The Reader

The Reader Image
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Reader opens in post-WWII 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. (The Weinstein Company)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    100
    Winslet deserves an Oscar for her amazing performance.
  2. 78
    There is a sense of ambiguity at the core of The Reader that makes it all the more brutal, all the more honest in its deflowering of love and what one imagines love ought to be instead of what it too often is.
  3. Fiennes brings to the role a shimmering subtlety.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    60
    The epitome of middle-brow 'quality' drama -- admirable within its limitations, but Bernard Schlink's Oprah Winfrey Book Club-approved book wasn't exactly literature, as this isn't exactly cinema.
  5. 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.
  6. So why, despite everyone's best efforts, does all this bigness seem so small and unfocused and simply not up to the task?
  7. 10
    The shallowest "serious" film to be reeling this year.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 45
  2. Negative: 6 out of 45
  1. gutierrezr.
    Dec 14, 2008
    10
    The best performance of the year miss kate winslet
  2. DaleM
    Jan 30, 2009
    10
    Excellent movie. I'm surprised at the low scores given this movie and the ridiculous reasons for the low scores. I suspect that most Excellent movie. I'm surprised at the low scores given this movie and the ridiculous reasons for the low scores. I suspect that most people still prefer movies with really bad guys and really good guys such as a superhero movie. This movie has good and bad mixed all up and I'm sure that blows most people's minds and sense of decency. Expand
  3. HillaryP.
    Jan 10, 2009
    10
    To KL before ragging on this movie for the full frontal nudity of a teenager, maybe you should do some research, the "teenager" was born To KL before ragging on this movie for the full frontal nudity of a teenager, maybe you should do some research, the "teenager" was born 7/90, making him 18 and of legal age of consent to film what ever he wants...so I urge you to judge the film on its actual content and not your uninformed opinion. This is fiction people!! Expand
  4. HollyC
    May 5, 2009
    8
    Winslet definitely deserved her Oscar (though I haven't seen Revolutionary Road yet)--her portrayal was fascinating from start to Winslet definitely deserved her Oscar (though I haven't seen Revolutionary Road yet)--her portrayal was fascinating from start to finish. There is nothing black and white about this film for me (other than that Winslet is great and I loved Kross as well). No easy judgement of the characters or what they did, mercy regarding personal shame and punishment--all totally shown in their complexity-- and I'm pretty sure that was the idea. As soon as you want to condemn someone, you must face your own moral relativity. This film gives you many chances to judge or sympathize and leaves it to you to figure it out. Bravo. Expand
  5. Mar 15, 2013
    7
    Kate Winslet's shines in this bleak thought provoking movie. While it is gloomy and graphic, one can't help but feel sympathy for herKate Winslet's shines in this bleak thought provoking movie. While it is gloomy and graphic, one can't help but feel sympathy for her character even though she should be despised. The story accomplished what it sought to tell, and it did so quite convincingly. Expand
  6. jm
    Mar 1, 2009
    6
    I remember reading the book many moons ago and being absorbed. I didn't have the same feeling with the film. Although dealing with a I remember reading the book many moons ago and being absorbed. I didn't have the same feeling with the film. Although dealing with a serious subject, I felt it lacked intensity, even if it was quite moving in parts. Kate Winslet was good but not outstanding. The young German actor Kross was excellent. That's my opinion of the film. Expand
  7. 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 trivialI 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! Expand

See all 45 User Reviews

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