 'good nature'...what they deserve is our despise. Expand
  2. Apr 27, 2013
    3
    It is hard to like a film that is so depressing and dull at the same time with characters less interesting than blank wallpaper. The film doesn't give you anything to care about or notice besides the characters being naked half the time in the movie.
  3. Jan 11, 2014
    0
    I would only say: bad, bad movie. The protagonist isn't able to act, and the screenplay was atrocious and very bad. The main theme was trivial and repetitive. There are many other better movies about this theme and I think The Reader isn't absolutely brilliant or good one. Bye!
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    The Reader can feel stilted and abstract: the film's only flesh-and-blood characters spend half the movie separated. But its emotional impact sneaks up on you. The Reader asks tough questions, and, to its credit, provides no easy answers.
  2. An engaging period drama. But German postwar guilt is not the most winning subject matter for the holiday season.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Stephen Daldry's film is sensitively realized and dramatically absorbing, but comes across as an essentially cerebral experience without gut impact.